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  Saturday, 24 March, 2001, 12:30 GMT
The end of an aura
Australia watch the presentation ceramnoy after the 3rd Test in Chennai
New experience: Australia contemplate their defeat
Scott Henry gives BBC Sport Online an Aussie cricket fan's view on his team's Test series defeat in India.

Two days on and it is just about sinking in.

Our aura of invincibility has been broken, but in the immediate aftermath I detected a trend in the words of our country's scribes - and I didn't like it.

Lines like "Australia beaten but unbowed" and "Glory in defeat" stared me in the face as I struggled to become one with the beating.

Has the Australian public become so drunk with arrogance that even when we lose, we win?

Perhaps it is just a ploy of the Aussie media to restore national spirit in the face of the plummeting dollar and ramshackle government.

OK, we went down fighting, but we still went down.

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh: India's wonderful new find

India, about as likely to steal the series after day two in Calcutta as snow in July, pulled off one of the great wins.

Far from tiring after halting Australia's record run of Test victories, John Wright's men rode the momentum to pack them off as only the sixth team in the history of the game to surrender a three-Test series after winning the opening match.

India won, the accolades belonging to them and them only.

It is no secret that they are a different outfit on their home patch. On their familiar dry, dusty pitches, the Indian batsmen made Australia's all-time leading wicket-taker Shane Warne look like a club cricket 'leggy'.

I feel the Australians fell for the sucker punch after the first Test and followed their hosts by opting for spin over pace.

It was painfully clear that the only real difficulties the Indian batsmen had were when fast bowlers Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie were on.

We fell into a trance watching Harbhajan Singh single-handedly tear the heart out of our middle order, thinking that Warne and Colin Miller would do the same to India.

Australian captain Steve Waugh batting against India
Waugh will demand better in England

We were wrong and we were outsmarted.

So what does this all mean for the looming Ashes series?

I hardly think Australia needed a wake-up call prior to the battle against England - the greatest series in Test cricket.

Prior to India, the word 'great' was freely uttered in connection with the current Australian side.

But greatness is not measured by a team's ability to win continually. That is perfection and it is something to which we humans cannot aspire.

The measure of greatness, I'm sure, is the ability to bounce back from defeat.

One team, England, stands in the way.

All the reports from the Test match

SPORTSTALK

Day Five

Day Four

Day Three

Day Two

Day One

Where and when

TEST STATS
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