Australia in India 2013-14 October 10, 2013

Nothing irrelevant about it

The rivalry between India and Australia has acquired a considerable standing of its own. Australia could use this series to face their fears against spin
25

Relevance. Context. Meaning. As administrators continue to fill every small remaining opening in the calendar with more and more cricket, these words have come to be increasingly used by followers of the game. Even as the game tries to win new fans mostly through its chosen route, Twenty20, there is a growing section of existing ones who try to determine their interest in a series by searching for some relevance, context or meaning in it. Often, they are justified in their method, for some contests have long ago been done to death.

For instance, what context does the zillionth India-Sri Lanka bilateral ODI series have? Did the last-but-zillionth one have any meaning? Are such games between the two countries in danger of losing all relevance?

In the case of rivalries such as India-Pakistan or the Ashes, the history or tradition attached to the contest is so overpowering, that invariably there is no need to hunt for meaning. The rivalry between India and Australia, who are set to take each other on over seven ODIs and a T20, is nowhere close to India-Pakistan or the Ashes but over time has acquired a considerable standing of its own.

Little more than a decade ago, it wasn't too much of a rivalry, before the epic series in the Indian summer of 2001 ignited it. India-Australia match-ups suddenly acquired a certain needle, a certain spark. A reference point had been established, and both teams, one unquestionably great, one unquestionably competent, built on it. Gradually, the greatness evaporated, the competence waxed and waned. Still, India and Australia gave us some memorable games, such as the heart-stopping Mohali Test of 2010 and the pulsating quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup.

For all their recent struggles in Test matches, Australia's ODI record in India is still top-class. They won the World Cup here in 1987, and the Champions Trophy in 2006. They took bilateral series in 2007 and 2009 by identical 4-2 margins. When India routed them 4-0 in home Tests earlier this year, many celebrated it as a reprisal for the 0-4 humiliation Australia had subjected the visitors to on their own territory in 2011-12. While that attitude might not be in the interests of Indian cricket, the point is about the continued existence of the rivalry, and the way the country's fans have treated such games - television ratings for the 2009 bilateral ODI series comfortably exceeded those for the 2009 Champions Trophy. It is from this background that the ensuing series of seven ODIs to be inaugurated by a solitary T20 must be viewed.

There have been suggestions that this trip to India will only serve to destroy the confidence of Australia batsmen suspect against spin just before the return Ashes series. Granted that it is an Ashes year, and a double-Ashes one at that, such a conclusion appears to be alarmist. It is widely accepted that the current set of Australia batsmen aren't good players of slow bowling but how does avoiding your weakness contribute towards overcoming it, considering that must be the goal? Facing Indian spinners on benign one-day surfaces might not be a bad workout. In Tests, the proposition gets difficult with Indian pitches aiding spin much more. Phillip Hughes won't have forgotten his travails in India earlier this year, and if he can derive any kind of confidence from the current trip, it will only be an improvement. That can only help Australia, whose ODI outfit isn't exactly settled with the 2015 World Cup not too far away.

"What we have lost is a lot of experience," said George Bailey, leading the side in the absence of the unfit Michael Clarke. "We are trying to rebuild that. Guys are getting used to being in this side, being used to the scrutiny and pressure of international cricket, and to the different roles within the Australian side that they are playing."

An important such "different role" will be the mentoring one expected to be played by Shane Watson, who brings a wealth of limited-overs and subcontinent experience to this side, but is also someone who has been accused of hurting the cause of team unity.

For their part, India have kept renovating their one-day outfit, adding younger players in place of a few veterans, of whom only Yuvraj Singh has forced his way back for this series. Following an unexpected Champions Trophy win, the selectors experimented further in Zimbabwe. Two of the young fast bowlers who went to the African country, Jaydev Unadkat and Mohammed Shami, have found spots in the squad against Australia.

The indications have been promising, but how much India have progressed as an ODI unit will become clearer in this extended duel against an opponent who has regularly quelled them in their own conditions in the past. Just under a year ago, India lost to Pakistan, the only other team to have defeated them at home in a bilateral ODI series in the past decade. In that sense, Australia are fitting adversaries, and there is little irrelevance to this contest, which could see the No 1 ODI ranking change hands.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ScottStevo on October 14, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    @landl47, you should check your own facts, both Ferguson and Voges are far from ordinary in ODIs - and we've no need to try out uncapped 16 year olds to appease a few out there who "can't see any talented yongsters coming through". On top of which, we've brought Maddinson along for this tour. If you're referring to these guys not being suitable for test match cricket and are ordinary, need only look at your own stocks when you can't even fill a 6th batsman of any quality in your side, mate.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on October 13, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    @2nd_slip "I get the feeling you lads like limited overs cricket because it hides the flaws of your flat track batsmen techniques as well as the mediocre bowling performances displayed by your bowling unit" Your comments also implies that EVEN ON FLAT TRACK YOUR (SEAM TRACK BATSMEN) BATSMEN HAS NO TECHNIQUE TO PLAY. That's why I think your batsman dont like to turning and low tracks, which exposes their lack of technique. Anyhow, need some technique to play atleast one kind track! Isn't it?

  • landl47 on October 13, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    @Nampally: before commenting, please check your facts. M. Hussey is retired. Pattinson and Starc are injured. Hodge is retired AND injured. It's really a waste of time talking about persuading people to play who are not available for selection.

  • Chris_P on October 13, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    @landl47. Got to agree with you. This is nowhere near our WC squad, only 2 players in serious Ashes contention, even the future of ODI cricket are being kept at home to hone their FC mindset. They will still be competitive, but the timing of the series is, I believe, the biggest gripe people have.

  • Nampally on October 13, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    The series of matches between India & Australia were always well contested & generated intense interest. But the Aussies do not seem to have their best team here. Guys like M.Smith, M.Hussey & M.Clarke are all missing from the batting line up. I think even Hodge, Warner & Katisch are absent. With this limited talent, the Aussies rely heavily on Maxwell, Finch, Watson, Haddin for their batting. In bowling Pattinson, Lyons, Starc do not appear to have been selected. Lack of interest is understandable when some of best Cricketers are missing. I would not term this as irrelevant series - because India still get to practice & perfect their team. As you can see from various input of Fans in this column, many have already written off the Aussies. Had the Aussies sent their best side (even excluding injuries), I am sure there would have been a lot of interest. Even now persuade M.Hussey, Hodge, Smith, Pattinson & Lyons to join, to make it a worthy & close series. That is my POV.

  • landl47 on October 12, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    The series might have some relevance for India as they prepare for the 2015 World Cup, but it's hard to see what relevance it has for Australia. This isn't going to be their World Cup squad (at least I hope for Australia's sake it isn't) and it comes at a time when the focus is on the forthcoming Ashes series. If it turns out that players don't find form in the Ashes tests because they haven't played enough FC cricket in Australia, or worse still if anyone is injured in this series, then not only will it have been irrelevant but positively damaging to the Australian side.

    Australia might have taken the opportunity to look at some as yet uncapped players, but they haven't done that, preferring instead to bring over people like Voges and Ferguson who are ordinary players that have been around for a long time.

    I'm hoping for some entertaining cricket, but in terms of relevance I'll be surprised if anything of significance arises out of these games.

  • 2nd_Slip on October 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster and Indian fans alike- I get the feeling you lads like limited overs cricket because it hides the flaws of your flat track batsmen techniques as well as the mediocre bowling performances displayed by your bowling unit when not playing on rank turners.

  • ScottStevo on October 12, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    @KapilsDe1983, we should only play T20s, in fact, we should just play super over cricket and could complete a world cup in less than a day. Assuming 1983 is your birth year, all of the 20yo's with the attention spans of goldfish would be there and not a ground in the world could hold as many people as would love to be there for such a magnificent spectacle of the best form of cricket ever to be played! And the money that would come in would be outrageous and be able to fund further technology on bigger bats, then players could hit it further, so we can build bigger stadiums, get more people in to watch games - and more money! We could have 8 WCs per year! Then domestic competitions, and franchises - who definitely arent all about money, they'd want to ensure that crickets future is safe by investing at the grass roots level - could run all year and be bigger than the EPL! And the skill level it would take to last 6 deliveries - they'd all be better than sachin and Bradman put together

  • ScottStevo on October 12, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    @Witty365ca, I'm not sure what you're going on about! India, nor SA, caused Australian cricket dominance to end - it was retirements of great players which levelled us out. No idea how we were 'hit so hard' by India? India are a very good ODI team and have been for quite some time, but India emerging as the better and stronger team - that's still yet to happen! Don't get too excited that we lost 4-0 in India when you lost 4-0 in Australia. India's greatest problem has been touring, and I can't see that ceasing any time soon. Although a lot of Ind's younger guys are better at playing pace and bounce, they're still susceptible and almost untested off home soil. Aus haven't had many good results of late (scoreline wise in tests), but have competed well and pushed both Eng and SA and have constantly maintained a decent ODI record.

  • Dazako on October 12, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Test matches are more important, and I will be watching/have watched all of the back to back series. Sorry if this offends people but test match cricket is far more entertaining. In my opinion.

  • ScottStevo on October 14, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    @landl47, you should check your own facts, both Ferguson and Voges are far from ordinary in ODIs - and we've no need to try out uncapped 16 year olds to appease a few out there who "can't see any talented yongsters coming through". On top of which, we've brought Maddinson along for this tour. If you're referring to these guys not being suitable for test match cricket and are ordinary, need only look at your own stocks when you can't even fill a 6th batsman of any quality in your side, mate.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on October 13, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    @2nd_slip "I get the feeling you lads like limited overs cricket because it hides the flaws of your flat track batsmen techniques as well as the mediocre bowling performances displayed by your bowling unit" Your comments also implies that EVEN ON FLAT TRACK YOUR (SEAM TRACK BATSMEN) BATSMEN HAS NO TECHNIQUE TO PLAY. That's why I think your batsman dont like to turning and low tracks, which exposes their lack of technique. Anyhow, need some technique to play atleast one kind track! Isn't it?

  • landl47 on October 13, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    @Nampally: before commenting, please check your facts. M. Hussey is retired. Pattinson and Starc are injured. Hodge is retired AND injured. It's really a waste of time talking about persuading people to play who are not available for selection.

  • Chris_P on October 13, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    @landl47. Got to agree with you. This is nowhere near our WC squad, only 2 players in serious Ashes contention, even the future of ODI cricket are being kept at home to hone their FC mindset. They will still be competitive, but the timing of the series is, I believe, the biggest gripe people have.

  • Nampally on October 13, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    The series of matches between India & Australia were always well contested & generated intense interest. But the Aussies do not seem to have their best team here. Guys like M.Smith, M.Hussey & M.Clarke are all missing from the batting line up. I think even Hodge, Warner & Katisch are absent. With this limited talent, the Aussies rely heavily on Maxwell, Finch, Watson, Haddin for their batting. In bowling Pattinson, Lyons, Starc do not appear to have been selected. Lack of interest is understandable when some of best Cricketers are missing. I would not term this as irrelevant series - because India still get to practice & perfect their team. As you can see from various input of Fans in this column, many have already written off the Aussies. Had the Aussies sent their best side (even excluding injuries), I am sure there would have been a lot of interest. Even now persuade M.Hussey, Hodge, Smith, Pattinson & Lyons to join, to make it a worthy & close series. That is my POV.

  • landl47 on October 12, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    The series might have some relevance for India as they prepare for the 2015 World Cup, but it's hard to see what relevance it has for Australia. This isn't going to be their World Cup squad (at least I hope for Australia's sake it isn't) and it comes at a time when the focus is on the forthcoming Ashes series. If it turns out that players don't find form in the Ashes tests because they haven't played enough FC cricket in Australia, or worse still if anyone is injured in this series, then not only will it have been irrelevant but positively damaging to the Australian side.

    Australia might have taken the opportunity to look at some as yet uncapped players, but they haven't done that, preferring instead to bring over people like Voges and Ferguson who are ordinary players that have been around for a long time.

    I'm hoping for some entertaining cricket, but in terms of relevance I'll be surprised if anything of significance arises out of these games.

  • 2nd_Slip on October 12, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster and Indian fans alike- I get the feeling you lads like limited overs cricket because it hides the flaws of your flat track batsmen techniques as well as the mediocre bowling performances displayed by your bowling unit when not playing on rank turners.

  • ScottStevo on October 12, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    @KapilsDe1983, we should only play T20s, in fact, we should just play super over cricket and could complete a world cup in less than a day. Assuming 1983 is your birth year, all of the 20yo's with the attention spans of goldfish would be there and not a ground in the world could hold as many people as would love to be there for such a magnificent spectacle of the best form of cricket ever to be played! And the money that would come in would be outrageous and be able to fund further technology on bigger bats, then players could hit it further, so we can build bigger stadiums, get more people in to watch games - and more money! We could have 8 WCs per year! Then domestic competitions, and franchises - who definitely arent all about money, they'd want to ensure that crickets future is safe by investing at the grass roots level - could run all year and be bigger than the EPL! And the skill level it would take to last 6 deliveries - they'd all be better than sachin and Bradman put together

  • ScottStevo on October 12, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    @Witty365ca, I'm not sure what you're going on about! India, nor SA, caused Australian cricket dominance to end - it was retirements of great players which levelled us out. No idea how we were 'hit so hard' by India? India are a very good ODI team and have been for quite some time, but India emerging as the better and stronger team - that's still yet to happen! Don't get too excited that we lost 4-0 in India when you lost 4-0 in Australia. India's greatest problem has been touring, and I can't see that ceasing any time soon. Although a lot of Ind's younger guys are better at playing pace and bounce, they're still susceptible and almost untested off home soil. Aus haven't had many good results of late (scoreline wise in tests), but have competed well and pushed both Eng and SA and have constantly maintained a decent ODI record.

  • Dazako on October 12, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Test matches are more important, and I will be watching/have watched all of the back to back series. Sorry if this offends people but test match cricket is far more entertaining. In my opinion.

  • SettingSun on October 12, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Why write an article suggesting this series is not irrelevant and then not give any reasons as to why it isn't?

    In fairness, the vast majority of ODI series are an irrelevance these days. It makes the scrapping of the Champions Trophy all the more idiotic. So it is perhaps unfair to pick on this series as not mattering. That said, as an England fan, I'm delighted that it's taking place - it should see off at least two more Aussie pacemen to injuries.

  • on October 11, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    While the series definitely should have had context, the unfortunate problem is that Aus don't care - and thus the context has been drastically reduced. Improving skills against spinners should definitely be a motivation and desire - but again, Aus don't care. They just played a series in India and the next series is not scheduled for a while. They are more concerned about the Ashes and about the 2015 world cup and since both of those are scheduled to take place in Aus - they don't think gaining skills on turning tracks against Indian spinners is the immediate need of the hour. Further, facing spinners in India is probably the most hard-to-acquire skill for them and while it will make them better cricketers - they don't care about that right now as they feel (probably wrongly) that it won't help them at all on Aus pitches

  • Liquefierrrr on October 11, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Great game, congratulations to India for an epic win.

    Pleased to see young Maddinson smoke some excellent boundaries, at one stage he was 28 off 10 balls, and Finch going great guns against another quality opponent and in very different conditions to those in England, where he did fantastically.

    I like seeing the bowlers we used get a go, heck they got a hiding, but nothing could come close to mimicking the magic of playing in the mystical India, with their amazing cricketers, impossibly energetic and dedicated fans and such different conditions - a true and vital learning curve.

    We batted really well, and some of us bowled OK, but hats off to Yuv Singh, great to see him back in the game and doing what he is renowned for.

    Slowly, but surely, we are picking the right players for the right formats and some are starting to shine. Years off properly competing against the big 3 (Eng, Saf and Ind) but we'll win against them more and more as we blood the right people.

  • PratUSA on October 11, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    Wow all kind of views on different formats. @KapilsDevils, good sarcastic argument but kind of funny. Let's say this site is by and for old timers and forcing a view that's not in tune with the economic reality or newest generation. In that case you have nothing to worry about, as ICC or national boards are not listening to these people anyway. You are getting your 7-8 games long series and players getting their money and of course test cricket will die. So not sure why it's offending you so much? Let old timers sing their tunes and ignore them, and enjoy your formats. I for one watch and enjoy all 3 formats and love well-contested tests. By the way leaving ball outside off stump is a great art when ball is *swinging* and a batsman needs to read if it was going to miss the stumps or not. Greatest of batsmen have been bowled for shouldering arms in their misjudgment, not to mention edges to slip. And bowlers would not tire in first place if batsmen were edging every 8th ball.

  • sportofpain on October 10, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    @KapilsDevils1983: Couldn't agree more with what you say. I like test cricket esp good contests but 5 days is too much and there were times in the miserable 1980's when a 6 test series would end 1-0 (India Vs England, 1982) but the stadia would be packed to the brim (I was there myself). Sunny would score 170 batting for 6 sessions and the commentators and purists would wax eloquent about his impeccable technique. Tests can survive if they are played in the evening. There is skill is batting on a minefield on day 5 and scoring runs but equally there were many games which were dead by day 4 and the run machines would score 100's and pad their averages. Also there is tremendous skill involved in scoring at 10 runs an over in T20. When Yuvi scores 80 off 40 balls not just is that skill (SMG and RD can't do that) but equally the spectators get to see something quite thrilling. T20 should become the dominant format for Cricket to survive. T20 is alive and well, Ashes represent death.

  • Witty365ca on October 10, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    India- Australia rivalry finds relevance after the Ashes and India-Pak rivalries for mainly two reasons : 1) It was India and to an extent South Africa that ended the Aussies dominance which lasted for 15 years up untill 2008-09 but mainly India who stopped their unbeaten run of 17 tests. 2) It was just around 2006-09 onwards or even earlier during the time when Ganguly came as a Indian captain & India started regularly beating some strong teams and the cricket fever grew in India along with economic resurgence in India and the game of cricket became very popular. Also thanks to Dhoni's daring approach of attacking the opponents with nothing- to - lose attitude that hit the Aussies so hard that they mentally had to accept the fact that India had emerged a stronger team than theirs. The other minor reasons are the Bhajjie saga of Terri Manki (swearing back at Aussies) & other other younger Indian players who never considered themselves inferior to any opponent teams of the game.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 10, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Honestly, test cricket is more irrelevant today. More so, because you have mediocre teams with mediocre players playing simply because their boards arranged consecutive Ashes series or a bilateral series out of nowhere. There was a time when test cricket was relevant because it was the ONLY format played. There was also a gap of several months then. And no, we didn't have consecutive Ashes series inside an year. Frankly speaking, T20s and ODIs are the best formats, period. Both these formats will survive and test cricket will eventually die. Perhaps test cricket could be reduced to a 4 day game and played with pink or orange balls at night. If back to back Ashes series are relevant, then so is this tour to India by the Australians.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on October 10, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    @underdogs_gallore. Odi cricket need more technique than test to maintain scoring rate in middle overs and accelerate in death overs. You are forced to play against very good balls in odi, that is the beauty of odi and that is a place and time to show your ability. In tests one can lets one good over to go, attack mediocore bowler. But in odi u cannot do that.

  • on October 10, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @ Sameer-hbk---FYI these matches will be telecasted live on DD National which is a Free To Air channel.Also all limited over international matches involving india will be telecasted on DD National.So nobody need to pay extra money to watch this series.Also you can't compare people's loyalty to cricket with money.

  • UnderdogsGalore on October 10, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    @KapilsDevils1983: ODIs lack a lot of relevance compared to tests and T20s. Tests are a test of players' techniques and skills; even in India Yuvraj is not considered a bona fide legend because he has not excelled in Tests; even though he is the greatest limited overs match winner we ever had. Players with half-baked skills and techniques get sorted out here. T20s is a test of a player's adaptability and innovation. It brings new crowds into the game, big money and is a conventional format for the globalisation of the game. The only problem is with ODIs, they don't require the players to be technical masters or great innovators; that's why we see a lot of average players having very good record in this format. Also most ODIs are predictable i.e.rhythm of the game is easily guessed, played on flat standardized wickets all around the world and don't have any recall value. Can anybody recall the Eng-Aus ODI or Eng-Ind matches this year except the scoreline/some exceptional performances?

  • OneEyedAussie on October 10, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    To understand why Australians are negative towards this series you have to understand our situation. These games are not on free-to-air television in Aus which means almost nobody in Australia will watch them. On top of that, they will severely impact our preparation for a series which most of us certainly will watch, both on TV and at the ground. Bailey, Voges, Haddin, Watson and Johnson should be at home playing for their domestic teams - both to improve their own form and the form of those playing against them.

  • KapilsDevils1983 on October 10, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    (continued) ..

    But most importantly, when we are not watching tests, we should get into site likecricinfo and keep forcing tests onto people (along with several cricket writers, most of who live in the past) . We should keep calling everything else as meaningless, pointless as long as its not test cricket. No matter if it gives joy to several millions more, no matter if it helps the sport grow. Its all about the Ashes guys, you know, when the Ashes are not on, everything else is a waste if its not helping you prepare for the Ashes.

    Never mind, the joy of competitive cricket, of two world class teams fighting hard, never mind taking each match on its own, as a sporting spectacle, of nerves, of thrilling ends and nail biters, --- afterall if it is not Tests, they are all meaningless.

  • KapilsDevils1983 on October 10, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    We should stop playing ODIs and T20Is and ONLY play tests. When we are not playing marquee test series, we should play preparatory tests. It does not matter that tests attract the lowest audiences. We HAVE to play tests, afterall they automatically have context and meaning just because they are tests. Turn a blind eye to audiences. Turn a blind eye to the fact that at that rate even in India, cricket will lose out to football and hockey.

    ODIs /T20Is are just about money. Money generated from TV rights. Expensive TV rights (compared to the TV rights for test series) because many millions rather watch that than test cricket. Who cares. Tests are the purest form of the game! Why are they the purest? Because they are the purest form.

    Tests test the batsman. Oh yes really, afterall there is so much skill in leaving a ball outside off stump all day long. So much skill in scoring runs after bowlers are tired and conditions have eased out.

    ...

  • Sameer-hbk on October 10, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    It really is time to stop playing international ODI or T20 bilateral series. The writer tried pretty hard to salvage the situation, but the fact is, there is no context at all to all this. On one hand you say "our boys are not machines, they need rest". Then go on to curtail a test series in SA and add such utterly meaningless matches to fill your pockets. India is also changing to DTH TV quickly. Many of these big sports channels that cover each series are not free in base packs. And it will be interesting to see how many extra people subscribe this month to ESPN or Star Sports to watch these matches. When entire nation goes Digital, we will see then what the true value of such series are. It is time India went Pay-Per-View to test our true cricketing loyalties. I bet it is a lot lower than most people think.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on October 10, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    if fans loves, if board agreed, if sponsors are willing, more importantly if it generates huge sum then there is nothing like 'irrelevant series', 'bad timing'. Back to back ashes will make world cricket fans bored, other than poms and oz fans. Who on earth watch 10 test match?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on October 10, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    if fans loves, if board agreed, if sponsors are willing, more importantly if it generates huge sum then there is nothing like 'irrelevant series', 'bad timing'. Back to back ashes will make world cricket fans bored, other than poms and oz fans. Who on earth watch 10 test match?

  • Sameer-hbk on October 10, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    It really is time to stop playing international ODI or T20 bilateral series. The writer tried pretty hard to salvage the situation, but the fact is, there is no context at all to all this. On one hand you say "our boys are not machines, they need rest". Then go on to curtail a test series in SA and add such utterly meaningless matches to fill your pockets. India is also changing to DTH TV quickly. Many of these big sports channels that cover each series are not free in base packs. And it will be interesting to see how many extra people subscribe this month to ESPN or Star Sports to watch these matches. When entire nation goes Digital, we will see then what the true value of such series are. It is time India went Pay-Per-View to test our true cricketing loyalties. I bet it is a lot lower than most people think.

  • KapilsDevils1983 on October 10, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    We should stop playing ODIs and T20Is and ONLY play tests. When we are not playing marquee test series, we should play preparatory tests. It does not matter that tests attract the lowest audiences. We HAVE to play tests, afterall they automatically have context and meaning just because they are tests. Turn a blind eye to audiences. Turn a blind eye to the fact that at that rate even in India, cricket will lose out to football and hockey.

    ODIs /T20Is are just about money. Money generated from TV rights. Expensive TV rights (compared to the TV rights for test series) because many millions rather watch that than test cricket. Who cares. Tests are the purest form of the game! Why are they the purest? Because they are the purest form.

    Tests test the batsman. Oh yes really, afterall there is so much skill in leaving a ball outside off stump all day long. So much skill in scoring runs after bowlers are tired and conditions have eased out.

    ...

  • KapilsDevils1983 on October 10, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    (continued) ..

    But most importantly, when we are not watching tests, we should get into site likecricinfo and keep forcing tests onto people (along with several cricket writers, most of who live in the past) . We should keep calling everything else as meaningless, pointless as long as its not test cricket. No matter if it gives joy to several millions more, no matter if it helps the sport grow. Its all about the Ashes guys, you know, when the Ashes are not on, everything else is a waste if its not helping you prepare for the Ashes.

    Never mind, the joy of competitive cricket, of two world class teams fighting hard, never mind taking each match on its own, as a sporting spectacle, of nerves, of thrilling ends and nail biters, --- afterall if it is not Tests, they are all meaningless.

  • OneEyedAussie on October 10, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    To understand why Australians are negative towards this series you have to understand our situation. These games are not on free-to-air television in Aus which means almost nobody in Australia will watch them. On top of that, they will severely impact our preparation for a series which most of us certainly will watch, both on TV and at the ground. Bailey, Voges, Haddin, Watson and Johnson should be at home playing for their domestic teams - both to improve their own form and the form of those playing against them.

  • UnderdogsGalore on October 10, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    @KapilsDevils1983: ODIs lack a lot of relevance compared to tests and T20s. Tests are a test of players' techniques and skills; even in India Yuvraj is not considered a bona fide legend because he has not excelled in Tests; even though he is the greatest limited overs match winner we ever had. Players with half-baked skills and techniques get sorted out here. T20s is a test of a player's adaptability and innovation. It brings new crowds into the game, big money and is a conventional format for the globalisation of the game. The only problem is with ODIs, they don't require the players to be technical masters or great innovators; that's why we see a lot of average players having very good record in this format. Also most ODIs are predictable i.e.rhythm of the game is easily guessed, played on flat standardized wickets all around the world and don't have any recall value. Can anybody recall the Eng-Aus ODI or Eng-Ind matches this year except the scoreline/some exceptional performances?

  • on October 10, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @ Sameer-hbk---FYI these matches will be telecasted live on DD National which is a Free To Air channel.Also all limited over international matches involving india will be telecasted on DD National.So nobody need to pay extra money to watch this series.Also you can't compare people's loyalty to cricket with money.

  • ODI_BestFormOfCricket on October 10, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    @underdogs_gallore. Odi cricket need more technique than test to maintain scoring rate in middle overs and accelerate in death overs. You are forced to play against very good balls in odi, that is the beauty of odi and that is a place and time to show your ability. In tests one can lets one good over to go, attack mediocore bowler. But in odi u cannot do that.

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 10, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Honestly, test cricket is more irrelevant today. More so, because you have mediocre teams with mediocre players playing simply because their boards arranged consecutive Ashes series or a bilateral series out of nowhere. There was a time when test cricket was relevant because it was the ONLY format played. There was also a gap of several months then. And no, we didn't have consecutive Ashes series inside an year. Frankly speaking, T20s and ODIs are the best formats, period. Both these formats will survive and test cricket will eventually die. Perhaps test cricket could be reduced to a 4 day game and played with pink or orange balls at night. If back to back Ashes series are relevant, then so is this tour to India by the Australians.

  • Witty365ca on October 10, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    India- Australia rivalry finds relevance after the Ashes and India-Pak rivalries for mainly two reasons : 1) It was India and to an extent South Africa that ended the Aussies dominance which lasted for 15 years up untill 2008-09 but mainly India who stopped their unbeaten run of 17 tests. 2) It was just around 2006-09 onwards or even earlier during the time when Ganguly came as a Indian captain & India started regularly beating some strong teams and the cricket fever grew in India along with economic resurgence in India and the game of cricket became very popular. Also thanks to Dhoni's daring approach of attacking the opponents with nothing- to - lose attitude that hit the Aussies so hard that they mentally had to accept the fact that India had emerged a stronger team than theirs. The other minor reasons are the Bhajjie saga of Terri Manki (swearing back at Aussies) & other other younger Indian players who never considered themselves inferior to any opponent teams of the game.