If 2009 was the year India finally made it to the summit of world cricket, 2010 could be even more critical. As Mahendra Singh Dhoni put it, "The real journey begins now." Cricket has been so dominated by Australia in the recent past that India's aim will be to hold on to the top spot for dear life. After all, Australia barely gave anyone else a chance at the top since the ICC's rankings came into existence.
But it's not merely about Test cricket. The last two years have seen some seismic shifts in the game, and nothing has had a bigger impact than the emergence and widespread acceptance of T20.
After coming from nowhere to win the inaugural T20 World Cup, India were dumped this year and their sights are now firmly trained on redemption at the 2010 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean. It's a big chance India to set the record straight, their recent performances in ICC events being anything but memorable. India defend another World Cup title in the new year, and that's the under-19 crown.
Virat Kohli led to the title in Malaysia, and has since established himself as one of the brighter young stars in the game.
The Test ranking will continue to make news and India have a chance to build on their results, playing South Africa away towards the end of the year. To be accepted as true champions a team needs to have under its belt wins in SA and Australia.
In that sense, 2010 is the year of opportunity for India.
U-19 World Cup (NZ) Jan 15-30: IPL: March 12-April 25; T20 World Cup (WI): May 1-16; Ashes (Australia): Nov 25-Jan 7.