Australia in India 2010 October 14, 2010

A classic that lifts the shadows

These teams have the uncanny knack of producing great series when the game seems to need them most
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Test cricket is alive and well and let's thank India and Australia. These two teams, no matter what the rankings say, or where they play, have developed an extraordinary competitive chemistry that takes the highest form of the game to the highest plane.

Uncannily, when the shadow of corruption looms darkly over the game, it seems to fall on these sides to bring light again. In 2001 they delivered one of the greatest Test series of all, after cricket's foundations had been jolted by the match-fixing scandal. The spot-fixing allegations were relatively less damaging, so suitably, they restricted themselves to one great Test this time. Notwithstanding the wretched saga of the IPL, which rumbles on, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy managed to put cricket on the front pages for the right reasons once again.

Australia aren't the team they used to be, and it will be long before they can elicit awe again, but it must not be forgotten that they came within inches, literally, of winning the first Test. The Indian batting had far more class, and their bowling more experience and nous, but despite the 2-0 margin Australia were not rolled over. Even in Bangalore, where India ended up jogging to a win, Australia weren't out of the game until the second hour of the final day.

The Mohali Test will be impossible to better, but in its own way, Bangalore produced a multi-layered and satisfying game. And most satisfyingly, it was played before stands vibrating with passion and enthusiasm. It was a largely partisan and raucous crowd, and a few of them shamed themselves by booing the Australians on the opening day, but sitting in the stands it was also easy to find those who were knowledgeable and appreciative of the unique appeal of Test cricket.

In the row ahead of us sat a gentleman who spoke of the days when the great Indian spinners, and then Sunil Gavaskar and GR Viswanath, sustained his love for the game. He had travelled from Chennai and was spending five days in a guest house in Bangalore to watch the game. He applauded the Australians and appreciated the judgement of the umpire who ruled a close lbw decision in favour of an Australian batsman, but the sight of Sachin Tendulkar brought out the child in him. His whistling was one the highlights of the day. It was piercing and energetic, but the joyousness of it was striking. It was infectious.

There were many like him, and they went home rewarded, not merely by an Indian victory or a virtuoso performance from their adored hero, but by a game that stayed alive and full of possibilities for the most part.

The worry about dwindling crowds for Test cricket is legitimate and justifiable. But it is sometimes overstated and some of the suggested remedies are based on unsound assumptions. Sections of the print media have begun to realise the folly of trying to compete with the immediacy and visceral appeal of television. The sensuous and contemplative aspects of Test cricket are what appeal to its followers. It is true that it has gained from the energy and vitality that the players have brought to it from the shorter forms, but it doesn't need to tart itself up to remain attractive.

More than night cricket, pink balls and uniforms that are billboards, Test cricket needs the right stage, even contests, pitches that reward skillful bowling, and players who are mentally and physically able to rouse themselves to its rigours. The passion of the Indian fan drives cricket, but he cannot continue to be taken for granted. He needs to be treated with respect and affection, sheltered from the sun, provided options for food and drink, given easy access to tickets and a reasonable commute to the cricket ground.

It is no surprise why the Chinnaswamy Stadium always attracts a sizeable crowd, at the very least. Of course there is a tradition of watching Tests there, but there is also the matter of convenience and accessibility. It is in the centre of the city, and the options for post-match evenings around the stadium are almost as inviting as the cricket itself. Though sections of the stadium are still decrepit, the positive rub-off from the IPL is that much of the seating is now more than acceptable.

Even though it was prompted by the senior players and India's rise to No. 1 in the Test rankings, the BCCI must be praised for sacrificing four one-dayers for two Tests, but the pity is that they didn't go all the way to play one more Test. That said, if they have been seeing the signs, they will have worked out which venues are worthy of Test cricket. It's not that difficult. Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai are obvious hosts. And on the evidence of the last two Tests, Kanpur, where the facilities for players and fans can do with upgrading, could be added to that list. Test cricket must go where it is loved. And cricket must learn to care for those who love it.

The passion of the Indian fan drives cricket, but he cannot continue to be taken for granted. He needs to be treated with respect and affection, sheltered from the sun, provided options for food and drink, given easy access to tickets and a reasonable commute to the cricket ground

This was a Test series played in the right spirit. With all their limitations, Australia took their superior opponents to the final day of both matches. While they fought hard on the field, they were gracious losers. And Indian fans saw more than just glimpses of the greatness of Ricky Ponting.

It is ironic how the tide has turned. In this series Ponting was Australia's lone great player, often waging his battles alone against a more skilful and threatening bowling attack than his own. The last three years haven't been the most profitable of his career but he remains Australia's best batsman and their only cricketer with presence. As long as his desire remains, Australia need him.

India aren't as reliant on Tendulkar as they used to be. They haven't been for a while. He was the undoubted top performer in the series, but every player played a role. Virender Sehwag turned the momentum in the first innings in Mohali and Rahul Dravid and Suresh Raina built on it; VVS Laxman won the Test in the company of Ishant Sharma, who had earlier cracked the match open with a fiery spell. Zaheer Khan was India's outstanding bowler, but Harbhajan Singh and the impressive Pragyan Ojha rarely allowed the Australian batsmen to get into cruise mode, and even Sreesanth, who was poor in the first innings in Bangalore, got his rhythm and swing going on the final morning.

But the biggest gains for India were their young batsmen. M Vijay has been around for a while, but his maiden Test century was his most assured innings. He showed the temperament and the strokes, and Gautam Gambhir, though he will win his place back, won't be able to take it for granted. Cheteshwar Pujara, who, unlike some of his more flashy contemporaries has had to work hard to earn his place, played among the most impressive innings there has been in a final-day chase by a debutant. Tougher tests await him but he has the look of a Test player; he should be marked out as Rahul Dravid's successor.

And what about MS Dhoni? He had his poorest series behind the stumps and an ordinary one with the bat, and he lost both tosses. But he made the moves that mattered. Ishant's second spell turned the match in Mohali; Raina came on to nab Ponting in the first innings in Bangalore; and given the confidence to be thrust in at No. 3 in a tricky chase, Pujara stroked a nerveless 72. Even if it was all luck, it wouldn't have come without Dhoni making the moves.

India must not be grudged their No. 1 status, and they must rejoice in it. But the battle to keep it will begin this December, against South Africa.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 17, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    @popcorn& Nick : Um.. Well Ojha would not be there if Ishant wasn't wrongly given out. So, what is your point?

  • on October 15, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    @Popcorn, congrats dude. U're the most popular person here.

    @ Marcio, you'd find many Indians appreciating the opponents sportsmanship. That is something inherent, unlike say the Australians who are very result oriented and would acknowledge only the results and not the sportsmanship. The only thing that's unnecessary is praising the routine stuff. For eg. suppose if India had lost by a similar margin, had Dhoni acted in any other way than what Ponting did it'd ve raised some eyebrows. So what Ponting has done is nothing special, and everyone needs to realise that.

    @ArjunVS, while i agree to your point that the errors need to be highlighted as well , I wouldn't say that it was luck which got us through. It was sheer determination and having the skills to come back into the match when down and out that got us this win.

    @Dougface, good to see an aussie stating the facts as they are.

  • on October 15, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Thanks Sambit for pointing out that the Indian bowling attack was the better one, i hope this series has proved that the Aussie attack, though not a bad one is seriously overhyped whereas the Indian bowlers are under rated. Good point.

  • MannuBhai22 on October 15, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Kudos to both Indians & Aussies for a great series. Congrats to India for proving they are a truly #1 team. Indians deservedly won the series while Aussies perhaps didn't deserve to loose. It's amazing how the tables have turned around. Indians were like previous Aussies, winning most crucial periods while Aussies were like previous Indian sides, unable to make it through when it mattered most. Indians have been showing the most fighting spirit than any other team for the past 2 years. I think Sydney test was the turning point that made Indians more steely.

    Coming to the SA series, has anyone realized there are no practice games. The 1st test starts 3 days after the NZ series gets over. Shame on BCCI who even now makes every effort to undermine their own team. Just look at how Aus, Eng & SA boards take care of their itinerary. Remember how India went in Melbourne test in 07 with no practice game and promptly lost. Expect the same here. They will play catch up for d remaining series.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    You shouldn't complain when they sell pieces of cucumber in Indian grounds. It is not a bad idea at all to sell whole cucumbers in place of water. It's water content is >96%. No spillage problem. Last longer than a cup of water. No container disposal problem. In the Indian heat it keeps one cool as well.

  • on October 15, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    the indians don't seem happy with popcorn's comment, that ojha should have been given out and australia should have won the first test. if australia did win, would you guys not mention the sharma dismissal?.........

  • on October 15, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    I always hear many people say, whenever Sachin scores a hundred India vl lose.V have seen this happen in many occasions but there's nothing to do with such statements.Most of the times when Sachin scores a hundred rest of the team fails to perform,eventually losing the match.V can never ever forget those two hundreds Sachin scored against the Aussies in sharjah.With1st hundred India qualified into the finals eventually losing the match but in finals India won cos of his 100.Its not essential team should win if anyone in team scores a 100.The match in which Sanath Jayasuriya made the fastest fifty Srilanka had lost..!! mubeenkemisaal, India..!!

  • on October 15, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    A sensible article by the author - Team India played as a team and as rightly pointed out by the author, the innings was anchored first by Sehwag and then taken care of by the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Raina. In the second innings, Laxman played that extra-ordinary innings with back spasm. Zaheer Khan bowled a lion-hearted spell. Mr. Pal is right in his statement that Harbhajan and Ojha did not give the liberty for the Aussie batsmen to take risks. I too share the praise the author showered on Ponting who played two scintilliating innings but unfounately that was not enough. As for the elderly gentleman who stayed in Guest House and watched the match and kindled old memories of the Great Gavaskar and G.R.Viswanath and the spin quartet, yours truly also made it from Chennai and enjoyed he match thoroughly and had nostalgic memories of the greats the old man was remembering. Thank you Mr. Bal !

  • nivek123 on October 15, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    @KamranSaeed... Are 6 hundreds and an average of 58 in Australia, 4 centuries and an average of 62 in England and 2 centuries and average of 50 in New Zealand and 5 centuries and an average of 65 in Sri Lanka good enough for you? If not, he has good enough stats in Pakistan and RSA as well. Plz verify before making such comments.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 15, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    First big match fixing scandal was due to Australians-Mark Waugh and Shane Warne in 1994 and both of them went unpunished and well protected by Aus cricket board and ICC. As they have gone unpunished unlike the Indian and Pakistani players, there is the highest chance that Aus players will fix the match. Aluminium bat users, people who use a team of 13 to win matches and bowl underarm deliverers deserve to be booed only. Coming to greatness of Ricky Ponting, there was no Laxman in Bangalore test and Laxman was fully fit before Mohali test started otherwise he would not have taken the catch of Paine on day 2 and giving a runner to Laxman does not guarantee that India will only win-very cheap behavior from Ricky Ponting, even in Laxman or his runner's absence India won the Bangalore test. The way Aus batted in 2nd innings of both tests and the field setting used by Ricky in both tests it will be fair if ICC investigates him for chance of match fixing.

  • on October 17, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    @popcorn& Nick : Um.. Well Ojha would not be there if Ishant wasn't wrongly given out. So, what is your point?

  • on October 15, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    @Popcorn, congrats dude. U're the most popular person here.

    @ Marcio, you'd find many Indians appreciating the opponents sportsmanship. That is something inherent, unlike say the Australians who are very result oriented and would acknowledge only the results and not the sportsmanship. The only thing that's unnecessary is praising the routine stuff. For eg. suppose if India had lost by a similar margin, had Dhoni acted in any other way than what Ponting did it'd ve raised some eyebrows. So what Ponting has done is nothing special, and everyone needs to realise that.

    @ArjunVS, while i agree to your point that the errors need to be highlighted as well , I wouldn't say that it was luck which got us through. It was sheer determination and having the skills to come back into the match when down and out that got us this win.

    @Dougface, good to see an aussie stating the facts as they are.

  • on October 15, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Thanks Sambit for pointing out that the Indian bowling attack was the better one, i hope this series has proved that the Aussie attack, though not a bad one is seriously overhyped whereas the Indian bowlers are under rated. Good point.

  • MannuBhai22 on October 15, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Kudos to both Indians & Aussies for a great series. Congrats to India for proving they are a truly #1 team. Indians deservedly won the series while Aussies perhaps didn't deserve to loose. It's amazing how the tables have turned around. Indians were like previous Aussies, winning most crucial periods while Aussies were like previous Indian sides, unable to make it through when it mattered most. Indians have been showing the most fighting spirit than any other team for the past 2 years. I think Sydney test was the turning point that made Indians more steely.

    Coming to the SA series, has anyone realized there are no practice games. The 1st test starts 3 days after the NZ series gets over. Shame on BCCI who even now makes every effort to undermine their own team. Just look at how Aus, Eng & SA boards take care of their itinerary. Remember how India went in Melbourne test in 07 with no practice game and promptly lost. Expect the same here. They will play catch up for d remaining series.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    You shouldn't complain when they sell pieces of cucumber in Indian grounds. It is not a bad idea at all to sell whole cucumbers in place of water. It's water content is >96%. No spillage problem. Last longer than a cup of water. No container disposal problem. In the Indian heat it keeps one cool as well.

  • on October 15, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    the indians don't seem happy with popcorn's comment, that ojha should have been given out and australia should have won the first test. if australia did win, would you guys not mention the sharma dismissal?.........

  • on October 15, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    I always hear many people say, whenever Sachin scores a hundred India vl lose.V have seen this happen in many occasions but there's nothing to do with such statements.Most of the times when Sachin scores a hundred rest of the team fails to perform,eventually losing the match.V can never ever forget those two hundreds Sachin scored against the Aussies in sharjah.With1st hundred India qualified into the finals eventually losing the match but in finals India won cos of his 100.Its not essential team should win if anyone in team scores a 100.The match in which Sanath Jayasuriya made the fastest fifty Srilanka had lost..!! mubeenkemisaal, India..!!

  • on October 15, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    A sensible article by the author - Team India played as a team and as rightly pointed out by the author, the innings was anchored first by Sehwag and then taken care of by the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Raina. In the second innings, Laxman played that extra-ordinary innings with back spasm. Zaheer Khan bowled a lion-hearted spell. Mr. Pal is right in his statement that Harbhajan and Ojha did not give the liberty for the Aussie batsmen to take risks. I too share the praise the author showered on Ponting who played two scintilliating innings but unfounately that was not enough. As for the elderly gentleman who stayed in Guest House and watched the match and kindled old memories of the Great Gavaskar and G.R.Viswanath and the spin quartet, yours truly also made it from Chennai and enjoyed he match thoroughly and had nostalgic memories of the greats the old man was remembering. Thank you Mr. Bal !

  • nivek123 on October 15, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    @KamranSaeed... Are 6 hundreds and an average of 58 in Australia, 4 centuries and an average of 62 in England and 2 centuries and average of 50 in New Zealand and 5 centuries and an average of 65 in Sri Lanka good enough for you? If not, he has good enough stats in Pakistan and RSA as well. Plz verify before making such comments.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 15, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    First big match fixing scandal was due to Australians-Mark Waugh and Shane Warne in 1994 and both of them went unpunished and well protected by Aus cricket board and ICC. As they have gone unpunished unlike the Indian and Pakistani players, there is the highest chance that Aus players will fix the match. Aluminium bat users, people who use a team of 13 to win matches and bowl underarm deliverers deserve to be booed only. Coming to greatness of Ricky Ponting, there was no Laxman in Bangalore test and Laxman was fully fit before Mohali test started otherwise he would not have taken the catch of Paine on day 2 and giving a runner to Laxman does not guarantee that India will only win-very cheap behavior from Ricky Ponting, even in Laxman or his runner's absence India won the Bangalore test. The way Aus batted in 2nd innings of both tests and the field setting used by Ricky in both tests it will be fair if ICC investigates him for chance of match fixing.

  • on October 15, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    It was a great contest.It would have been great had there been another test match.

  • on October 15, 2010, 4:42 GMT

    A balanced piece. Australia held its own for most part of 9 intriguing days of test cricket. Remember we were playing at home on our pitches where the ball is slow, low and reverses and Australia had nothing like the attack it needed for these wickets. Yet they fought and none more than the captain. He was courteous in defeat and gracious even if it must have gutted him. India should not get carried away for Australia have not won recently here and this team is perhaps even weaker than the earlier ones and yet they held us in check. Our bowling is sad and we must use the New Zealand tour which promises to be a damp squib after this to blood a couple of bowlers and stay with them. Whatever happened to Abhimanyu Mithun? Thank you Australia and India for producing a great ten days of test cricket. Something that has never happened in the subcontinent in recent times. May the older form of the game gorw and may it be played in the bigger centres sridhar

  • redneck on October 15, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    great article sambit! its great having so many close series in recent times. however from an australian perspective its starting to grind a bit being on loosing end of most of them! not only with india, the series loss to south africa after we declared over 400 infront in perth and ofcoarse the last ashes series. wouldnt mind being on the winning side of one of them sometime soon. number 5 in the worlds a bit hard to take when the team's only had 3 current series losses and one drawn! @popcorn mate come on decissions go both ways, you cant just pick one and say that changed the outcome of the match without taking into account the other ones too. stick to being the president of the i love north club, he will need all the support he can get when he starts failing in the ashes as hes not due for a big score for another 10 tests going by his test career so far!

  • nirvana1989 on October 15, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    How I wish the economics of cricket permitted the likes of India, Australia, South Africa and England to play more Test matches against each other, instead of selling themselves to the T20 tamasha. Test cricket, when played at the right venues, on the right pitches and between evenly matched teams, stands head and shoulders above any other form of cricket.

  • knowledge_eater on October 15, 2010, 3:37 GMT

    This Article is very well written. Thank You. Peace.

  • eomer17 on October 15, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    well looks like Mr. popcorn got all the attention he wanted,eh?very funny......

  • meatballeditor on October 15, 2010, 2:00 GMT

    Test cricket is the supreme "test" of batting, bowling, and fielding. Hence the name. (Duh!) I agree that T20 cricket is vastly entertaining (love those cheerleaders!), but it is "cartoon" cricket. It is 20% cricket and 80% spectacle. That is why it is so popular and why television producers love it: it delivers a captive audience for their commercials. Test cricket demands from the spectator a deep appreciation of the game, an understanding of the finer points of strategy and tactics. That is why Test cricket represents the highest form of the game, and the two matches played between India and Australia demonstrated that. If Test cricket ceases to be played, then the game itself will have died. I hope that I will not be alive to see that dreadful day.

  • Nampally on October 15, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    Popcorn, You have a valid point about the Unpiring. Billy Bowden's umpiring left lot to be desired. Gambhir was given out LBW when it was bat pad. Hussey was probably Not out but given out. Ishant was Not out but given out after playing 91 balls and would have stayed at one end for ever. Laxman & Ishant could have added another hundred to their partnership..As is his habit he plays compensation game. Best thing is to eliminate Bowden from umpiring list. He gave at least 4 wrong decisions - far too many for a test match Umpire. Your Next point: if India plays with all their bowlers available, they will easily beat S.Africa. India has the strongest batting in the world. India's weak point is bowling. If Zahir, Ojha, Harbhajan and Ishant are all available, then look out World. First 5 iIndian batsmen are the best in the world. Dhoni + Raina/Pujara or Yuvraj, provide top 7 batting. Zahir, Harbhajan and Ishant can bat.So please do not make unqualified statements devoid of facts or basis.

  • Woody111 on October 15, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Really like Samit's articles. Can you replace Harsha Bohgle entirely? Have to take you to task on your comment on Ponting's sole decent batsman for Aus though - Watson made a ton don't forget. India richly deserved their series win and Pujara and Vijay showed that India's batting sticks are nothing to worry about. Ohja has as much control as Vettori so it will be interesting if he can develop more wicket balls for touring with as South Africa and other countries' pitches won't be as supportive of his style of bowling. Great to see Ishant back with some fiery bowling. If he can find his groove again India's bowling lineup looks much better. Still need to find a third seamer though and Sreesanth isn't t. The guy is too emotional and wayward. In any case India showed our weaknesses and exploited them. Raina looks good (although needs a strategy for the short ball), VVS is the same. Only Dravid looks like it may be getting close to pasture time. I reckon we'll hear of his retirement soon.

  • on October 15, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    if bollinger would have played oz would have won, if hussey had not played in champions trophy oz would have won..... if Bucknor would have called correctly India would have beaten oz in oz. Lets leave aside if then else's for computer programmers and abstract mathematicians.

  • on October 15, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    @popcorn. India would've won without even needing Ojha to play, if Sharma was not given out. What about that? I guess you guys are used to win matches in any case, but since that isn't happening, you guys are finding some way to blame the opponent rather than saying "AUSTRALIA SUCKS NOW"

  • Marcio on October 15, 2010, 0:22 GMT

    Fair enough, @ Koushik_Biswas (although I did write "some" Indian fans have an attitude towards Australia and Ponting, not all, or even most). The internet is a place where too many people grunt out barely conscious prose, via a cognitive process which most often bypasses the frontal lobes, mediated via the the animalistic lymbic system and with all the class of the spluttered "ugh!"of a lower-primate's procreation procedure (OK, I'm being a deliberate smart-A). Well done to India, and here's looking forward to many more intelligent contributions on cricinfo, such as those of @ Koushik_Biswas, and of course Sambit Bal.

  • diss on October 14, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    Very good article. As to India's #1 ranking, there will always be sceptics, particularly when it's this close between 4 or 5 nations, and each of them have discernible weaknesses. I think the great thing here is that India's typical weak spot, their fast bowlers, actually ended up outplaying their Australian counterparts when it came to the crunch situations, and for that they should be applauded.

  • mLv1 on October 14, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    @ popcorn - What about Ishant Sharma who wasn't actually out? In that case Pragyan Ojha wouldn't be facing the ball out there in the first place. The Australians couldn't get the last 2 wickets when India was 100 runs away - a good team wouldn't bring it that close anyways. So why don't you stop cribbing and give credit to the Indian team who has performed so well over the past 2 years the least. And about the Indian team being roasted in SA - did you get that from your screen name? :P we'll see..

  • Dhanno on October 14, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    So what criteria cricinfo editors use while "editing" comments. Straight abuse is allowed but making specific point based comments to your Editor (who happened to pen this article) are deleted ? Oh maybe that is journalistic integrity in this day and age!!

  • anoopshameed on October 14, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    To all people who think India are not the deserving No: 1 Test Team because they haven't won a series in Aus & SA-who do you think is a more deserving team? (Based on last tours) 1. South Africa cannot be No: 1 because according to your logic they have to beat Ind in India, which they didn't (draw). Also even though they defeated Aus in an away series, lost the home series. 2. Australia-lost to Ind and Eng in away series and SA in home series. 3. England- Lost both home and away to Ind, hasn't won away series against Aus and SA (draw). 4. Sri Lanka-Hasn't won even a single test in Ind, Aus or SA & lost to Aus at home. Now let's look at India-haven't lost a home series at home since 2004, infact has won all except against SA (Can't be just 'flat pitches' bcoz opp lost 20 wickets), defeated Eng away, drew SL away, lost 2-1 to Aus(?) and SA away. So you see they are better of the lot. You can't expect a team to make a world tour each time the rank changes inorder to prove thier ranking!

  • AqeelAhmad on October 14, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    had india lost even one of these matches then these talks of cricket winner in the end would be very different. this article clearly sounds like a happy Indian chanting about there heroics.

  • on October 14, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    Is it just but does any one feel that Tendulkar score centuries mostly on the home grounds..

    I like to see his stats both home and away and compare the best batsman against them.

  • the_blue_android on October 14, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    Popcorn is none other than Sangakkara:) I know it's hard to have a positive outlook in life when you play international cricket for 10 years and still never win a test match abroad. Don't worry SL fan, you guys may just beat Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe in the year 2030.

  • Dazzling_Devil on October 14, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    What was so great about this Series? The first test was close. India won convincingly in second test. The Australia v/s South Africa in Aus was way closer n better than this series & so was South Africa v/s England in SA. But guys like you will never talk about those series, as though they never took place, coz they dont involve India.

  • nzcricket174 on October 14, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    At least they didn't mention Laxman again...oh, I spoke to soon.

  • on October 14, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Congrats to team India on series win n to Aussies for fighting it up,that kept the entertainment alive for both the test matches till the last day.There was a time when cricket fans had waited test matches to get over so as to watch ODI's that followed, reason being tests matches were so called boring.Since the day team India became No.1 in test ranking the vision towards test matches have changed not only in India but in whole of the cricketing nation.Indians have ended the dominance of Aussies,they had dominated for so long n has bought all the test cricket playing nations into new vision n era of test cricket,with the battle of No.1 still to be followed n played..my wishes to Team India.This is mubeenkemisaal from India : ))..!!.

  • Mina_Anand on October 14, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    Beautiful piece for the test lover. But I beg to differ on the 'India depends on Tendulkar' surmise. For years now, India has had a 'team', teaming with cricketers who all contribute. This began with Ganguly, who as captain brought out the 'fight' from the players. In fact, the Ganguly era had Rahul Dravid as the mainstay of the batting, bailing us out or setting things up, time and again. Tendulkar, of course, is the Elder Ever-young Statesman. Solid, cheeky, Bradmanesque and Tendulkarish. Before Ganguly, when Sachin got out, India stopped watching. That was a very long time ago ! Now when Sachin gets out, the world stops watching !!

  • on October 14, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    this was one of the most exciting and absorbing series - the score line not withstanding - however by a quirk of fate - it actually rained cats and dogs today in Bangalore a day after the test match got over- even the rain Gods it appears were engrossed in the match and spared us the agony - Chennai 2004 didnt repeat.

  • on October 14, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    @ popcorn :: Why is he popping-up so much?

    "BCCI … adopt the UDRS" Is there anything wrong in expressing? I thought we as an individual or an Organization have the right to express our thought! Can't help it, if BCCI is too STRONG for all other Cricket Boards or even ICC.

    "To me, and … Mohali Test, not India." Oh Come-on, show some respect to the Knowledgeable Cricketers! And, you know what - there are no ifs and buts in life.

    "India is not … a series abroad." This is the PRIME reason why I was asking you to show some respect to the Knowledgeable Cricketers! … I don't need to provide you with stats. Hey, but I do have a suggestion -feel free to post a request for how to use the Stats feature of CricInfo on this forum and you will have hundreds of helping post.

    "They will get roasted in South Africa." WOW we have an Astrologer here … And why I am saying Astrologer because by now we all know - "You have no sense of Cricket"

    Nothing Personal YOU SEE

  • on October 14, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Chinnaswamy Stadium's enthusiasm and energy is truly a thing to experience !! I agree with the accessibility of the stadium but if you are local (like me), the parking is a big pain !!! To get in and get out of the stadium even bigger pain !!! The seating needs major overhaul often tickets are oversold, atleast during IPLs, as there are no ticket numbers or bucket seating system and we have had to often stand n watch the matches. The worst amongst all is the Maintenance of Rest Rooms. Its pathetic to say the least !! when one pays for a ticket like 500-800 for IPL or Test matches one expects atleast these things to be in place !!!

    But on the whole experience of an Indian team winning acts as a massage on the knowledgeable, appreciative and passionate crowd which more than makes up for lack of amenities and creates an ambiance which is matched by only few other grounds around the world :)

  • S.N.Singh on October 14, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    I ALWAYS HOLD AUSTRALIA AS THE BEST MOST BALANCE TEST TEAM EVER, BUT INDIA IS MY PICK FROM DAY ONE. ALTHOUG THEIR UNBALANCE TEAM, WITH LITTLE FAST/MEDIUM BOWLERS, THEIR SPINNERS ARE ALL WAYS THEIR WINNERS PLUS THEIR BATTING, AND THEY ARE GETTING MORE YOUNG BATTSMEN TO COME.THIS TIIME NO SPINNERS. KUMBLIE SHOULD BE STILL IN THE SIDE. ICC SHOULD ARRANGE MORE FIVE TEST SERIES WITH AUSTRALIA AND INDIA. FANS ARE VERY ANXIOUS TO SEE THESE TWO TEAMS PLAYING AGAINST EACH OTHER. WHY DON'T THE ICC GO BACK TO THE FIVE TEST SERIES AND CUT BACK ON THE ONE DAYERS AND 20/20. THESE PLAYERS HAVE TO RAISE A FAMILY AND REST THEIR BODIES ALSO. THE ONE DAYERS WILL NOT GET THE BEST PLAYERS , ONLY IN THE WORLD CUP. IT IS TOO MUCH CRICKET FOR THE REGULAR PLAYERS. ALSO WHY ARE WE PLAYING CRICKET IN ABU DUBAI AND DUBAI, IS IT BECAUSE THEY ARE GIVE MORE OF A GAURANTEE PAYMENTS, WHY THIS CRICKET DID PLAY IN SOUTH AFRICA ? IT VERY CLEAR THAT PAKISTAN HAS SOME BENEFITS.

  • dougface on October 14, 2010, 17:26 GMT

    I agree worth Popcorn that the technology should be used. I don't think it would change the result of the series. I'm an Australian fan but I don't like to see a batsman from either team get out when he blatantly should not have been given. Sure a close LBW that could go either way; fair enough.

    I think in general the home teams generally get the better decisions, and to be honest I think this has been proven by stats previously in an article in this website. I am not sure if this was the case in this series but there were clearly poor decisions for both teams.

    Australia clearly get the better decisions at home prior to technology and this reduces the imbalance even further by having the familiar home ground conditions and crowd advantage. I don't think this is good for test cricket. What we want is tight fair contests

  • Rahulbose on October 14, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    The fact that cricket pundits have to come out after each test match and say " Test cricket is not dead", just emphasizes that it is indeed a dying sport.

  • Manoj1234 on October 14, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    No 1!!! Sory to see the sceptics of our no 1 status disappointed. Ponting said the conditions will be different in Australia and so they can do well in the ashes. why don;t people criticise that

  • Vilander on October 14, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai,Kanpur, Bangalore in that order deserve test matches.

  • on October 14, 2010, 16:00 GMT

    Sambit, with reporters getting the cream of the seats in the stadium you wont see the facilities on offer in the other sections. In the 2008 Bangalore Ind-Aus match which was drawn, all we got to eat were pieces of cucumber & not a drop of water to drink. Such were the pathetic conditions for us paying public. Unfortunately this doesnt get highlighted to the powers to be, anywhere!

  • shrastogi on October 14, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    A correction to my previous comment - Since 70s India has won 15 tests not 17. But since 2000 9 vs 6. So time is ripe to win a series in Australia. But before that Gary Kirsten should prepare India against Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel & co and we need a fit fast bowling attack. The fast bowlers with new ball are not doing enough damage in sub continent which would be a concern in SA if not rectified. Someone needs to talk to Ishant about this.

  • lord_v on October 14, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    @popcorn - even Ishant and Gambhir were not out.. So India would have won by 3 not just 1 wicket... Anyways the way Ponting refers to udrs , by the time Pujara's lbw shout occurred , he would have wasted the 2 chances given to fielding side.

  • addiemanav on October 14, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    popcorn guy is totally out of synch here...plz check the record and see how many series india has won outside india..well who really cares..whatever ,popcorn!!nobody needs to convince u!!

  • Kreacher_Rocks on October 14, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    @Popcorn, It would be interesting to know what your definition of a "knowledgeable" cricket lover is. Are these cricket lovers folks who are aware that prior to the Ojha incident Ishant was given out when he clearly wasn't? And if Ishant was ruled not out by UDRS, Ojha might not even have come in to bat, reducing the foundation of your argument to pure hokum. As regards India not winning a series abroad, I do remember quite clearly that in recent years they beat NZ in NZ 1-0 (2008/09), England in England 1-0 (2007) and WI in WI 1-0 (2006), ignoring all the minnow-bashing abroad. You can discount the WI series as being too old, but the team at that time still had Lara playing and was very strong at home. Even if you were far less knowledgeable cricket lover than you claim, you would concede that this is way better than "NEVER". Even Aus hasn't managed to win a series in England after the 2001 Ashes victory.

  • mrgupta on October 14, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    @popcorn: A Very one sided comment from you mate. For you and for all knowledgeable cricket lovers yes, Ojha was clearly out, but for all knowledgeable Cricket Lovers and you "Ishant Sharma was NOT OUT" so that evens it out, isnt it? If Ishant Sharma was not given wrongly out than Ojha would not have been on the crease in the first place. Ishant and Laxman wud have Won it for India comfortably. There were so many wrong decisions in the match and mind you most of them against India and you crib against one that was against Australia. How can you forget the Sydney test when all the decisions were against India and still Aussies were celebrating the Victory like nothing happened. For your information since that Sydney test India-Aus have played 8 more test matches and India has won 5 of them, and Aussies won nothing, I repeat... Nothing!

  • Nampally on October 14, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Congratulations to India for the decisive win in the second test. The victory in Mohali was on the back of Laxman & Ishant with lot of luck favouring the brave. With a bit of luck going the other way this series might have ended up in a 1-1 tie. Both Australia & India need a strong vote of thanks for showing the world how a competitive game should be played. It was a great series which deserved the worthy clash of #1 teams. This series was far superior to the India Vs. SL series recently concluded. India was at full strength in bowling and fortunately all the bowlers showed up - albeit not at their best. Indian batting stood out and as Sambit rightly states, Raina, Pujara & Vijay are the future of Indian batting. Tendulkar stood head & shoulder above others but Laxman stole the show with his victory innings.Zahir&Ojha were great. Ishant & Harbhajan did well .Ponting, Watson & North stood out in batting while Johnson bowled well, for the Aussies. Congrats - both teams for a fine series

  • ArjunPandit on October 14, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    @ popcorn, you keep on saying that pragyan oja was out, but if you see that in same inning Gautam Gambhir was wrongly given out, why don't you talk about that, So please accept defeat and swallow your pride and just enjoy cricket. Before the series started you guys were saying that india will be bulldozed by aussies, but result is there to be seen.

  • empty_traveller on October 14, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    "and a few of them shamed themselves by booing the Australians on the opening day" -Sambit.

    Sambit come-on be a man. booing is part and parcel of the game. it sends shivers down the entering opposition batsmen/bowlers. It is just like sledging, only done off the field. How many professional/semi-pro sports have you watched in USA. It is just FAIR AND SQUARE.

    I am not ashamed, infact proud that the crowd stood up. btw Gilly got a great round of applause in the game, and the crowd even mentioned that he was one of them, showing the sign to punter.

  • couchpundit on October 14, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    1. I was surprised that I didnt australians whining any more when they loose, so kudos to their sportsmanship of taking loses in their chin. although one might point out to mike hussey's cribbing that he was not allowed to get out of champions league and punter making a big deal out of it. I am sure you all know this cannot e considered as a typical australian whining.

    2. BCCI's tact for picking great venues....now wonder there has not been a regular test match in chennai and kolkatta for a very long time... i can understand vendetta against dalmiya and his board...i wonder whats happening to chennai venue.... although i see a game played in bengaluru for every test series but not in chennai and kolkatta? We all know this quota system is screwed up... but does anyone know what quota system is? seriously i would be glad to know... ofcourse no matter what those stupids running BCCI are only fit for government clerical jobs..

  • on October 14, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    @popcorn if you are talking about UDRS then Gambhir would not have been out and so would be Ishant Sharma. So the story then would have been completely different. India did win some series abroad. They beat England and NZ. So stop whining and enjoy the good cricekt.

  • manasvi_lingam on October 14, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    @popcorn - You are right in arguing for the URDS but it would have benefited the Indians a LOT more. The decisions against Gambhir and Ishant were horrendous and Ojha wouldn't even have come out to bat. Stop the whining. And Australia haven't even won a Test in their last 2 Test series against India. What does that say? And they've drawn against Pakistan and lost 2 series against England in England.

  • ram5160 on October 14, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    Australia really played well in this series. For me the highlight was Ponting's batting. I always underestimated him since he's never played well here before. But this series, he was brilliant. In fact, he looked better in these 2 tests than in the whole of the last 2 years. England bowlers must be trembling.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on October 14, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    @ Raju_Iyer 1) giving BCCI credit for "Having tests instead of an all-ODI series" yes but they should have had 3 shouldn't they?

    2) "The fact that everyone is singing the praises of a certain Pujara as having 'come through the system' shows that a system does exist and in fact, is doing quite well. " one swallow does not a summer make

    3) "IPL provided opportunities to people like Murali Vijay to stay in good form even when not a regular member of the Test team." case for IPL being a nursery for producing test quality players is still unproven IMHO - there are a few differences in format between the two! While it could be argued Vijay has discovered an attacking dimension to his play through IPL, the same can be said of one day cricket generally (in fact it is common wisdom that Pujara has embraced a more attacking style of play over the last few years largely due to one day cricket).

    Most reasonable people would agree that there is TOO MUCH, not too little, cricket being played.

  • avis1001 on October 14, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    In my opinion, let us Divide BCCI to 4 zones and trade them publicly in the stock market. Then they will go with profit and loss. So, they will be keen to provide all the best possible comforts to any spectator comes to visit the stadiums.

  • on October 14, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Chennai, Calcutta and Mumbai's (Wankhede) stadia are being renovated I guess, but yes, I don't know why Nagpur keeps getting so much attention. Hopefully, with the renovated grounds, the big cities will get to see more tests!

  • Pramod75 on October 14, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    These were the kind of matches AUS was winning not so long back. But it was India which closed the gates in the both the matches. In reality, Australia played more like India (pushing the opposition, but not finishing) and India played more like Australia (seemingly lost plot but ended on top). I think the erstwhile big 4 (Ganguly included) will be extremely satisfied that the attitude change they brought about in early 2000 is now paying rich dividends. It is under Ganguly that India became more combative and with developing skills and experience this only got better. I am sure this victory is extremely satisfying for Sachin and Dravid who saw more matches India could not finish off as not all 11 were contributing. This series had only one player failing completely and fortunately, it did not deter his confidence in making decisions. Dhoni made some of the smartest moves when it mattered the most and made up for bad catching and not so good batting in the series.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on October 14, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    Sometimes I have felt in recent years that India does not deserve its 'golden generation' - dressing up thoroughbreds like SRT, Dravid and VVS like show-ponies and making them perform in the T20 circus alongside mercenary trash from around the world. BCCI reinstating tests in place of ODIs, and the people of of Bangalore showing their appreciation of good, hard test cricket makes me change my mind. Here's to the continued health of test cricket in India - the cricket world is thankful for it.

  • shanbhd on October 14, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    What popcorn is saying about Ojha is correct, but then he should also note that, prior to this, Ishant Sharma was wrongly given out by the other umpire in the match. Should we then claim that India won the match by two wickets and not just one?

  • shrastogi on October 14, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    India should enjoy the glory. They won both the tests after losing the toss which is crucial in sub continent. Everyone contributed especially bowlers. Tendulkar made up for his idiotic stroke in second innings at Mohali by remaining unbeaten in Bengaluru. Vijay and Pujara impressed. Since 70s Ind- Aus are on even terms. Aussies have won 18 to India's 17 with one tied test. India have drawn two series in Australia winning 5 tests there and Australia has won 4 tests in India with one series win. Now the record says that India should win a series in Australia. The test for which would come in South Africa.

  • Pathiyal on October 14, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    "the sight of Sachin Tendulkar brought out the child in him. His whistling was one the highlights of the day" - haha! when sachin came to sharjah 1998, many here tried to test their whistling abilities while he was walking on to the batting crease in the final match against Australia. regarding MSD, his match winning batting abilities are taking a back seat for sometime now, but he has become a fantastic 'non-playing' captain now a days - respect him for that :-) are there any like him in the history of the game??

  • on October 14, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Im not great fan of BCCI and Mr. Popcorn you are entitled for your opinion but the facts are facts. If we go by Popcorn logic, Ishant Sharma was not out as per Hawkeye in the same test so question of Ojha coming to pitch. If you go by Popcorn's logic Sydney test last played by India was won by India, One day triseries on that tour ofcourse India won with a bif margin. Indians are a bit of slow starters on tours but they have got better with every match on England, NZ , AUS and other tours outside subcontinent . Think teams should ask for two or more preparatory games so that players get used to pitches and conditions. Contest will be better. I do agree that India need to do better in SA tough.

  • Zigor on October 14, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    @popcorn..Wow ! It's amazing how much idiotic people can get. I am a neutral fan and I would like to mention that in the first test match, Ishant was given out when he was not. Well you conveniently forgot that. Also you did not mention anything about the second test match. Why ? Let me think . May be you could'nt find anything to say against India. Get a life my friend ! Anyway I think India will do well in South Africa as well. Reason: They are a good team which is not dependent on a single performer.

  • Koushik_Biswas on October 14, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    Marcio - Just wanted to build upon your point where you say that it feels good to see an Indian who appreciates the Aussies. You, sitting in Australia (probably) are exposed to a skewed statistics actually. You get to see the comments on cricinfo - and conclude from them that most Indian fans are Aussie haters. It is actually not that way. In reality, most Indian fans are rational, they appreciate the opponents and understand that cricket is a game. But they do not leave comments on cricinfo - because they are busy. Their passion about cricket, though very high, does not spill over to the level where they feel compelled to answer a competing post. People with liberal mind, lots of education, wises stances are norm rather than exception. They feel bad when a handful of narrow minded people tarnish the image of their country. You will see this phenomenon in all countries. Let alone Australia, people even like Pakistan a lot :) Indians are, by nature, lovers - not haters. I mean most :)

  • adisuni on October 14, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Good Article Sambit. Australia truly is not the force it used to be. While I do agree with "popcorn" on the point that technology should be used, I disagree with his conclusion that Australia should have won the Mohali test because Pragyan Ojha was not given out. He missed adding that Ishant Sharma was declared out when he wasn't. And of course this happened before Pragyan Ojha walked in to bat. So the UDRS probably would have benefitted India more than Australia in Mohali!!! And would like also clear one more factual error where "popcorn" - the knowledgable cricket lover- states that "India has NEVER won a series abroad". India has won test series in England, New Zealand & West Indies besides winning in the sub-continent.

  • insightfulcricketer on October 14, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    Popcorn just to pop your corn- wanted to inform you that Ojha's decision was wrong but Ishant's decision was more wrong. If Ishant had not been given out India would have won by 2 wickets. India has always promoted neutral umpires. Actually the neutral umpires business started because of the enthusiasm of Pakistani and Indian cricketing systems. They both were fed up of the perpetual whingeing of Poms who would turn up half cooked and would always blame "jokers" yes they called home umpires that way then.The main argument BCCI have against UDRS is they are not totally convinced of Hawk Eye, the absoluteness of disputed catches and the rule of only two appeals per innings.They want these things to be ironed out.Historically Indians have been slow to take change but once they do it is wholeheartedly - ODIs, neutral umpires, Franchise system etc. I am also not convinced this team can win away with margins like 3-0 because of thin balling lineup but they are positively No.1 right now.

  • DINESHCC on October 14, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    My dear popcorn: Similar goodwishes was given before the series that India will get thrashed by the aussies since India is afraid of short balls. Yes. Now the series is over and what is the result and you have extended your good wishes that India will be roasted in SA. We are also waiting for that. Already in the CLT20 Steyn's ball was thrashed by almost all the teams. Another thing about UDRS, yes Ojha is out but given not out. But two overs earlier Ishant was given out which was originally not out. What about Gambhir's case. The non implementation of UDRS really hurts India and not Aussies. Get ready for Ashes. In 2006 it was 5-0, in 2010 it will be 0-5 for aussies

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on October 14, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Popcorn,u r a frustrated sl fan, wat u do jump up and down with the beats, ur team has not won a test in india,aus and sa. Wen ur team loses u blame udrs,ur board is bankrupt that is why they invited us. U guys come and say we beat india in 1996 and 2007 wc.. We beat u in 1999,2003 wc. In asia cup, we won 4 odi series agaist sl in sl. We beat u in natwest and vb series. Pakistan is better dan u,at least they drew test series against aus. And oh, gambhir, ishant were not out in first test

  • on October 14, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    @popcorn - You have conveniently forgotten that Ishant was not out and given out by the umpire - So things evened out! Again UDRS is not a fool proof system as was evident when Dhoni was given out in the first innings of mohali test! So popcorn, munch the popcorn before riling and passing scathing comments on India

  • memoriesofthepast on October 14, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Hey popcorn, at Mohali ,in India's 2nd innings Ishant sharma was clearly not out, gautam gambhir was clearly not out, in 1st innings captain Dhoni was clearly not out, in Aus 2nd innings Katich was clearly out lbw to Harbhajan and we all know the kind of umpiring in the Sydney test of 2008. India deserved to win the Mohali test and so won it. Gavaskar always says that in Aus, one has to play against a team of 13 inclusive of umpires and not 11. Compared to umpiring in Aus, umpiring in India has been much much better. So dont mind if some umpiring decisions go against Aus because u know much more umpiring decisions have gone against India in india-aus tests.

  • vaks on October 14, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    good article....dat was a fantastic test series....congrats to Team India..there could've been one more test not only bcoz of its intensity but also d fact dat d 3odis gonna b very boring with both sides fielding their 2nd 11..Aus played very well in d series regardless d end resut...dis series was controversy-free.I think both d teams played fairly n there was a mutual respect bw dem.nice to see that..all players played well..sachin was exceptional..vijay,zaheer,ishant,viru,laxman,raina,rahul,pujara,bhajji,ohja were all played well in one occation or in d other..laxman n ishant won d 1st test for India..so over all India played well.ricky ponting's three 70's were all gutsy stuff..n finally don't label pujara as a test player only..he can b handy in ODI's too..

  • George11 on October 14, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    @popcorn..Why do u not mention Ishant Sharma was clearly not out but given out..which was the only reason Pragyan Ojha had to coem to join LAX....India wud hv won by 2wkts.. sour grapes..eh?

  • youfoundme on October 14, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    Let's get real here guys, it's only a great series because Australia lost. If results went the opposite way I doubt all the hysteria that is in the air now would exist.

  • crimsonbull on October 14, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    I really don't think that you will have to wait too long before Aussie are #1 again. Thier domestic cricket has "true" first class matches. There are quality players in the wings. The Bangalore test would have been different if Bollinger was in, Oz would have won.

  • baskar_guha on October 14, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Surprised that you see Pujara as a heir-apparent to Dravid. Pujara being a stroke-maker along with Raina are the heir-apparent to SRT and VVS. Dravid's anchoring role is quite crucial to India's success in alien conditions and Gambhir more than any one else has that in him although he has work to do to tighten his defense even further.

  • on October 14, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Nice article Sambit!! Come on Guys.... I dnt find that UDRS is must in test cricket. All the records which as been created, is done without UDRS. IT would be really unfair if we use it now. Who knws how many Chances Sir don bradman got ??If this UDRS was used in Bradmans time,I dont think he will be having that AVG!! Using the 3rd umpire for run-outs & close catches are acceptable. But not for LBWs!! This is the beauty of cricket. If u use the UDRS, You will loose some of those nail bitting expiriences which you get from Test Matches!!

  • on October 14, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    I think it is time to change the nomenclature for the series. Call it the Laxman-Warne or Laxman-McGrath series. The newer generation will be able to connect easily with this.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on October 14, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    @popcorn : You need to chill and take some coke to go with the popcorn when you say that India has NEVER won a test series abroad.Here's using cricinfo to dispel Aussi myths : http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/content/records/335431.html. Enjoy!

  • on October 14, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    @ popcorn: Dont u think u missed the complete picture. Had current decision been made, Pragyan Ojha wud not have been required at all. Coz Ishant Sharma ws clearly NOT OUT. India wud have won without Ojha's batting. As far as abroad series is concerned, India has been the only team to have won test matches consistently across the world. U name one other team? and a series win is not far..just wait for Dec- Jan. PS: I also think that UDRS should be brought in.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on October 14, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    The ICC ranking is based on points following certain guidelines. It's not something that the Indians have devised to keep India at No 1 in Tests, so all those who find it difficult to live with this fact, tough luck! Any form of cricket will be interesting for the paying viewership at the stadium when there's a stiff contest and when there are local heroes playing. The Indian team has evolved to a situation that the bench strength ( quality n numbers) is very good. There are also a few bowlers coming up, traditionally a weak point of Indian cricket, which traditionally struggled to take 20 wickets. The fielding is also sharp and smart. Indian crowds also realise that crowd support can egg the local team to win in a tight situation. And then there is Sachin in magnificent form and a huge crowd puller. I took the Mon off, knowing he would hit a century that day! Yes, so the stars bring excitement and crowds to the game. Everybody loves a hero and we're watching the "bestest" ever!

  • EverythingsEventual on October 14, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    @ Popcorn - Brother, I will not get into an argument with regards to India being the no. 1 test team. Too many discussions have already taken place on it. But going back to the Mohali test, if Pragyan Ojha was given not out ( when he was plumb LBW), then Gambhir had clearly inside edged the delivery when he was ruled out. Even the LBW decision against Ishant was wrong ( with the delivery clearly missing leg stump). So when the BCCI does not allow the implementation of the UDRS, both teams suffer.....India don't have an unfair advantage because of it...

  • nirvana1989 on October 14, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    @Popcorn - When you bring up Ojha being given not out in the Mohali Test, you conveniently forget that a moment ago Ishant had been wrongly adjudged leg before wicket when the ball was missing leg by some distance. While I agree with your point that not opting for the UDRS was a silly decision on India's part, I don't think that would have altered the result in any way.

  • T.R.O.Y on October 14, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    @popcorn: dude... again u r forgeting y ojha came in the first place!!! ishanth was given out to a ball that was heading towards leg slip rather than leg stump. how convenient to forget that?

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on October 14, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    @popcorn "India have NEVER won a series abroad."

    What are you on about mate?

  • Hindh on October 14, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    @popcorn U were the one who was saying India will lose 2-0 this series and look what happened it is Aus who got thumped. If UDRS was there Ishant wud have been not out and india wud have won the match before ojha came to bat.

  • Hindh on October 14, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    @popcorn Even ishant was not out but was given out. What about that? Well done India the TRUE NO 1 OF THE WORLD. After the Pak match , Spot fixing saga Cricket needed this kind of a series and India and Aus provided it. Well played India.

  • on October 14, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    I feel that it is poetic justice that India defeated Australia 2 - 0 and pushed them to the fifth rank. My mind goes back to the (in)famous test in 2008 at Sydney and the umpiring errors. How Anil Kumble, the gentleman cricketer, took those awful decisions in his stride and still continued to play the game in the highest of the cricketing traditions.

    Hats off to Dhoni and his men for playing excellent cricket and the series has signalled the twilight in the career of Ponting and Clarke etc.

  • AJ100 on October 14, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    Dear Sambit, Its is really a nice article. I completely agree with your thoughts on test cricket. I love 20-20s too but the charm of watching a hard fought test match between two of the top teams is something that is far more satisfying and long lasting. Its no surprise that I remember incidents of many test matches but only a handful of ODIs and 20-20s.

    Keep up the good work and looking forward to your next article:) Regards

  • ArjunVS on October 14, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    It was a treat that my wife chose for her 43rd Birthday present and every bit worth it.

    You have summed up the high's Sambit and I hope you will take time to reflect on the lows when we get over the euphoria. India beat Australia, but I do believe that Lady Luck and Cricket ka Devta aka Sachin played the biggest role.

    When you write the rejoinder to this piece, I do hope you will cover people having to "earn" their place in the side. Gambhir simply walking back in should not be acceptable, and a question on how long a rope does Rahul (one of the GREATs) get, needs to be asked.

    We need to ask just what is Harbhan's value addition to the team and lets stop pandering to him. He is not a winner any longer.

    What about our fielding and catching ? How long does that and the fitness / training / dedication ethic get taken for granted ?

    I may be critical even before the bubbles subside, but we won against a very weak Australian side, aided as I said by a lot of Luck and Sachin's presence

  • Truemans_Ghost on October 14, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    It has been a great series for the (English) neutral, even if I only got to see a few overs with my breakfast during the week a few more at the weekends and following the rest on cricinfo (when it wasn't locked up due to the whole of India attempting to follow the first test). Regardless of any other failings however, levelling a criticism of having lost both tosses at a captain is rather unfair. A toss is, by nature and design, a wholly random event with no skill on the part of either skipper

  • Marcio on October 14, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Nice article, Sambit. Yes, it was a very good mini-series of test cricket, and you are certainly right that 3 tests would have been even better. And it's nice to see an Indian acknowledging the good spirits and sportsmanship of the Australian team. There are a few supporters out there who are stuck in the past, and can only see red when Ponting and Australia take the field, regardless of any worthy or even noble deed the Australians might do. Australians too, shouldn't be too harsh on the players and Ponting. As Sambit noted, both games remained undecided well into the fifth day, and the first went right down to the last ball. Sometimes the margin between glory and despair is very thin indeed. I look forward to the next series, and I certainly hope it is in Australia!

  • prins72 on October 14, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    The biggest positive has been enhancing India's pool of Test batsmen and getting ready once the Big 3 retire. 3 openers (Viru, Gauti, Vijay), 6 middle order batsmen (Dravid, Pujara, Sachin, Laxman, Raina, Yuvi). On the fast bowling side, Zak, Sri & Ishant should be kept fresh for the SA tour in Dec...which means others in the periphery (Munaf, Jaidev, Umesh, Mithun, Praveen, RP, Nehra, Tyagi) should be made to share the workload during the Aus onedayers and NZ series. On the spin front, Bhajji and Ojha need to be supported by Ashwin, Chawla, Mishra. The one person that India is missing currently is a fast bowling all rounder who will be very handy in the upcoming series' of SA, Eng and Aus. From that angle, Pathan also needs to be given confidence and got into the scheme of things.

    As always, a nice wrap up by Sambit!

  • cgkirtikar on October 14, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    India and Australia are two cricketing nations who have provided riveting cricketing action, whenever they have clashed against each other in the last decade ! It is going to be a very tough legacy for the Indian and Australian youngsters to match up to, once you have the current generation of greats, retiring and becoming a golden page in the history books of this great game ! The game will be poorer with the eventual departure of Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid, Laxman. Huge shoes for their succesors to fill in !

  • Something_Witty on October 14, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    such a pity that it was so short eh?

  • harsha_chu on October 14, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    I was in the stadium yesterday and the atmosphere was just electrifying. I can safely say that 70% of the crowd were young guys and that augurs well for the future of test cricket.But the administrators need to take care of some things- 1. Schedule tests at grounds where crowds turn up-Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Calcutta.. Include Delhi, Mohali, Nagpur, Kanpur, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad only if there is genuine interest for test cricket at those centres and not because the officials are from those cities. 2. Provide better facilities for crowds- The restrooms in the stadium were stinking and the choice of food was pathetic. Cricket administrators in India are just lucky that they do not have to compete with other sports to get people's attention. But in the long run, you run the risk of turning away people from the stadiums. 3. The sound system in the stadium was horrible. We stayed back to hear Sachin and Dhoni speak but the audio was so feeble that we couldnt hear a word

  • sonofchennai on October 14, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Well said...BCCI doesnt care about the public..instead of hosting test matches at venues where crowd is appreciable, they held it at some odd venues...mohali was an exception though for dis match...it generally turns out crowd that u can count....and same is the case with nagpur which stages matches every series india play...I read an article which mentioned there used to be times when Chennai hosted Pongal test match jus like boxing day or new year's test which would attract huge crowds..thats what as fans we expect but thebloody BCCI bosses care about power and money

  • Raju_Iyer on October 14, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    I am glad that amidst the plethora of articles congratulating the players someone remembered to thank the BCCI whom we otherwise treat as a punching bag. I would say three cheers to them for the following : 1) Having tests instead of an all-ODI series 2) The fact that everyone is singing the praises of a certain Pujara as having "come through the system" shows that a system does exist and in fact, is doing quite well. 3) And finally for all the diatribes against the IPl / Champions League, we have to be thankful that these have provided opportunities to people like Murali Vijay to stay in good form even when not a regular member of the Test team.

  • popcorn on October 14, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    For a Test match to be TRULY competitive, you must remove the element of chance. Technology is there to assist umpires, but Indian bulldozers BCCI steadfastly refuse to adopt the UDRS.To me, and every other knowledgeable cricketer and cricket lover, Australia won the Mohali Test, not India.Pragyan Ojha was clearly out, for everyone to see, except the so -called experienced umpire, Billy Bowden.Australia had won. But Billy Bowden did not give him out.The fielding side could not appeal. The Indian bulldozers inflicted their views on the host side, Sri Lanka, and did not allow them to use the UDRS, even though it was Sri Lanka's prerogative. India may have money to spend, but this is blatant misuse of money power.For all the ill feeling that Sunil Gavaskar has about England and Australia ruling cricket earlier,it must be said in fairness to them,that they NEVER bulldozed.India is not Number 1 in Test cricket.They have NEVER won a series abroad.They will get roasted in South Africa.

  • MasterClass on October 14, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Good article Sambit. Nice easy reading with good flavor and many valid points. One comment on Gambhir from a disheartened admirer - Gambhir by his own accounts is a very insecure player/person. This clearly comes thru in many of his interviews. His year of excellence in 2009, culminating in the ICC award, began when he started feeling secure about his position in the side. Insensitive thinking like that exhibited in your comments about GG viz-a-vie Vijay do more harm. No doubt we need competition. But more important in this case is India needs GG in the opening pair. Actually, he and Sehwag need each other, and India needs them both. I hope team management is more enlightened in this regard. Obviously promising youngsters like Vijay, Pujara, Raina and Rahane all need to be given more opportunities and found positions if deserving. It's going to be an interesting few years!

  • Percy_Fender on October 14, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    It is premature to talk about Australian cricket's greatness inthe past tense because they lost 2-0 to India. This result may not any bearing on Australia's performance in the forthcoming Ashes. My reasons for this optimism stem from the fact that firstly,Australia will be playing at home after a break of nearly 2 months, secondly because the English batting is suspect and lastly because Nathan Hauritz is not going to be ineffective against the Poms. Australia should take heart from the way Shane Warne was domnated by perhaps one of the greatest set of batsmen in the game's history.Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, and Siddle can be pretty formidable. Shane Watson is a fine bowler in Australian conditions apart from being a very good batsman.Tim Paine is a wicketkeeping star of the future.I am sure the Ashes will be well fought and may bring out the best from the Australians considering how much the Urn is valued by everyone in the country. I wish them the very best of luck.

  • on October 14, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Amazing game...it was well deserved victory for the Indians...but having said that...we need more quality players especially bowlers! Ojha was awesome tho! Kept the pressure goin

    Watto and Punter played well...Huss, Clarkey and Katich need to be consistent! Hilfy was good...too bad they lost Bollinger...it will be interesting Ashes...cant wait! Hope Punter gets the urn...dont wanna see him lose this time!

  • BillyCC on October 14, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    A big congratulations to India for their deserved 2-nil victory. Australia had their moments and should have clinched the first test, but this Indian side is a fighting side and Australian bowlers have trouble finishing off fighting sides (England is another example). I still believe that the challenge to India will come when Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman retire in the space of one to two years (possibly all at the same time). Until then, they will vie for top position with South Africa.

  • Asbah on October 14, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    For the first time, Indian team played like Rank ONE should...Fighting till the end!!! GOD Sachin is back to Rank 1, where he belongs...and the team looks formidable :) The only things I am hoping for is, Dravid's big century (may be DOUBLE/TRIPLE ;)) in the forthcoming matches and fiery bowling spells...It will be icing on the cake :)

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  • Asbah on October 14, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    For the first time, Indian team played like Rank ONE should...Fighting till the end!!! GOD Sachin is back to Rank 1, where he belongs...and the team looks formidable :) The only things I am hoping for is, Dravid's big century (may be DOUBLE/TRIPLE ;)) in the forthcoming matches and fiery bowling spells...It will be icing on the cake :)

  • BillyCC on October 14, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    A big congratulations to India for their deserved 2-nil victory. Australia had their moments and should have clinched the first test, but this Indian side is a fighting side and Australian bowlers have trouble finishing off fighting sides (England is another example). I still believe that the challenge to India will come when Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman retire in the space of one to two years (possibly all at the same time). Until then, they will vie for top position with South Africa.

  • on October 14, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Amazing game...it was well deserved victory for the Indians...but having said that...we need more quality players especially bowlers! Ojha was awesome tho! Kept the pressure goin

    Watto and Punter played well...Huss, Clarkey and Katich need to be consistent! Hilfy was good...too bad they lost Bollinger...it will be interesting Ashes...cant wait! Hope Punter gets the urn...dont wanna see him lose this time!

  • Percy_Fender on October 14, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    It is premature to talk about Australian cricket's greatness inthe past tense because they lost 2-0 to India. This result may not any bearing on Australia's performance in the forthcoming Ashes. My reasons for this optimism stem from the fact that firstly,Australia will be playing at home after a break of nearly 2 months, secondly because the English batting is suspect and lastly because Nathan Hauritz is not going to be ineffective against the Poms. Australia should take heart from the way Shane Warne was domnated by perhaps one of the greatest set of batsmen in the game's history.Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, and Siddle can be pretty formidable. Shane Watson is a fine bowler in Australian conditions apart from being a very good batsman.Tim Paine is a wicketkeeping star of the future.I am sure the Ashes will be well fought and may bring out the best from the Australians considering how much the Urn is valued by everyone in the country. I wish them the very best of luck.

  • MasterClass on October 14, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Good article Sambit. Nice easy reading with good flavor and many valid points. One comment on Gambhir from a disheartened admirer - Gambhir by his own accounts is a very insecure player/person. This clearly comes thru in many of his interviews. His year of excellence in 2009, culminating in the ICC award, began when he started feeling secure about his position in the side. Insensitive thinking like that exhibited in your comments about GG viz-a-vie Vijay do more harm. No doubt we need competition. But more important in this case is India needs GG in the opening pair. Actually, he and Sehwag need each other, and India needs them both. I hope team management is more enlightened in this regard. Obviously promising youngsters like Vijay, Pujara, Raina and Rahane all need to be given more opportunities and found positions if deserving. It's going to be an interesting few years!

  • popcorn on October 14, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    For a Test match to be TRULY competitive, you must remove the element of chance. Technology is there to assist umpires, but Indian bulldozers BCCI steadfastly refuse to adopt the UDRS.To me, and every other knowledgeable cricketer and cricket lover, Australia won the Mohali Test, not India.Pragyan Ojha was clearly out, for everyone to see, except the so -called experienced umpire, Billy Bowden.Australia had won. But Billy Bowden did not give him out.The fielding side could not appeal. The Indian bulldozers inflicted their views on the host side, Sri Lanka, and did not allow them to use the UDRS, even though it was Sri Lanka's prerogative. India may have money to spend, but this is blatant misuse of money power.For all the ill feeling that Sunil Gavaskar has about England and Australia ruling cricket earlier,it must be said in fairness to them,that they NEVER bulldozed.India is not Number 1 in Test cricket.They have NEVER won a series abroad.They will get roasted in South Africa.

  • Raju_Iyer on October 14, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    I am glad that amidst the plethora of articles congratulating the players someone remembered to thank the BCCI whom we otherwise treat as a punching bag. I would say three cheers to them for the following : 1) Having tests instead of an all-ODI series 2) The fact that everyone is singing the praises of a certain Pujara as having "come through the system" shows that a system does exist and in fact, is doing quite well. 3) And finally for all the diatribes against the IPl / Champions League, we have to be thankful that these have provided opportunities to people like Murali Vijay to stay in good form even when not a regular member of the Test team.

  • sonofchennai on October 14, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Well said...BCCI doesnt care about the public..instead of hosting test matches at venues where crowd is appreciable, they held it at some odd venues...mohali was an exception though for dis match...it generally turns out crowd that u can count....and same is the case with nagpur which stages matches every series india play...I read an article which mentioned there used to be times when Chennai hosted Pongal test match jus like boxing day or new year's test which would attract huge crowds..thats what as fans we expect but thebloody BCCI bosses care about power and money

  • harsha_chu on October 14, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    I was in the stadium yesterday and the atmosphere was just electrifying. I can safely say that 70% of the crowd were young guys and that augurs well for the future of test cricket.But the administrators need to take care of some things- 1. Schedule tests at grounds where crowds turn up-Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Calcutta.. Include Delhi, Mohali, Nagpur, Kanpur, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad only if there is genuine interest for test cricket at those centres and not because the officials are from those cities. 2. Provide better facilities for crowds- The restrooms in the stadium were stinking and the choice of food was pathetic. Cricket administrators in India are just lucky that they do not have to compete with other sports to get people's attention. But in the long run, you run the risk of turning away people from the stadiums. 3. The sound system in the stadium was horrible. We stayed back to hear Sachin and Dhoni speak but the audio was so feeble that we couldnt hear a word

  • Something_Witty on October 14, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    such a pity that it was so short eh?