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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 10:38 GMT
What is the secret to India's success?
India have beaten Australia in a thrilling series after a dramatic two-wicket win in the third Test at Chennai.
So where did India succeed where so many other sides have failed and can the previously invincible Aussies bounce back for the Ashes against England?
Before the series, Australia had won 16 consecutive tests and India were playing without their two best bowlers, Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath.
But the hosts unearthed a new gem in off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and managed to conjure up a remarkable 2-1 triumph.
How did they manage to rattle the usually unflappable Australians?
And are India now back as a force in Test cricket?
As for Australia, has the bubble burst or is this just a hiccup as they head for more comfortable conditions in the forthcoming Ashes series with England?
Understandbly, Pakistanis are outraged by the ban on cricketing ties because in general, they are very lucrative. From the Indian point of view, this is certainly one way to payback where it hurts. Why is Pakistan cribbing about cricketing ties but at the same time restricting other ties such as trade and cultural exchange?
If, as is rumoured, this pull out from Sharjah is because of match fixing then full marks to India. There is far too much one day cricket in meaningless events and there seems to be evidence many of these are fixed.
It's all very well saying don't mix cricket and politics but the Pakistan chief is a general and the current government is a military dictatorship! In the subcontinent pride seems more important than practicality.
It doesn't matter if they play each other or not. The result would probably be fixed anyway!
As soon as the word 'Pakistan Cricket team' is mentioned, most Indians get images of terrorists and nuclear weapons. How will you explain the friendship which exists between the cricket players of both countries?
I fully support the Indian governments decision. There is no need to play cricket or have any ties whatsoever with a country which exports terrorism and whips up religious frenzy in the name of jihad.
Bringing politics into sport shows the immaturity of India. India should try to achieve peace and harmony with Pakistan and if it can't be done on the Negotiation table it should be done in the sporting arena.
If India had just beaten Australia in Australia or anywhere else in the world, I'd understand all this talk, but c'mon, this is India playing in India...
After all its been about 30 odd years since Australia's won a test series in India- and we've had some great teams over the last 30 years.
The biggest difference was "Warnie" was tamed by VVS Laxman & Rahul Dravid. Harbhajan has been the other shining star for India.
After a long time, the Indian team seems to have STARS who shine (apart from Sachin). It is a welcome sign.
Has anyone noticed the muted coverage of India's amazing series win in the UK press?
The day after India's amazing win in Calcutta, I grabbed the The Guardian at the news-stand. This was the second time in history that a side won a Test after following on. What did I find? 4 pages on England's win in Sri Lanka, and a small feature on VVS Laxman's batting. Outrageous.
As Glenn Mcgrath has said in the past they had lost the match before a ball was bowled. Freak or not, the batting of Laxman and Dravid in the second test match changed the attitude of the players and made them believe that they could force a win against the Australians. And I believe Warne's best days are behind him.
Kiran Saraff, USA
Laxman's now famous knock and Singh's haul set the tune for India's series win. Support from home crowds, especially after the bad manners demonstrated by some Aussie cricketers, must have been a big factor behind India's high spirits.
The diffrence in the Indian team of today is the spirit! I think the combo of John Wright and Ganguly seems to have injected the right amount of fighting spirit.
They are matching the Australians in the department of the game they are best at. Laxman and Harbhajan are good team players who are taking the pressure of the old warhorses.
Cricket was the winner. India played with a lot of grit and determination, the Aussies showed a lot of class even in defeat. Large knowledgeble crowds watched the game. Ten thousand miles away we listened to ball by ball updates with keen interest. It was cricket at its best.
Well done India! What a come back in Kolkata test despite the tremendous odds against them. The victory was orchestrated primarily by the individual brialliance of Laxman and Harbhajan Singh. Of course that immediately converted the rest of the team into being believers. I do believe that Ganguly's behaviour both on and off the field are un becoming of a captain of India's national cricket team. He certainly should give more thought to his public persona.
KALU SHIVARAM, USA
Ganguly is the secret to India's success. In him, the team finally has a captain who is willing to stand toe to toe with the opposition and slug it out. It may not work all the time but it has instilled fighting spirit and the desire to win in the players. The Prince of Calcutta is a good leader.
The Aussies should realise now that the game of cricket is played with a bat and a ball and not through the mouth. The unnecessary sledging that they are famous for did not take them anywhere this time except to their doom. The never say die attitude of the Indians brought out some of the most brilliant performances in recent times and the Aussies were left eating their words. Well done India, keep up the good work and Aussies learn to play this great game in the right spirit.
Let's not hide the fact - Australia were not complacent nor did they crumble. India won. This was a Test Series that went down to the very last ball and has inspired Test cricket once again in the hearts of many. I had sweaty palms and tussled hair urging my Aussies for a win. Reflecting (a beautiful luxury) Michael Slaters' dropped catch of Tendulkar in the Indian second inning has proved telling. Brett Lee would have loved bowling in India as to would Kumble - but could they have made it any more interesting?
A wonderful series in which the better team won in one of the most incredible turnarounds in the history of test cricket.
So goes the folklore "winner takes it all, the looser standing small". Even in defeat the Aussie's showed why they are the best team in the world. All credit to the youngish spinner, Harbajhan, whose approach to the game is so refreshing. He has an attitude of a fast bowler. At once India believed in itself. Congratulations to Saurav and his team. You have done all Indians proud. The most fascinating series one would get to see.
Well done India. It was a splendid performance by the Indians as Aussies couldn┐t bear the heat in their last 4 innings. The tigers roared all the way from Kolkatta after a disappointing start and forced to follow on. Hats off the VVS Laxman and Dravid who really fought to bring India on the upper hand to level the series. Chennai, known for its heat and the marvellous crowd enjoyed and witnessed yet another fantastic test match. No wonder "the ever cool captain" Steve Waugh's handling the ball cost his team a match loss but the series too. Hats off Harbhajan for snapping 32 Aussies wickets in no time and wish him and all the Indians best of luck in the upcoming one day internationals.
India undeniably pulled off an amazing feat. However, it must also be said that the amazing feat isn't that of defeating Australia but rather fighting back in two nerve-wrecking matches. However, victory in two matches doesn't go to prove their mettle. The Indian side had collapsed when chasing a modest target in the second innings of the last Test. At the end of the day, India was not on the top but did manage to get through. True calibre and character is reflected by consistent performance not a one-time show. The Indian team still has a long way to go. The current win would indeed serve as a morale-booster for the team.
Why all this Aussie bashing? This was a great Test series because at no stage did we button down and settle for a draw. Even when the task was near impossible, as in the second Test, Steve Waugh and his merry band went for it. Onya Steve! One win and two boring draws would only please people from some other cricketing nations. If only more nations had the same philosophy, Test cricket would be the favoured form of the game everywhere and not just in Australia. As far as the Indians are concerned, I only have one word - brilliant!!
It was a great victory for India. They played like a team and everyone contributed, especially Laxman and Harbhajan Singh. This triumph is typical of a new India emerging, where we can take on the best in the world with professionalism, self belief and unflappable confidence.
It was good captaincy on the part of Saurav Ganguly who continued with the fighting spirit and wasn't demoralised after all the negative reports, following the first Test loss.
I thought the Aussies were amazing, playing as they did in hostile territory, on unfamiliar pitches and yet coming so close to taking out the series. Unfortunately, the one day matches won't be nearly as exciting. Singh won't be allowed to bowl 25 overs and the rest of the Indian part time bowlers will get flogged. Back to the hum drum of one Aussie victory after another! The bad news for England is that the two losses in India, will only steel the Aussies for a supreme display of dominance in the forthcoming Ashes series.
The secret behind this victory is the amount of criticism India faced after the defeat in the first Test. Indian's play at their best when they face criticism and negativity from the people and the media.
The Indian cricket team's performance against the Ausssies is truly commendable. It was true teamwork, combined with the belief in themselves that made the difference. The perfect synergy in batting, bowling and captaincy served as the clincher in the second and third Tests.
Winning teams like to win, but crumble when the chips are down. The Brazilian football team and Windies cricket team of old are classic examples: they find it difficult to raise their game against reverses. So, it was more an Australian loss than an Indian win. The best part about Indian victory is that a team effort seems to be emerging. I guess John Wright is doing a good job. Aussies, no doubt are a great team, but they have a lot of introspection to do. The one day series against India would be one big factor. If they win, Aussies will regain their positive frame, otherwise, God bless them! Mind you, they are to play England, who are having a superb run.
The Chennai Test victory for India equals the 1983 World Cup at Lords. The Aussies never say die attitude seems to have rubbed on the Indian players too. I hope they will keep the momentum going in the ODI to follow the Test series. Laxman's batting and Harbhajan's spin were a revelation which lifted the other players to perform too. I saw the 1983 World Cup final and many matches at the last World Cup, but the Chennai test will remain etched in my memory for a long time.
I think the Indian win was due to the superlative talents of a few individuals, rather than a team effort. It just goes to show that there is no dearth of geniuses in India.
Uday Hiremath, UK
I think Steve Waugh made a blunder when four runs were required to win. He spread the field to allow a single for Sameer Dighe, to bring Harbajan back on strike. He gladly accepted the single. What Waugh doesn't know is, Harbajan has three first class fifties to his name. He scored a run next ball and retained the strike to score another two runs off Mcgrath. I think that was a very crucial mistake.
Fantastic! As an avid cricket follower in this cricket-deprived country of Sweden, this Test series has been absolutely amazing. There is no doubt that India's fortunes changed once Laxman hit that 281 in Kolkata.That enabled the Indians to believe in themselves, as well gave other players confidence. Harbajan then wrapped things up with outstanding bowling! Lets see if India can maintain the consistency in the one-dayers!
Extraordinary and nail biting victory by an Indian team. India won the series only, when they have come out of the psychological barrier after a great knock by Laxman and Dravid. Series got the turn from that day. Credit goes to Laxman and Singh.
Well a series win for India. The team is so unpredictable that they defy all the known logic. One point they are cruising to an easy win and the next they crumble only to bounce back up again. I think it was this inconsistency that made Australia lose the series. No team can look forward to this sort of a game plan, which only the team from the subcontinent seem to revel in. Lets hope the Indian team don't take it too easy from now on cause there's a one day series coming up, and if they can make it as interesting as this series then they would certainly be on a roll. Let's hope this is a wake up call for India.
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