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Team India's 2010 ChallengesPublished January 11, 2010
Confidence and consistency are key.
"Our target is to play good cricket. Last two years, we have played very tough and good cricket and hopefully we will do it in 2010 also."
So says Team India Vice Captain, Virender Sehwag, whose Team India side are currently riding high as the top rated international Test team.
2010 holds some exciting matches for them and here is a snapshot of some of the biggies.
A Busy Start
The year starts with two Tests against Bangladesh as well as tri-series one day internationals (ODIs) against both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, who they recently beat in both Test and one-day series.
February sees rivals South Africa visiting for two Tests and three ODIs -a series which will be repeated in December on the Proteas' home ground.
A Reputation to Restore
After a disappointing performance at the World T20 in England in 2009, where they failed to quality for the knock-outs, the Indian team will be travelling to the Caribbean in April. Team India are keen to restore their World T20 reputation and will surely pull out all the stops to impress both fans and critics alike.
Those eagerly anticipating the action can whet their appetite with an early flutter. Currently online sportsbooks such as William Hill and bwin seem to agree on the top five, with India and South Africa currently listed as joint favorites and Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia taking up the final places in the top five outright bets. It remains to be seen whether performances over the first quarter of the year will affect these rankings.
Consistency is Key
Apart from below par form in both English and South African 2009 internationals, Team India had a dominant year.
This year sees India's finest visiting Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Australia for both Test and ODI cricket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men are ranked number two behind Australia in ODIs and will be snapping at the heals of the Ozzie's to gain the number one slot.
According to Sehwag, consistency is the key for 2010 and if his team can keep up the pressure throughout 2010 then, "the rankings will look after themselves."