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January 19, 2008 / lazybug

That’s the Way to do it!

India win at Perth

What do they say about letting your game do all the talking? What do they say about men of honour? What is it that separates men from the boys?

India has done all that and more.

Lying on a bean bag in front of the TV at my friend Sharjeel’s place, I cursed every time RP Singh pitched one short to the Aussie tail enders. Impatience was getting the better of me. But it was held back by the belief that it was only a matter of time before we wrapped it up. And then, it happened. One swinging yorker from RP Singh, the only one he bowled in that spell, sealed the deal for India.

India had done what they were destined to do after the Sydney fiasco. I use the word destined very consciously here, because the Sydney loss played a key role here. Ricky Ponting might give it a ‘5%’ but I give it more than 20%. Right from day one, Australia looked subdued. Bowlers were being extremely careful in talking, same with the fielders. No incident epitomised this more than the one where Shaun Tait apologised to Sachin Tendulkar after a loud appeal for caught behind. The batsmen looked on the defensive, especially in the second innings. A look at Ricky Ponting’s face said it all. The Aussies were a rattled lot, a shadow of the arrogant side that took to field in Sydney. And quite rightly so.

That, of course, is no reason to take away any credit from India, especially India’s bowlers, three of whom are in their early 20s. The thing that speaks volumes about the effort put in by Pathan, Sharma and Singh is this: Michael Hussey, Chris Rogers and Adam Gilchrist grew up playing at the WACA; yet, except Gilchrist in the second innings, they all got out to the Indian medium pacers. This is not just a coincidence. India’s bowlers have stood up when it mattered the most. But more importantly, it’s a sign of things to come. India’s overseas performances have improved dramatically over the last couple of years and the improvement in our pace attack has played a very important role. As the team evolves and tries to reach the number one spot in test rankings, the bowling attack will be the key.

At last Sehwag was chosen and the way he batted in both the innings made all the difference to the team’s confidence. Laxman was awesome, again! Dravid’s return to the number three spot was a big relief–for Dravid himself and the hapless fans like me as well. I hope he remains at that spot for the next game. Like Tendulkar and Laxman did in Sydney, he and Laxman could do an encore of their parnership that one India the game in 2004.

A word about Kumble

Kumble Leads
From the way he stood up as a leader after the Sydney test to the way he handled the pressure leading up to this match, Anil Kumble has reaffirmed himself as the best man to lead India. The decision to pick Pathan was a good one considering that there would have been a strong temptation to play Bhajji. Pathan has ended up being the man of the match!

After Dravid stepped down and Kumble was given the charge, I had thought the way he handles the team in Australia will be his real test. Not only has he been a leader, he has been an inspirational leader. Cheers to you Jumbo, keep it up!

Adelaide beckons

In hind sight, we should have gone into the fourth test 2-1 up or at least 1-1, but that’s not happening. India has to level the series and be happy with it. The Aussies will come hard at them. After all, their dominance in world cricket is being questioned. They are still the best test side in the world and Adelaide could well end up like what happened in Melbourne in 2004 when India lost the match after going one up.

Advice: Stay away from the TV!

The media is busy branding today’s victory as the one that “denied Australia a record 17th straight victory”, therefore, taking away from it all that happened back at Sydney and all the hard work put in by India. So, be calm, take a deep breath and keep in mind that this a win should be remembered for the resurgence of the team after being 2-0 down. It should be remembered for the maturity displayed by the Indian team in times of crisis. And most importantly, as a victory that’ll change the way India plays its Cricket forever.

Update: Curious fact presents itself: No batsman got a hundred, no bowler got a five-for.

Images courtesy: Cricinfo

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15 Comments

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  1. Chittaranjan / Jan 19 2008 5:54 pm

    Three Cheers to the Indian Team!! HHH…HHH…HHH!!!

    ATB for the Adelaide match (which is when, btw??)

  2. Aravind / Jan 20 2008 12:09 am

    Great win by India.. warmed the cockles of my heart. Ponting and Sharma’s videos will be great to watch.

  3. Ottayan / Jan 20 2008 12:41 am

    Obviously a great win.
    It justifies our 2 nd place ranking.

  4. Liju Philip / Jan 20 2008 1:06 am

    Great match. Finally some kind soul put up the streaming on the net and managed to catch the whole day.

    Simply superb. Can you remember the last time fast bowlers winning a match for India? 😉

  5. almostinfamous / Jan 20 2008 4:24 am

    great job by the young quicks. we now have 5 quality medium-fast bowlers who can seam or swing and will hopefully stick around for sometime to come.

    one thing that we must take into consideration is that one of our biggest stumbling block in the series has been hayden, who didn’t play.

    btw, i was literally shaking my head when kumble was looping deliveries on middle-leg to slogger johnson. like boycott would have said… my grandma could hit that for six!!

    but they came back well with the new ball. this win bodes well for the future of indian cricket, provided dhoni remains his cool, calm self in tests also.

  6. vinay / Jan 20 2008 8:11 am

    Comprehensive post match analysis man. Yeah Australians will definitely come hard at Indian at Adelide. Kumble has lead the side very well so far. He is really a Smiling Assassin.
    ATB for the Adelide test.

  7. aalasanthosh / Jan 20 2008 2:00 pm

    India has been performing quite well in Australia from the last test series. Of course some poor umpiring decisions spoiled India’s chances to produce a different result. Hope India carries on with the same spirit and wins the next test.

  8. arvind / Jan 20 2008 2:19 pm

    yes,indeed that was the way all indians expected..
    my fingers are crossed for the next test..
    🙂

  9. raydixon / Jan 20 2008 3:15 pm

    In hind sight, we should have gone in to the fourth test 2-1 up or at least 1-1 …

    Well, if you had won in Sydney, I’m sure Australia would have approached the Perth game a lot less apprehensively. As you said, the events of Sydney gave India more resolve to win in Perth, so it’s all would have-could have-should have supposition to suggest the score line “should be” anything other than Aust. 2 India 1.

    I think the Aussies will bounce back.

  10. lazybug / Jan 20 2008 4:44 pm

    Dixon,

    Of course it’s “would have-could have-should have”. I am talking about what I thought would have been ‘right’. Same applies to your statement about aussies bouncing back if India had won at Sydney.

  11. lazybug / Jan 20 2008 4:50 pm

    Liju: I rmr the first test in SA and the Trent Bridge test agnst Eng. Basically, we’ve been winning overseas only because of our fast bowlers.

  12. raydixon / Jan 20 2008 11:40 pm

    Lazybug, I was talking about the Aussies bouncing back in Adelaide, in the future. That’s hardly the same thing as wishing to alter the past.

    The point is, you have suggested the scoreline should be different based on what you believe is ‘right’ but I am saying you cannot say what might have happened in Perth had Sydney been a different result.

    It’s therefore pointless to hold any residual ill-feeling over the unfortunate Sydney events, which were blown out of all proportion.

  13. lazybug / Jan 21 2008 7:05 pm

    “The point is, you have suggested the scoreline should be different based on what you believe is ‘right’ but I am saying you cannot say what might have happened in Perth had Sydney been a different result.”

    I was referring to your statement about aussies approaching the Perh game ‘less apprehensively’ if they had lost in Sydney.

  14. raydixon / Jan 22 2008 1:57 pm

    Yes, I realise that Lazybug, but that’s still not the same as saying, “we should have gone in to the fourth test 2-1 up or at least 1-1 …”.

    There’s an imperative in your statement, whereas mine is a ‘maybe’.

    Anyway, I don’t want be pedantic (or semantic), I just think the 2-1 scoreline is about right. India were hard done by in Sydney (due ONLY to poor umpiring) but ‘karma’ gave them Perth, so it has all evened out.

    It boils down to Adelaide. If India wins they can rightly claim to be Australia’s equal. If Australia wins … the domination continues! Cheers.

  15. lazybug / Jan 23 2008 7:11 pm

    Australia will have to beat India, a draw won’t help!

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