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So its all oWaugh! Sorry about the pun. The end of a superb Test series with a draw at the SCG. Sourav Ganguly and his men maybe thinking about whether the 1st innings declaration came a little too late or whether the followon should have been enforced, but that'd be hindsight. However India can take a lot of credit from the way they fought this series which really did swing one-day to the other nearly every couple of days. In the end, even though the drawn match (and series) seems a tough result to stomach given that India scored 700 runs, the series result was possibly a fair call. Even though India had a few opportunities to drive the nail in, they couldn't quite stamp the opposition out, the hallmark of a great side. There were opportunities at Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney but they weren't grasped. Undoubtedly though, the team will be much better for the experience gained from the tour. The aim of the team management should be to take this team to the next level. Border & Simpson attribute the successes of the Aussies of the late 1980s-early 1990s to the way they fought and tied the Madras Test in 1986. They followed it up with the World Cup win in 1987. Ashes victories then started happening and they nearly managed to defeat West Indies in the 1992/93 series in Australia. It is interesting to note that the last time a side went through two consecutive series against Australia undefeated in both (in India's case, it won one of them) was 2 drawn series for South Africa in 1993/94.
The successes from this tour must be used by Wright, Ganguly, other team members, the selectors, the administrators in the BCCI etc. to ensure that the only way this team now goes is up. After the last series v Australia, the Indian team performed quite poorly in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and were thrashed in South Africa and barely managed to win against England at home. There must be an effort to make sure success isnt taken for granted.
I think the turning point of the tour was Waugh running Martyn out. That gave India an unlikely wicket and when Waugh's hitwicket followed, it was the icing on the cake. It also helped that the Australian team (and Waugh and Martyn in particular) were under tremendous pressure with the media constantly quizzing them about the runout. In a sense, the media attention got deflected off the Indians', which was good because the moment you get the opposition country's media to start talking about the faulty actions of their own players, you must be doing something right! Ganguly's superb century suddenly brought back the focus on the team but in a positive way! The media was suddenly effusive in praise and no longer called him haughty and unmindful of tradition.
The next task is to focus on the VB oneday series (involving Australia and Zimbabwe as well) and take it stage by stage, match by match. It'd be quite ridiculous if India didn't make the finals with Zimbabwe being the third team.
Labels: ind v aus 2003
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