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By Dhananjay Devasper
The final nail has been hammered into the Australian coffin. India have comprehensively beaten what is being dubbed the worst Australian side in 34 years, in every aspect of the game. Even the nightmares that Shane Warne had, will pale in comparison to what Michael Clarke’s side has experienced in the just-concluded series. India did not even seem threatened, except for two sessions in the Delhi Test when Nathan Lyon produced his best bowling effort of the series to reduce India to a slender lead of 10 runs.
It was a moment that every Indian fan was waiting for, after a series of whitewashes abroad and a pedestrian effort against a resurgent England in India. Beating an Australian side always has its own charm. The Indian team well and truly deserves to be lauded for their efforts. The series brought out some standout performances from some much reviled cricketers. Murali Vijay and Ravindra Jadeja have cemented their place in the side for some time now with their efforts on this tour. In Cheteshwar Pujara one finds a solid middle-order batsman. Shikhar Dhawan showed exactly how one should capitalise on an opportunity given. Ravichandran Ashwin, smarting from the “kick up his backside” after the England series, did what he does best — take wickets.
The media, which was baying for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s blood after the disastrous England series, has started eulogising him. There’s no doubt that Dhoni has led India to every conceivable achievement that anyone in the cricketing world might covet. It was only fitting that he ticked off the media for having double standards after this win.
However, while the win is a great one, it’s also time for some reflection. It is very clear that in this win there were just a few consistent performers across the series, with some support at crucial junctures. This can be a cause for concern when touring South Africa. The last time India played there, India’s bowlers and batsmen were both severely exposed. While Dhoni may say that the era of aggressive fields is over, it might work for an inexperienced team like Australia, but might backfire against a team like South Africa. Even England proved that if similar fields were set, all one had to do was rotate the strike to take the sting out of the bowlers.
While there will definitely be introspection after all the celebrations have died down, for now it’s time to enjoy the moment, uncork the bubbly and take a break from Test cricket. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) coming up, it’s a completely different ballgame that will take centrestage.
(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)
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