India in Australia, 2007-08 January 15, 2008

The question of one's image

ESPNcricinfo staff

Image is everything and nothing, says Sharda Ugra in her blog Free Hit.

Cricket is a game of skill and performance. On the tour of Australia, the most searing examination of skill and performance in the game that there is, it must be noted that the young Hindustanis who ‘give it back' have been somewhat silent on the scoreboard.

The affairs in the Sydney Test and its aftermath were not as simple as black and white, writes Greg Baum in the Age.

In Sydney, the Australians behaved thoughtlessly, suggesting that in their relentless quest to win, they enclosed themselves in a cocoon in which they study batting, bowling and fielding intimately, but grow oblivious to other sensitivities existing between Australia's pre-eminent sporting team and its public. Reportedly, they have been shocked by the backlash. In Perth, we should see the redress.

But India was thoughtless, too. Indians cannot condemn Australia's triumphalism at match's end without considering Harbhajan's exuberance upon dismissing Ricky Ponting. Both had the effect of rubbing an opponent's face in it. Personally, I was more entertained than offended by Harbhajan's effort, but I know Indians who were shocked.

Shaun Tait, named in the playing XI for the Perth Test, looks forward to getting a chance in his diary on

Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo