This was a perfectly scripted and engaging story. A young Indian team takes on an experienced battle-worn and tough Australian side to hand over a 2-0 defeat in the final segment of a very very long Commonwealth Bank tri-series tournament. Now that the tri-series will never be played again at least in the near future, the Australian side has to live with fact that India will be the perennial holders of the series. This should trouble them more as it was their last chance to regain the trophy after losing it to England last year.
What the series also has shown is that a tough team like Australia can also be defeated in its own backyard. This was possible as the Indian side took on a different skin unlike the previous Indian teams that toured Australia. This was a team that did not blink an eye looking into the eyes of the world champions. Australia really got it wrong with its long lasting and successful strategy of playing the pressure game on the opposition side. Instead of sulking under the pressure brought in by the unnecessary controversies on and off the field, India managed to give it back to Australia. This was something the Australian team never expected and crumbled under the backlash.
The fact remains that Australia has been defeated convincingly both on and off the field and this should please the other teams who would now look to win in Australia. The series has proved to be a blessing for the Indian side as it threw up potential talent in youngsters like Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Rohit Sharma. And with the Indian U19 team already clinching the world cup the bench strength of India looks strong for the first time. Dhoni deserves a special mention and praise as he captained with a very very cool head on his shoulders. Leading a team with the most experienced and senior player Sachin Tendulkar and a young bunch of cricketers and managing to win is not an easy task and he did made the pressure look easy, but it was a tough and brave act from the Indian captain.
Sachin Tendulkar, the man always in the limelight, written off by critics, questioned by fans on his poor form showed why he is regarded as a master blaster. Getting back into his groove he did demolish the opposition. He had an exceptional run in the test series and also the final few matches in the one day series.
Looking at the positives for Australia Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken did well to take 37 wickets between them, but did not help their team win the tropy. They worked hard and never had anything to complain. For India it was good to see youngsters and newcomers Ishant and Praveen kumar bowl under pressure. If there was a chunk in the armour of the mighty Australians it was their poor batting with none of their leading batsmen showing consistency or taking the lead in scoring the runs. Gilchrist, Hayden and Hussey scored the bulk of the runs (1212) for Australia. Ponting had a disappointing show with his batting while he concentrated more on assisting the umpires with his decision making abilities and his new role of keeping the integrity of the game. The Indian batsmen had a dream run scoring runs at will and consistently. The top and middle order of Sachin, Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Yuraj came good scoring 1623 runs. Gautam Gambhir scored two classy centuries while Sachin played two important knocks, a century in the winning cause and another score where he again missed scoring a century in a winning cause.
India will go back home with lot more than the controversies and trophies that it won in Australia, confidence in their ability to win in tough situations.
India won the tri-series in Australia and also the under-19 world cup. aFter the bitter disappointment of the first round exit in the World Cup, this bit of news is welcome for millions of Indian cricket fans.
The cricket was great, the controverisies not so great but on the whole we enjoyed it. In fact I loved it. There is new hope, new energy in the team that was lacking during the world cup. Fresh talent is always wonderful to see. Hope they keep going for a long time. Best of Luck
All the best to all the Indians.
All the Indians?
“The Indian batsmen had a dream run scoring runs at will and consistently.”
Now that’s not quite true. We struggled with the bat in most of the matches. It was only in the last three matches including the two finals that we did well. Our batting has a long way to go, unlike the bowling which is right on top. Dravid and Ganguly will have to play in the neat future. You cannot rely on Tendulkar all the time. Rotating the trio in the top order will be the way to go, IMO.
Oh, BTW, 1000 hits. Congos.