Wisden India is the Indian arm of sport's oldest publication, the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. It features in-depth coverage of cricket at all levels, from charity games on Mt. Kilimanjaro to the World Cup.
In a country obsessed with the oval ball, cricketers have rarely enjoyed the same kind of status. But over the past six weeks, as eight straight wins - including a thrilling one-wicket triumph over Australia at Eden Park - have taken New Zealand's cricketers where they've never gone before, perceptions have shifted just a little.
It's that block of five overs which either heralds the beginning of a decisive onslaught, or brings the fielding team right back in the game. It's that block of five overs that causes even the most composed batsmen to lose their heads and wickets. It's that block of five overs that often has been the difference between victory and defeat.
When Dhawan has made a hundred with India batting first, they have never racked up anything less than 294, and on three other occasions they have topped 300. Batting second, Dhawan has four centuries, one of which ensured that India hunted down a target of 350.
Kumar Sangakkara is himself a voyager, of course. Not of the seas, not of the air, though he has stacked up millions of air miles in an international career deep into its 15th year. He is a voyager of the cricket fields, a dainty and elegant and measured and organised traveller, a lawyer by education, a cricketer by vocation, an entertainer and charmer by birth. By right, almost.
India, or the BCCI, has a grand opportunity as of right now to extend that help to the highly promising cricket team of a war-ruined country as well as Nepal. The financial cost will not be even a fraction of what the BCCI earns. The goodwill will last a lifetime, as all good deeds do.
In the end, India needed Dhoni's phlegmatic presence, R Ashwin's stoicism, their unseparated 51-run partnership and a generous dose of wides from the excitable Caribbean quicks to equal their longest World Cup winning streak, eight matches.
Kohli's behaviour was way out of line. I'm sure he's aware of that. But the media also needs to reassess how it represents the players and their loved ones. These are not walking, talking headlines. These are human beings playing under the greatest pressure imaginable in sport.
Shapoor Zadran cuts an impressive figure. Tall - not frightfully so like Mohammad Irfan or Curtly Ambrose or Joel Garner - but taller enough than your average Joe to stand out. Dreamy. Angry. Flowing hair. Piercing eyes. Majestic on the cricket field. A new-age action hero, the modern-day answer to John Rambo.
Never before have India started a World Cup in such rip-roaring fashion. Not when they crashed into the final in South Africa in 2003. Not even when they conquered the world on their way to title triumphs in England in 1983 and in their own backyard four years ago.
Dhawan spoke of those difficult times ahead of India's match against UAE at the WACA on Saturday (February 28). "I was staying calm," said Dhawan as he reflected on that period. "I was just staying calm and working hard, keeping my work ethics strong. Of course, it's always a learning thing. I enjoy the journey rather than the destination. So I was enjoying that phase of my life too, and I learned a lot.
India's cricketers are fortunate in that so vastly spread is the Indian diaspora across the cricketing globe that support from the spectators is never at a premium. There was an interesting banner the other at the MCG, when India played South Africa in front of almost 87,000 predominantly Indian fans. Pause, rewind, and yes, you will find that you read it right. Almost 87,000 predominantly Indian fans, at the MCG. As one credit card company would say, that is priceless. The banner read 'Two host nations, three home teams.' Australia and New Zealand, the two host nations. India, the third home team.
One of the great fears then was that Shami would go the way of several other Indian pacers who promised much initially but quickly faded into oblivion - RP Singh, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth and A Mithun prominent among them. Some 16 months on, he has comprehensively laid those fears to rest, establishing himself as the leader of a young bowling group and assuming the responsibility of spearheading an attack that in no way is inferior to many of the more celebrated attacks in this World Cup.
In this chat with Wisden India as India prepare for the match against the United Arab Emirates at the WACA ground on Saturday (February 28), Shastri talks at length on the defending champions' World Cup campaign to date, and what can be expected of the side going forward.
Ajinkya Rahane is an unlikely hero. Unlike many of his team-mates, flash is the last thing on his mind. He is not one of the in-your-face types; he is more understated and studied. See Ajinkya Rahane, and immediately you see serious. You see committed. You see determined. It's not that you don't see these traits in his more extravagant team-mates; it's just that with Rahane, the bling is secondary. Or tertiary. If at all.
With knocks of 73 and 137, Shikhar Dhawan has warmed up nicely for the bigger challenges ahead in his maiden World Cup. Family man, yes, but for now, no ordinary man, Dhawan with a sense of the occasion.
Sachin Tendulkar, playing the role of ambassador for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, identified two reasons behind the number of high-scoring games seen in the first week of the tournament, saying the advent of Twenty20 cricket coupled with recent rule changes had led to the boom in runs.
As captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Virat Kohli didn't have to wear his thinking cap, trying to set fields and working out plans to get rid of AB de Villiers for the last three years. Now, as a key member of the Indian management group, he must put his knowledge of de Villiers to good use as India go into their second World Cup Group B game, against South Africa at the MCG on Sunday (February 21).