India's golden era
Rahul Bhattacharya, in Wisden India, reminisces India's golden era, which came to an end with the 2011 World Cup. In 'the 281 era', he says, India weren't kings, but were 'contenders' and had 'class'.
They were old and young, cussed and carefree, short and tall, bald and hirsute, consumers of orange juice or buffalo milk or vodka, and could greet or abuse you in about eight languages. If you lined them up - two seamers, two spinners, a keeper and seven batsmen - they made a XII more strong and exciting than probably any other in Indian history across formats. Cumulatively they played about 1,200 Tests and 3,000 one-dayers, so the mirage of intimacy felt reasonable for most cricket watchers.