October 15, 2010

Australia find the boot on the other foot

In this series a once all-conquering side found themselves being presented with questions they had often asked of others in the past
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I feel like I've been invited to dinner, been offered a drink and starter, and then been thanked in the doorway by the host for coming. Two-Test series are neither here nor there, especially between two quality teams. They create a sense of anticipation and suddenly they are gone. This series was a wonderful opportunity to study teams and attitudes; it was like a laboratory that is rarely accessible. And now we must wait.

Australia found things happening to them in this series that they regularly dished out to opponents when they were playing such wonderful cricket; they were being asked questions that they used to interrogate others with, and I was waiting to see what answers they had.

Australia's strength has always been their attitude. They are admirable fighters, but with things stacked against them, with the aura diminishing, that would have been tested. Even a third Test would have told me if Australia had it in them to bounce back, to see if someone put his hand up and supported Ponting, who was both admirable and gracious.

Australia's strength in their prime was that they won the big moments, always found a player to chip in at the right time. Inevitably on a long tour of Australia (haven't you ever wondered why the Aussies have never done a two-month tour of India like other teams do in the Australian summer?), the opposition will find itself a bowler short, be reduced to a couple of key batsmen, even find a critical game-changing decision go against them. This is not to insinuate anything; champions inevitably seem to get the fifty-fifty decisions in their favour.

Here in India, in a two-Test series, they fell short at the big moments. They were a strike bowler short when it mattered on the last day in Mohali; short also after a good opening partnership on the fourth day in Bangalore, when they needed someone to build on the lead, and on the last morning, when they needed runs and time in equal measure. A poor decision, which if it were right could have won them a game, came along too.

Teams playing Australia when they were in their prime often discovered that they could compete for 80% of the time and lose overwhelmingly. It is something Roger Federer's or Tiger Woods' opponents could have claimed as well. Australia did better than 80% here and were still down 0-2. A third Test would have tested their resilience. We would have known if they bleed like others, who are used to having to enter a game with hopelessness as their shadow.

Australia's great players won them matches, the aura they generated won them many more. Now they are shorn of both, though still possessed of a fighting spirit

Or else, of course, we would have discovered whether they had it in them to come storming back and bring the series down to 2-1. And - and this is equally important - we would have learnt if India could play like a No. 1 side, able to crush an opponent when down, to take away hope, to inflict wounds that take long to heal.

Australia's aura is gone. It was inevitable after the loss of one of the greatest collection of cricketers to play the game. Outside of the big five, Matthew Hayden, Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, and Steve Waugh before them, Australia possessed players of extraordinary ability: Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Jason Gillespie. Now leave out Ponting and they have none. Michael Hussey is a fine personality but seems in decline, and Michael Clarke hasn't yet become a Ponting. The bowling is inexperienced and spinners rare to find. The great players won them matches, the aura they generated won them many more. Now Australia are shorn of both, though still possessed of a fighting spirit.

India, 11 points clear at No. 1 now, showed the power of positive thinking. With 478 before them in Bangalore, they played for a win; with 92 to get in Mohali and No. 10 in, they trusted the tailender; and on the last day the captain sent a rookie out to go and find his place in the world. So often it is the thoughts that determine action. India thought positively and hence they played positively.

Their batting looks good in home conditions but the bowling has no bench strength. New Zealand in these conditions and with this mindset shouldn't pose a huge challenge but South Africa away will.

The Ashes, to see if Australia can arrest their decline, and the tour of South Africa to see if India can conquer a peak: December and January should be great months for cricket lovers. And neither of those is a drinks-and-starters kind of dinner invitation.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hellraiser9 on October 18, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Highlights are being played in neo cricket and everyone can see how the umpiring decisions made the 1st test so close.. but justice prevailed in the end.... 1st Innings.. dhoni 's catch was NOT clean at all. and clearly it was taken on one bounce and even the commentators have been very vocal about it. dont know why people try to overlook.. then gambhir.. in 2nd inning.BIG INSIDE EDGE.. and billy bowden gave it OUT.. not only that decision changed the course of chase but also led to mini collapse..ishanth too was NOT OUT.. but he was given out. and for australia it was mike hussey's wicket... and overall there were more decisions going AGAINST india.. and if all these decisions.. may b match would have been less tense.. than it looked.. in the end people only crib about ojha's wicket but u shouldnt forget bad decisions going against indian team before that.. billy bowden is average umpire.. even though so many decisions went against indian team .. still they WON and they deserve it

  • cricket_ftw on October 18, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    @Wolver , every team is strong in their backyard ... a team cant be No1 with dumb luck ... India is a very good team ...

  • Proteas123 on October 18, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    SA will beat India in SA. India has always been hopeless in SA. Hopefully that will stop this rediculous comparison by indians with champion Aus and WI teams. Hope Indians put up a good fight, else it won't be much fun.

  • Looch on October 18, 2010, 1:55 GMT

    @bbrajiv so called fans like you crack me up! Try opening both eyes and you will realise that no team is innocent when it comes to these incidents but it is only Australian teams that are critisized for it! So don't believe everything you read in the tabloids! As usual a woderful article by Harsha and I agree that India are a well desevered number 1 team, but enjoy it while you can!

  • beardfear_ on October 18, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    Australia's vulnerability has made the upcoming Ashes series infinitely more interesting than it would've been otherwise. England are a strong team, but a wounded Australia is a cornered beast and will fight to the last ball. Should make for vintage Test cricket and I can't wait. Ponting's rookie bowling attack will be tested; players could be broken or they could make a claim for greatness. Hauritz will bounce back in local conditions and should play - but hopefully at least one of our exciting younger batsmen like Phillip Hughes, Callum Ferguson or Usman Khawaja will get a chance.

  • bbrajiv on October 17, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    @Hamulus ..i burst out laughing everytime i see aussies and ausie fans complaining about behaviour of other teams..u probably have forgotten that aussies r the most bad-behaved team in d history of cricket..mr glen mcgrath (no doubt he was a great cricketer) once spat on a west indies batsman); there r so many instances..ponting ruling ganguly out from slips in sydeny as if he was the umpire (thats too when he catch was not taken cleanly)..and who can forget mr michael slatters rude and disgraceful behaviour when he abused dravid in mumbai after the third umpire declared that mr slatter had not taken d catch cleanly..what was dravids fault? hahahaha

  • kaharry on October 17, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    @Hamulus - Agreed Billy got it wrong, but it would not have come down to that if Ishant was not wrongly sent off in the first place... If not for that bad decision Laxman and Ishant would have won the match.... you win some you lose some! Both the teams played wonderfully!!

  • ustad12 on October 17, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    A fine article by Harsha - yet again! Very much to the point. As a Pakistani supporter, I am very pleased with India's performance. India are on top of the world and never had it so good. They have lacked confidence and aggression in the past. This is now changing - fast. They now need to start winning series abroad against the South Africans and Australians of this world; and they can do it.

    Harsha made a very valid point that Australia plays 2 tests in India but plays 4 and 5 at home, getting undue advantage. They have also usually got the better of close and not so close decisions against teams from the sub-continent.

    But, I will never take away from them their performance over the last decade plus. They have been amazing. Their most strong points are mental strength and high professionalism. To succeed continously and at all levels a team needs professional approah, stragtegy, selection based on merit and longer term approach and emphasis more on fielding than b & b.

  • JTom1975 on October 17, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    To Hamulus: Mate, learn to accept reality and forget living in the past! Haydo, Gilli, McGrath and Warne have retired. They are not part of the Australian team anymore. So the 11 Australian players that lost the series 2-0 to India is the best 11 players that could play for Australia. So please do not refer to them as an under-strength Australian team. They were not good enough to beat India...accept it!

    The playing conditions in every country is different. Indian conditions are different from Australian playing conditions. There is no right or wrong, when it comes to playing conditions. India have lost series playing in Australian wickets and Australian conditions. Australians lost the series playing in India on Indian wickets and Indian conditions. But the fact is that Australia lost...accept it and forget about referring to conditions as an excuse for the lose!

    Indian Team very well know how to keep the Australians under control. There is nothing you can do about it...accept it!

  • natmastak_so-called on October 17, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Good article . but ,its no big deal to beat aus nowadays ( but rickey's face after first test was priceless ). And this is esp for aussie fans - whole world now knows abt ur sportsman spirit after the tamasha ur athletes did at cwg delhi .

  • hellraiser9 on October 18, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Highlights are being played in neo cricket and everyone can see how the umpiring decisions made the 1st test so close.. but justice prevailed in the end.... 1st Innings.. dhoni 's catch was NOT clean at all. and clearly it was taken on one bounce and even the commentators have been very vocal about it. dont know why people try to overlook.. then gambhir.. in 2nd inning.BIG INSIDE EDGE.. and billy bowden gave it OUT.. not only that decision changed the course of chase but also led to mini collapse..ishanth too was NOT OUT.. but he was given out. and for australia it was mike hussey's wicket... and overall there were more decisions going AGAINST india.. and if all these decisions.. may b match would have been less tense.. than it looked.. in the end people only crib about ojha's wicket but u shouldnt forget bad decisions going against indian team before that.. billy bowden is average umpire.. even though so many decisions went against indian team .. still they WON and they deserve it

  • cricket_ftw on October 18, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    @Wolver , every team is strong in their backyard ... a team cant be No1 with dumb luck ... India is a very good team ...

  • Proteas123 on October 18, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    SA will beat India in SA. India has always been hopeless in SA. Hopefully that will stop this rediculous comparison by indians with champion Aus and WI teams. Hope Indians put up a good fight, else it won't be much fun.

  • Looch on October 18, 2010, 1:55 GMT

    @bbrajiv so called fans like you crack me up! Try opening both eyes and you will realise that no team is innocent when it comes to these incidents but it is only Australian teams that are critisized for it! So don't believe everything you read in the tabloids! As usual a woderful article by Harsha and I agree that India are a well desevered number 1 team, but enjoy it while you can!

  • beardfear_ on October 18, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    Australia's vulnerability has made the upcoming Ashes series infinitely more interesting than it would've been otherwise. England are a strong team, but a wounded Australia is a cornered beast and will fight to the last ball. Should make for vintage Test cricket and I can't wait. Ponting's rookie bowling attack will be tested; players could be broken or they could make a claim for greatness. Hauritz will bounce back in local conditions and should play - but hopefully at least one of our exciting younger batsmen like Phillip Hughes, Callum Ferguson or Usman Khawaja will get a chance.

  • bbrajiv on October 17, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    @Hamulus ..i burst out laughing everytime i see aussies and ausie fans complaining about behaviour of other teams..u probably have forgotten that aussies r the most bad-behaved team in d history of cricket..mr glen mcgrath (no doubt he was a great cricketer) once spat on a west indies batsman); there r so many instances..ponting ruling ganguly out from slips in sydeny as if he was the umpire (thats too when he catch was not taken cleanly)..and who can forget mr michael slatters rude and disgraceful behaviour when he abused dravid in mumbai after the third umpire declared that mr slatter had not taken d catch cleanly..what was dravids fault? hahahaha

  • kaharry on October 17, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    @Hamulus - Agreed Billy got it wrong, but it would not have come down to that if Ishant was not wrongly sent off in the first place... If not for that bad decision Laxman and Ishant would have won the match.... you win some you lose some! Both the teams played wonderfully!!

  • ustad12 on October 17, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    A fine article by Harsha - yet again! Very much to the point. As a Pakistani supporter, I am very pleased with India's performance. India are on top of the world and never had it so good. They have lacked confidence and aggression in the past. This is now changing - fast. They now need to start winning series abroad against the South Africans and Australians of this world; and they can do it.

    Harsha made a very valid point that Australia plays 2 tests in India but plays 4 and 5 at home, getting undue advantage. They have also usually got the better of close and not so close decisions against teams from the sub-continent.

    But, I will never take away from them their performance over the last decade plus. They have been amazing. Their most strong points are mental strength and high professionalism. To succeed continously and at all levels a team needs professional approah, stragtegy, selection based on merit and longer term approach and emphasis more on fielding than b & b.

  • JTom1975 on October 17, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    To Hamulus: Mate, learn to accept reality and forget living in the past! Haydo, Gilli, McGrath and Warne have retired. They are not part of the Australian team anymore. So the 11 Australian players that lost the series 2-0 to India is the best 11 players that could play for Australia. So please do not refer to them as an under-strength Australian team. They were not good enough to beat India...accept it!

    The playing conditions in every country is different. Indian conditions are different from Australian playing conditions. There is no right or wrong, when it comes to playing conditions. India have lost series playing in Australian wickets and Australian conditions. Australians lost the series playing in India on Indian wickets and Indian conditions. But the fact is that Australia lost...accept it and forget about referring to conditions as an excuse for the lose!

    Indian Team very well know how to keep the Australians under control. There is nothing you can do about it...accept it!

  • natmastak_so-called on October 17, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Good article . but ,its no big deal to beat aus nowadays ( but rickey's face after first test was priceless ). And this is esp for aussie fans - whole world now knows abt ur sportsman spirit after the tamasha ur athletes did at cwg delhi .

  • Hamulus on October 17, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    What an absolute joke! All that was shown here is that on Indian wickets and in Indian conditions Australia have very little in their bowling arsenal to compete with India, but this has always been the case - even Warne found the going tough there. On Australian soil the story would have been much different. I am very proud of the Australian team for their heroic effort in the first test to nearly snatch a win in trying conditions. A great credit to Laxman for one of the great innings, but the day was ultimately decided by lack of courage from Billy Bowden. India can crow all they like, but the series was 1-1 against an understrength Australian side with one eye on an Ashes series.

    I for one will wait with great anticipation for the next Indian tour of Australia. Hopefully India (and esp Harbhajan) can behave themselves this time.

  • 2929paul on October 16, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Australia have clearly lost it. Just like in The Ashes in 2009, they dominated for large periods yet managed to lose comfortably. The cricketing world order is all much closer and much more interesting for it. Would be nice to have longer Test series though, like the Ashes, to allow the story to play out over a longer time frame and the tension to build.

  • on October 16, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    ndia's truest test yet would be when theym visit Proteas later this year for a Full fledged series on bouncier pitches..despite getting a fair deal of exposure in those tracks thanks to champions trophy, Ipl,Champions league, Testcricket is a different kettle of fish..India certainly have the odd game in Australia(perth) and in SA in late 2006-early 2007 (Sreesanth got a 10 for ) but could never Perform consistently to win aseries..Winning in English conditions,like in summer of 207 is also tough but not quite the same as conquering Southern Hemisphere sides..India r also to visit Aus. in late 2011,now that would round off things and a good time to evaluate the careers of laxman,Sachin,Rahul..Batting techniques of players like Gambhir(who missed out on Australian testmatch segment in 2007),Murali Vijay,Dhoni,Pujara,Raina would be keenly followed, tested to the bones..aside from ofcourse showing their mental ability.mouthwatering contest/year and bit of test cricket ahead of em

  • Mina_Anand on October 16, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    @Dr.Vindaloo These are not exceptions. India's Test story in this decade - Drawing with Australia, Down Under in 2003-4, beating Pakistan in Pak in 2004, the West Indies in the Caribbean in 2006, England in England in 2007. Why do we persist with the myth that India cannot play away? If you don't believe a 25 years cricket follower like me, perhaps you can rely on some stats? My long-standing viewpoint on India travelling well, is substantiated by none other than Cricinfo ! Check out this story.

    " ……Dileep Premgachandran and Siddhartha Vaidhyanathan from Cricinfo explode this myth. Suddenly, India's away record is second to Australia's.! …." http://i3j3cricket.wordpress.com/category/media-and-commentary/commentators/david-lloyd/ http://contentaus.cricinfo.com/engvind/content/current/story/304613.html

  • on October 16, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    Harsha Bhogle is one of the finest contemporary cricket commentators and his this article is no less. However I don't know if I can agree with his comment about Michael Hussy. Hussy is not called Mr Cricket for no reason. Like many great players he seems to be going through a bad patch but I am sure he will bounce back sooner or later.

    India's litmus test will be in South Africa in conditions that the Indian team often finds challenging. However with positive attitude and a good mix of experienced veterans and youths bountiful of energy, I hope they can pull it off.

    It is a shame we have to pay top dollars in Canada to watch cricket on cable channels.

  • on October 16, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    Dhananjaya, its an interesting choice of urs the three teams u've picked as ones adaptable under all conditions. Those are the three who're not a threat outside their home. Well maybe England to an extent, but their yet to do anything outside of england!!

  • karthikfromchennai on October 16, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    @aussie fans, for how long you would be crying over the retirement of hayden, langer, warne, mcgrath, border and broadman...lol....grow up kids....accept your bench strength is exposed and even SL can beat you in a test match....your level has gone so poor...

  • on October 16, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Ultrasnow seems to have a really poor memory, SA beat India by more than an innings+200 runs IN INDIA just recently.

  • on October 16, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    i see here some comments abt india goin to be in a situation aus are nw whn sachin dravid n lax retire...here is where greg chappel did us a small favour by removing ganguly..comin to the other 3,we dont face tat prob. coz v hav gvn our boys enough exposure in intrnationl circuit

  • Vilander on October 16, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    when i see aussies i am afraid for the indians, they were so mighty not so long ago, haydos,langer the great bowlers,ponting,martyn,gilly..suddenly there is no one to replace. We will be cannon fodder after sach/dravid/vvs go.

  • Razor88 on October 16, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Dhananjay Venuri : NZ looooooooooooooooooooool Don't make me laugh.... they can't beat Bang in their soil......... they have won only one match against India in tri- series in SL,since then they have failed.... Look at the stats then come with your comments....... India Have been far consistent in Both ODI n in Test..... They have won more matches than they lost. Yet to win in SA(ODI n Test). Don't Forget the Tri series in Aus(IND,Aus,SL)... were India Had the Most wins...

    I hate Aussies to the Core is because they just Slaughter their Opponents on any given surface and on any given day... I really don't mind India being the No.1 But Still the Team to beat is always the Aussies... They have the talent but they are not as consistent as they used to be... I don't know abt their attitudes these days... They were the best when they where really Aggressive.... They seriously Need a Haydo,Glen,Ware and Hussy at his Best

  • Azhar.Hassan on October 16, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    India have played very well, no doubt about that. But to be recognized as well and truely No.1, they will have to beat SA in SA and Aus in Aus. They seem to have the batting resources to do it but the bowling is limited. There are more than 2-3 batsmen in the Indian side that would easily make any top test team. Not so for the bowling I am afraid.

  • ultrasnow on October 16, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    Even Australia could never conquer the 'final frontier' in their prime SA will remain the permanent No.2 side in all formats due to their 'choke mentality' Why do people grudge India the No.1 ranking? Why are we always in self-doubt? At present there is no worthy No.2 or No.3 team. India occupy the first three positions and Aussies come in at No.4 By the Harsha, why are you obssessed with 3rd test? It does not require a rocket scientist to figure out a thrid test would have made the result 3-0 You could see it on Ponting's face at the end of day 5. .He was so grateful that the ordeal was over

  • public_education on October 16, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    hopefully should be an exciting couple of years of cricket, india in south africa will be an exciting contest, it wasnt actually that bad a series last time they played but both teams have really come along since then. I still believe that indian quicks will need to improve, will also be a test for steyn/morkel bowling to the best batsman in the world, cant help feeling south africa running under the radar will still get up. Would love to see them extending series out to 5 tests between india and saf as well, intrested in others thoughts just believing the three tests doesnt do justice in deciding the number 1 team in the world.

  • kang-a-roo on October 16, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Ponting would be missing Lee the most in the Mohali test. He was their best bowler in tests in recent years and had a very good strike rate. Peter George was not impressive in his first test despite scalping tendulkar's wicket. He can be more useful in SA or Aussie pitches where the ball bounces much more than in the sub-continent. All the best to punter and his team for the one-dayers. Horry it's time for you to spin your web and trap the Indians. Go man its a pretty young indian side and you can get through them.

  • murlie on October 16, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    Australia now stopped Sledging. They now know if they sledge their butts will be kicked.

  • on October 16, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    India's truest test yet would be when theym visit Proteas later this year for a Full fledged series on bouncier pitches..despite getting a fair deal of exposure in those tracks thanks to champions trophy, Ipl,Champions league, Testcricket is a different kettle of fish..India certainly have the odd game in Australia(perth) and in SA in late 2006-early 2007 (Sreesanth got a 10 for ) but could never Perform consistently to win aseries..Winning in English conditions,like in summer of 207 is also tough but not quite the same as conquering Southern Hemisphere sides..India r also to visit Aus. in late 2011,now that would round off things and a good time to evaluate the careers of laxman,Sachin,Rahul..Batting techniques of players like Gambhir(who missed out on Australian testmatch segment in 2007),Murali Vijay,Dhoni,Pujara,Raina would be keenly followed, tested to the bones..aside from ofcourse showing their mental ability.mouthwatering contest/year and bit of test cricket ahead of em

  • deedas5 on October 16, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Aussies will be right back with a strong reply to all these bad critics about them!!! I don't like Australian team but I still can't digest by seeing them losing like this!!! Ponting is always a punter!!! He will surely rock and there is no doubt about it!!! All the teams beware of Australian side, they will come again very strong like a tide where no other teams can actually survive with the reign!!! All the very best Australia!!!!!

  • cric_lover143 on October 16, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    To be honest with those SA supporters, i agree that they are a very good side, but Indians are second to none. When these teams play each other it will be I India who emerges as the winners provided no injury to the main players. Indians have seen lot of steyns, kalliss & morkels before. so they are not going to be too much worried about that. And those Aus siders, if their players are not in good form, or If they are a player short, it is not because of opposite team. What if the result of the 1st test was total opposite... then will these people cry about the fact that Laxman is injured?? NO... these things happens in cricket. Those pitch advocates, every cricketing nation in this world knows that majority of the pitches in India are Spin friendly ones. they should be well prepare for that instead of weeping about it. I have read before some others coments saying that harbhajan is useless and Hauritz & Swann are the best spinners in the world now, well say that once they visit India

  • eomer17 on October 16, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    Yaksha: Your logic is absolutely correct and would also prove right in this case had it not been for the IPL. thanks to Modi Indian pitches have become flatter, a batting paradise!chapauk,kotla,baroda all these centres see huge scores leading to dull games.Venues in engl aus SA are more competitive and balanced distribution for bat & bowl.To succeed there you really need good batsmen.Our no. 1 status is 75% 'cause of our batting!Hense real test will be when these Vijay's Raina's Pujara's and Dhoni bat abroad.Also our bowling with spinners not getting much ,fast bowlers will have to do well.

  • on October 16, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    I think the Aussies are in decline no doubt about it.However even India is not consistent abroad. On home pitch vijay,yuvi, pujara, rahul (present form),virat ohli and gautam are really good but abroad they play like domestic cricket. I think the Aussies would have upper hand had they played in there own home turf.. On the present Lot England ,srilanka and NZ look to be the top teams who are able to adapt in any format in any pitch... INDIAN CRICKET TEAM FILLED with unpredictable and most inconsistent plaers.

  • adadadade on October 16, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    SA is going to be a tough tour for India. They haven't done well ever over there ever. I still remember SA walking all over the Indians, in the first test at Kindsmead in 1996 with Donald smashing through Tendulkar's defenses.

    Although, I don't think it will be that bad this time around, it is still going to be pretty tough.

    Australia have come a full circle from 1989 to 2010. Remains to be seen whether they will still be the old home ground bullies like the 1992 India tour (Merv Hughes sending back Vengsarkar in one of his last matches was a sad sight for all).

  • ms555 on October 15, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    I am very sure that india is going to dominate cricket for many more years to come.... But...all depends on the young players and how well they perfom..

    Aussies are going through that period where lots of changes are brought into them. They are a very good side....and still a threat to any1 in world cricket...they will bounce back for sure...Can't wait for the ashes to begin.....Com on aussieeeee...kick some england iinit.....

    I strongly do believe that ponting should not be captaining them for this winter ashes.......micheal clarke plzzzzzzzz step up..

    But...i can sense..i have a feeling that...india is going a enter a dream era....

  • MannuBhai22 on October 15, 2010, 23:47 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 Melbourne test 07 how India went in with no practice game and promptly lost. Expect the same here. They will play catch up for d remaining series.

  • Jim1207 on October 15, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    I don't agree! I actually felt like a beggar when thinking of original shcedule of 7 ODIs - 0 Tests. I am happy to see 2 tests and 3 ODIs. When world cup is approaching we cannot leave out ODIs and have just tests. If 3 test series would feel like a wonderful buffet, what would be 5 tests then - overstocking?! Why don't people question about not having 4 or 5 tests series. ICC should come up with a meaningful and fair FTP, let Harsha talk about that and let the influential people make ICC think, for once! When Srilanka bat well and draw the tests in India, the pitches are called roads, but when Aussies flatter against reverse-swing and spin on 4th day and India wins, they call the matches are beautiful! When would we learn to see things in perspective? Why should people always complain?

  • Yaksha on October 15, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    What is the obsession of critics with winning overseas? If you are implying that India wins only at home and not outside, does it also not prove that the other sides also win ONLY at home and not outside? Also, just like the aryan invasion myth, everyone believes that subcontinent pitches are tailor made for spinners. Well, so are the pitches tailor made for seamer in Aus/NZ/Eng. Why is it unsportsmanlike to have turning tracks in India, but very sportsmanlike to have a bouncy pitch? Having said all that, I do agree that a team must win games outside it home country. I look forward to that. The good thing about all this is that test cricket is alive and I hope survives.

  • vinaykmr on October 15, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    main difference between ausis earlier n now is gilchrist n mcgrath/warne.

    if ausi top 5 baters scored 250 runs then another 250 runs were added by their bottom half ie tailernders with the help of gilchrist. gilli was unsung hero. n the rest job of bundling out opponent was done by their bolers.

    secondly, punder purposely sidetracked n spoiled career of gillespi, who cud hv been handly in absence of mcgrath.

  • on October 15, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Well Harsha, a 3rd test would've been more one sided surely. Indians keep getting better as the series progresses, so its good the series was a memorable one. Kelly, u're correct in saying that Indians dont have a good record in SA, but they can definitely turn it around. The last time we were there it was a really close hard fought series with SA coming back to win the last 2 tests. Both teams are better now and it promises to be a great series.

  • vmohan75 on October 15, 2010, 18:44 GMT

    "A poor decision, which if it were right could have won them a game, came along too." How lame, Harsha. If Ishant was not given out incorrectly, there may have been no need for the corrective 'poor' decision. Australia have been on the right end of luck for a long time, even in these two tests. What can be said if all the good luck also cannot help you win. They missed Bollinger. So what? We missed Ishant, Gautam, Laxman etc etc.

  • on October 15, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    Excellent article Harsha. Lets see if the current Indian team can start winning away series as well.(ie in SA,AUS,England.. :-) )

  • Dr.Vindaloo on October 15, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    @Mina Anand: the fact that you can remember each of these Indian batting performances away from home tells us that this is the exception rather than the norm. I think India will be blown away by Steyn, Morkel and Kallis in SA. No disgrace in that, but better enjoy No.1 status while it lasts because I think we'll find SA on top of the pile in the New Year.

  • asadkum on October 15, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA................................................................. Once WI under Clive Llyoid regime ruled the world cricket with their stars like Viv Richard, Greenidge, Marshall, Holding etc. .....................................Then we saw the AUS ruled the cric world with their stars like Hayden, Ponting, Gilcrist, Mcgrath, Warne etc................................................................Now It's IND ...ruling the cric world with talented & star players.....................Period..

  • sreeb on October 15, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    Well written Harsha.. you are spot on when you compared the series like a Starter and a drink..we cricket supporters would be elated to see such competitions. spl between two best sides in world cricket. I would say though NZ are going through a rough phase these days against Bangladesh. they are a tough side and i expect they would give india run for their money in the next series. Definitely Ind - Aus seris is going to be great fun. and i can't wait to see my fav. boxing day test match. :)

  • on October 15, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    this aus side does not compare with the one four years back, but they still have quality players. this small hitch WAS expected, since the last bunch of greats were born within two years of each other, and retired that way. it is only experience that the present lot is lacking and in two years time, Australia will be back to where they belong: at the top. they are a proud bunch and will NOT let this bad patch last for long. even the beleaguered lot during Allan border's first few years at the helm played like champions.

  • intcamd on October 15, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    I am sure we will see an outpouring of affection for HB - way to go Bhogle, what a poetic article Bhogle, you opened my eyes with your insights Bhogle, etc. However, I see no new insights or even clever words here. So, Bhogle becomes the upteenth writer to bemoan a short series. Have n't we heard this before in the last 3 weeks? As for change in the Aussie fortunes, well more has been said on that topic than on OJ Simpson trial. I am still waiting for a great insight from the celebrated Mr Bhogle, after his double twist on VVS where he voted to dump Laxman and bring in Umrigar, and 3 days later wrote up how great Laxman was, after his Mohali innings.

    Looking forward to the SA series; finally something I can agree with Mr HB on.

  • on October 15, 2010, 15:51 GMT

    SA surely will be the next Australia for India...

    will play gr8 competeing cricket, but will be trashed in d end...

  • anreddy9 on October 15, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    As usual, Hashar's articles are a treat to read.

  • Mina_Anand on October 15, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    India bats well in home conditions ? Remember Headingley, Adelaide, Perth, et al? Dravid,Sachin, Laxman and Dhoni are proved and tested 'away' stalwarts, and the rainas, vijays and pujaras will surely come good.

    Why these doubts ?

  • on October 15, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    Yes Harsha, I think that when we play Australia, we should play 4 Test Matches against them!! I think Australia are not the team they used to be back in 2006-2007 after Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer & Damien Martyn retired from International Cricket!! Mathew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist & Andrew Symonds were big match winners, and they left world cricket a bit too early!!

    I think Mathew Hayden & Andrew Symonds in particular were given a raw deal by Cricket Australia, and I still think Adam Gilchrist had it in him to play till today!! I think Ricky Ponting & Michael Clarke did not like Andrew Symonds, and wanted him out of the team for good, which they achieved, but in the process, shot themselves in the foot, coz Andrew Symonds is a very good player (apart from his disciplinary problems)!!

    I think Cricket Australia did not do enough to keep Gilchrist, Hayden and Symonds back in the fold!! So, I believe that Cricket Australia is responsible for their own problems now!!

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

    Always admired your articles Harsha. India is defiantly are number 1 at the moment. But they need one quality pacer like Zaheer khan to be at top for long time. Batting, Spin department and Keeping seems to be going good for them.

  • on October 15, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    I wouldn't get too excited about India's tour to SA Harsha. Their record there is pretty miserable.

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;home_or_away=2;opposition=3;result=1;result=2;result=3;result=4;team=6;template=results;type=team;view=results

    Who knows though, perhaps this Indian side is made of sterner stuff than the previous ones. Should be a great series all the same. I will be in Durban for the Boxing Day test to hopefully see two great sides duking it out.

  • Rockyyyims on October 15, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Harsha is simply superb!!! I totally agree with him. the series was short but interesting nevertheless.

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

    Australia has always brought in to game breed of players who were mostly been successful...Earlier when Ricky Ponting was captaining the side , he used to win important situations in a game , but somehow has been able to do that effectively in the concluded series....where as whatever Dhoni did struck gold....might be the aura of positiveness that we often associate with "punter" is somehow diminishing & indians were more optimistic under their captain.....The ashes series ahead cant be more interesting , the wounded kangaroos would be taking whatever opportunities that comes on their way to salvage the situation & turn the tide in their favour!!!!!

  • arvin on October 15, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    chappal brothers should request austrlian selectors for retirement of ponting who despite best efforts can not become the highest run getter or most 100's... manjerkar and chappal brothers should start promoting someone else now who will overtake master blaster 100 100's and 32000+ runs soon in international cricket... ponting days are over and it will be a while before austrlia can be among top teams...

  • Aussasinator on October 15, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    There is now no need to dwell too much on Australia's fate. it's ok to rejoice on the latest victory, but beating Australia is no big deal at the moment. They have to see worse lows. Let us concentrate on whether India can beat SA in SA. That would confirm our status as champs. SA is the real team to beat today.

  • sandyyy on October 15, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Come on. Leave the aussies now. They gave their 100%. At some point this was supposed to happen. How long do you think federer can win grandslams? I am sure they will come back strong for ashes. However India truely deserved to win because of their approach. I still rate aussies high because they are still fighting inspite of loosing most strong generation of players. Hats off to that fighting spirit.

  • ten_dul_kar on October 15, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Harsha... good article ...you always seem to sum up the situation very well... but a good analyst like you should never take umpire decisions into account.... if ojha looked out...ishant was not out at the first place.... so there's no point for discussing umpire's mistakes.....

  • on October 15, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    again not knowing wat to write off and writin wateva crap that pops out of the head if there is one

  • subram54 on October 15, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    To my mind the reasons australia lost the series are

    Inability to play and score on sligtly turning pitch on the 4th day

    lack of a defensive spinner who could hold one end up while the seamers attacked from the other end. attacking spinners like Shane Warne and Abdul Qadir have never succeeded in India as Indians who are very good players of spin put away the bad balls. It is the only defesnsive spinner like Paul Harris, Ashley Giles and in earlier occassions Pat Pocock, Derek Underwood and Ashley mallet who have succeeded in bottling up the Indian batting from one end and enabling the seamers to attack from the other end. Nathan Haritz is more of an attacking off spinner and bowls a lot of bad bowls which were put away by the Indian batesman.

  • on October 15, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    i think AUS is still a gr8 side.The thing is just that they have to deal with their 4th bowler if they want to bring ashes back.One could always predict that AUS gonna struggle in Indian conditions without a good spin bowler.I don't consider Hauritz a spin bowler especially for indian conditions.He doesn't have the variety.He is below average.I think HAURITZ=SEHWAG bowling for india...I hope he improves his bowling before ashes otherwise aus gonna struggle to pick 20 wickets of eng as well.Besides 4th bowler,AUS hav a very good team capable of winning ashes.Being an indian,i m an aus fan and hope to have 5-0 aus again.

  • dit1 on October 15, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    I agree with Harsha! The most important point being the test of Indian new comers like Raina, Vijay and Pujara ( even Gambhir) on the fast and bouncy pitches of South Africa. These are all good batmen but what will make them great is their performance against quicks like Styen, Morkel and sorts. The series against NZ should go to India. If they lose that will require Kiwis to play out of their skin or India to play badly. Bowling still remains a worry hopefully Ishant bounces back from his Injury like a champion (or just like VVS Ozs bring the best out of him ??)

  • on October 15, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    Balanced and fair, incisive yet not over-zealous - Harsha Bhogle is easily one of the best cricket writers kicking around.

  • gudolerhum on October 15, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    An excellent analysis of where this "series" has left us and the comparison to an aborted dinner is perfect! Australia have a lot of work to do in the nets and in their minds to prepare for the Ashes. England must sense a chance to succeed in the land down under, but it cannot be taken for granted or they will stumble as they have in the past. India must feel on to top of the world, literally, but there are several areas of their game that need attention if they are to be champions in the mould of Australia, all-conquering at home and away. It is the latter area that is India's Achilles heel. The next few months should certainly provide entertaining cricket and room for more analysis of where the teams stand when it is over.

  • KingofRedLions on October 15, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Because Australia at its peak won every series it played in India...

    I think there are a number of commentators taking a bit too much out of this series.

  • toosmart_goldie on October 15, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    Well Harsh is right.One more Test could have shown the real nerves of this young Australian Side. Nevertheless Ashes is round the corner and the true character of all the youngsters specially Hauriz will be tested, because I still believe the Aussies are lacking a good spinner. India on the Other Hand has to maintain this momentum into the One dayers with the Aussies and the Series against the Kiwis and South Africa.

  • rajpan on October 15, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    The decline of Australia is certainly an interesting phenomenon. On one side is Australia with a wealthy and well structured administration for the game and at the other end is a poorly structured, faction ridden Pakistan. But the well defined structure of Australia is unable to throw up players of world standard who can take over from their fading stars, whereas Pakistan seems to be discovering the real talent on regular basis. Interesting indeed!!

  • on October 15, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    As always, it's a delight to read Harsha Bogle!

  • addiemanav on October 15, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    cant wait for SA series and the ashes!!unfortunately the bcci has done such a bad scheduling that india find themselves playing an ODI against NZ on dec 10th at chennai and a test at centurion on 16th dec!!only 5 days for preparation!!something needs to be re-arranged!!

  • pom_basher on October 15, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    never seen a losing team - which is not 5th in icc ranking - getting so much press!

  • Doogius on October 15, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    This article should have been written in Hindi. Its not for anyone out of India. Honestly, a 2 test series, a month before the ashes. You make it sound like a true test of cricketsmanship. If Bowden gives out whats his name in the 1st test (sorry, i fell asleep), then this entire article whould have to be rewritten. I bet this article would have been something like "Oz team on the way back becauuse they drew with the No. 1 test playing nation in the world - TEAM INDIA". Seriously, start beating teams outside of India regularly (as we did for over 10 years) and then say your the best. Of course, that would interfere with the IPL...

  • on October 15, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Talk about a decline!......Australia have now lost 3 Test matches in row, 2 against India and one before against Pakistan in England.They are now 5th in Test rankings.They are not the invincible side they used to be.

  • rahul0406 on October 15, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Well said Harsha...Yes.. the Indians seem to have grabbed the positive aura away from the Australians. I feel this because I can remember the moment where P.OZA was caught right in front of the stumps and was given not out in the first test. We can say now that India is winning with this aura and some classic feather-touches by VVS and Master Blaster. .. Their greatness getting rubbed against the entire Indian team is generating this aura probably. I hope that Aussies will gather some hope and bounce back...

  • smartsquirrel1 on October 15, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    Harsha im surprised your are questioning Australia's resilience. Even with a poor team they will fight and even when all hope is lost. Case in point defending low score against pakistan (which they nearly won). However we can argue that they were in the lead in the series at that point.

    But then again i remember a certain SA series down under in which Aussies were losing 2-0 against a fantastic SA team with a heroic captain (all thats changed now). Even in the third test they won a close encounter having already lost the series at home (hadnt happened for 18 years) AND their NO1 ranking which they had held on to for ages. Major low point.

    Now before indian fans accuse me of jealousy i would seriously like to point out that it comes as a surprise that india only plays 2 test matches against top sides (SA, Eng, Aus) but they are more than happy to bash sri lanka around (home and away). For a team that calls themselves No1 they still have alot to prove on the international circuit

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

    Australia might have lost the aura, but India still has to prove a lot before they can be said a true no.1. Australia when dominated were almost undefeated. But we never know, it might take a year or so probably some of them get more interntional experience and get much better to bring their aura quickly back

  • sonofchennai on October 15, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    Aus are a good team but with pathetic Clark, they are having a liabilty..Clark can probably get into Aus hockey team with his nimble feet, can find the net..Ponting and hussey are their best batsmen...I wanted hussey to fire in this series and that was a big disapaointment

  • on October 15, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Lets not jump the gun! this was indeed an excellent performance from the Indian team and as much as I hate to admit, I must say the Australians fought hard and also in the right spirit. Now coming back to India and your analogies of dining. I will say the last two years have been a fine starter and we are only half way through the main course and as we see very often a small item which tastes bad can spoil what has a been wonderful meal upto now, we will know how the rest of the main course goes when we tour SA and the other upcoming away tours after the WC! and if the chefs which in this case are our Indian cricketers can dish out a memorable meal as they have up and until now we would certainly have had the best meal of our lives, and people lets not go into the Sachin or the Don is better or why India doesn't deserve the number one spot mode in here again please.

  • on October 15, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Harsha, i like that paraphrasing. True we need at least a 3-match series. If you bill the Border-Gavaskar trophy almost equivalent to Ashes, then we need to play at least 3 matches.

  • saurabh.somani on October 15, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    a bit disappointed to see harsha referring to the pragyan ojha decision that went against Australia. true he was out, but minutes before ishant had been given out to one missing leg stump clearly and at the start of the innings gambhir was given lbw after a big inside edge. bad decisions wise, australia had the better time of it in mohali.

  • Proteas123 on October 15, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Australia will bounce back, just give them a few years. They always play with the right attitude and will always be a threat. Once India fab 3 retire they will be a weak team, sri don't have Murili anymore... Teams to watchout for are eng and SA. SA have gotten very close to the top since readmission but have always lost the big moments against Aus, that was the difference between the two. (Especially under Cronje) Hopefully this has changed for SA going forward.

  • on October 15, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Everyones talking about this being a short tour. But one way of looking at this is, India and Australia have played so often recently - 10 Tests in the last 2 years, which is equivalent to two 5 Test series a year - that maybe it doesn't matter. You also made an interesting observation about Australia not making prolonged tours to the subcontinent. Even when they do, the teams for Tests and ODIs are shuffled. So they do give a thought to the well being of their players. But that also deprives us of and opportunity to see the players longevity in such conditions. Even now, Ponting and Watson will be going back, presumably to be preserved for the Ashes.

  • Samdanh on October 15, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    No doubt India outbatted and outbowled Aus in this serries in home conditions that were tailor-made and favourable to home team. Aus batting failures did them in. The sooner Aus identify the real weakspots the sooner they will start winning again. Unforunately Hussey fell to three dubious decisions out of four, which rarely happens at such a frequency to a single player. Amidst all this disappointment, the greatest thing about Ponting and Australia is they have taken defeat with dignity, citing no extraneous excuses nor pointing fingers at wrong decisions, but rather realising that it was their batting failures that cost them the series. Not only that they gave full credit to the Indian team for the manner the Indian team played and won. One more thing that we as Indians should put in perspective is that while celebrating the wins and the current status, we should also note that over the last 10-20 Tests we have chosen to play only in either India, Bangaldesh or Sri Lanka.

  • on October 15, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    terrific write up harsha as usual. searching for the link where u once compared sachins 200 at sydney to kandwa express. shall be greatful if u could send the link.

  • on October 15, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    I feel the biggest mistake Oz did in the last decade was to not backup Andrew Symonds & to sideline Brad Hodge. Now they suffer the consequences.

  • manasvi_lingam on October 15, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Well, Harsha India had many things going against them such as 2 crucial umpiring decisions that clearly went against them in the 2nd innings at Mohali, the lack of Ishant and Laxman in the two Tests and Gambhir in the second Test, etc - but they still played very well and beat Australia comprehensively in the 2nd Test.

  • on October 15, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Cant wait for India in South Africa. Raina, Pujara and Vijay will be tested...so will the bowling line up. Harsha, I have been reading your articles for the last 10 years..and this one was beautifully written. P.S. - Read a column on BBC sport linking everything that India did and how England can do it better in the Ashes. Trust the english to rejoice more than the Indians after Mohali and Blore. Cheers!

  • Vivek.Bhandari on October 15, 2010, 5:34 GMT

    india's been really australia-like in these matches...extremely ruthless, grabbing crucial moments, sledging, appreciating others where it is due, n most importantly getting counted when the chips were down...

  • on October 15, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Harsha, as always you have hit the nail on the head. The tour to South Africa, for me, will determine if this team is capable of a sustained stay at the top, after the soon to be retirement of the Fab 3. However , I disagree with you saying that the present bowling is not good enough. I agree that on flat Indian pitches the Indian team's bowling has been found out, but, In South Africa, on helpful pitches, Zaheer and his merry men may be a handful.

    I remember that, on the previous tour as well, the Indian bowlers were ticked off before the start of the first test, but how well they responded!! Without Anil Kumble though, it temains to be seen how Harbhajan responds. For me he has always been over rated. He has wickets, but I do not think they have the "Impact Index", you tweeted earlier!!

  • on October 15, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    I am sorry Harsha this is neither here nor there, a bit like a two test series. Remember the series was in India . Please tell me what the great Australian teams which included Taylor"s and Waugh"s did here? With a sub standard team Australia nearly won at Mohali. I am surprised at your saying India went for a win. For a large part Dhoni was going with the tide and pushed only when Australia lost three wickets in a hurry on day 4 in Bangalore. Australia do not have their aura, are no longer the side they were, all that is right, but remember in India the odds have always been against a team which does not have a spinner. Ponting was briliant, gracious and combative. Sadly his team was not. Whather Australia can bounce back will soon be known. But I think India needs to perform in South Africa and maybe Australia next year. India can learn from Australia about holding on to their no 1 status for long. Lets hope they do not do a South Africa. sridhar

  • Jeptic on October 15, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    India did not only win because Auss is on the decline. Please don't take away from the skill of the Indian cricketers. They thrashed Auss in india EVEN when Auss had their BEST side.

    Now, is Ponting asking for a two tier system...When Aus was on top, he always arrogantly asked for a two tier test system...Can you please ask him if he still thinks that it should be?

  • vaibhavk81 on October 15, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Even though they are in transition, the quality is missing from Aussies. Clark is the biggest disappointment for them. He is nowhere near Ponting and I think Hussey is a better player than him. Even the openers are no match to Langer and Hayden. But anyways, they are always a contest. Jeez, I can't wait for team India to go to South Africa. I hope everybody from both the sides are fit and fine. India need to get going from the first test. For the past few series they have been catching up after the first test, they were lucky this time in Mohali though. Fingers crossed !!

  • ruchinn on October 15, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    I agree with most of things. I am writing today more to respond to few headlines which came out of Symmo's interview. I have not understood why should anyone believe what he has to say about others. he was the one who picked up a fight. Ponting was the guy who grounded the ball & yet made the appeal. Symond goes on to label 90% Indian players LAZY. If we are actually lazy then Imagine what will happen if our players were hard working. It has almost become the order of the day to run down Indian cricket. India has not manipulated the rankings. We are no 1 because we deserve it. Symonds lost out because he was a drunkard who didn't know right from wrong & deserved every bit of what he got. He provoked people to go after him & when they did he ran like a little puppy behind the comfort of rules. Sorry mates Australia no longer rules & leaders are India & they decide things.

  • jayasim on October 15, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    nice one harsha...but i still feel these comments are just testament for what aussies have acheived over the years and i guess we need have still more time to comment on their aura in the game

  • Dheepan on October 15, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Harsha is stating the obvious fact here: Australia is not a no.1, not even a close no.3 team in the world at present..

  • Afroze.... on October 15, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Gr8 article harsha....way 2 go...!! :D

  • on October 15, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Mate, How many times you will raise this point? Be thankful that there was at least 2 test's instead of boring 7 ODI's. If the series had been drawn 1-1, then people would have said we need a third test. The series was won handsomely by India and people still crib about the 3rd test. Pls forget about the 3rd test. The only point which I would say is that India missed an opportunity to whitewash Aus 3-0.

  • nzcricket174 on October 15, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    Nice article. Its funny how New Zealand went from being "possible competitors" to "not a threat".

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on October 15, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    How can the bowling have no bench strength and still take 40 Australian wickets? If anything, probably the Indian bowling attack with any of Ishant, RP Singh, Munaf and Sreesanth supporting Zaheer is probably better suited to South African conditions than Indian.

    A fully fit Indian batting lineup with Zaheer and Sreesanth would make for a great contest in South Africa. But before that the potential banana skin series against New Zealand has to be won. They held India to a 0-0 draw in 2003-04 and have always been tough to beat for India.

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

    Harsha, there are some invitations which only offer dinner straight away. My personal opinion is that the quality of cricket produced in the two test matches was outstanding and one that could easily match a 3rd/4th or 5th test match of a series - arguing that the first two were drawn. Secondly, Australia don't need to get accustomed to conditions in India, they have been playing a lot of cricket lately during IPL and Champions League. Michael Clark would agree how important those series could be for his career. Mitchel Johnson did very well even without playing in the domestic league ever. So all in all, it was good to see results in 2/2 matches. I would agree with your argument if the first one was or both were drawn.

  • kapilesh23 on October 15, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    'Australia did better than 80% here and were still down 0-2',i really liked this point .i couldn't agree more.

  • on October 15, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    "With 478 before them in Bangalore, they played for a win ..."

    Honestly speaking, India didn't play to win in the first innings. Remember how slow Vijay was in the first innings ? It was a blessing in disguise that they got all out before crossing 500. If India had gone on to score 550 or more this match would probably have ended in a draw.

    Dhoni was right - Bowlers won the match for India . They bowled well in the 2nd innings. It started to reverse so early.

  • on October 15, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    I hope Australia don't fade away like WI . We need good competitive cricket nations to keep the cricket alive .

  • boris6491 on October 15, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    The only writer on cricinfo I follow religiously has again delivered a fine article. Australia has always been praised for instilling faith into players by giving them extended runs in the team. In the last few years, this has been the main source of criticism. As Harsha pointed out, the decline of Hussey and the stalling in Clarke's development into Australia's premier batsman as well as the constant faith in an ever inconsistent Marcus North and Nathan Hauritz who does not seem up to the task are all cases which support this criticism. I will be fascinated to see how India though manage in South Africa considering that their seam attack shoulders completely on Zaheer. There have however been some good signs from Ishant and Sreesanth to show they are back in form. Both teams have equally testing times ahead of them. Harsha also hit the nail on the head when talking about the drawbacks of a two test series. It seems we were robbed of a climax to an enthralling series.

  • shashankvaish on October 15, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    for india to win in rsa,we need viru n sachin to be in top shape n the pace trio of zak,sree n ishant in roaring form....we hv a far better chance to win this time as a lot of our players hv gud experience of playin well in sa thanxxx to ipl n clt20

    as far as ashes is concerned england dont hv enough in them to upstage the aussies in their own backyard.....only hope is kp n swann....anderson is an ordinary bowler when ball is nt swinging,broad is ordinary everywhere n finn well he will be under lots of pressure....so aussies shud win it comfortably

  • crimsonbull on October 15, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    I am an India fan. We need 4 good young fast bowlers who won't break down so often. In peace preapre for war. hackneyed but true.

  • mLv1 on October 15, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    I usually love reading Harsha's articles but this one was an exception as there was a lot of negativity when he talks about the Indian team..weren't the 2 games and the past 2 years convincing enough to show India ARE playing tests like no.1 that you needed a 3rd test? Disappointing article!

  • on October 15, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    nicely analyzed and written. There is no doubt Oz are great fighters and i'm kind of happy to see on the receiving end. this would teach us the lessons on fighting spirit. i don't think any other country including India has that kind of attitude.

  • knowledge_eater on October 15, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    A last test in Kolkata would have been perfect. There must be at least 3 tests. Peace

  • TATTUs on October 15, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Last para was the important one. All other stuff has been said umpteen times.

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  • TATTUs on October 15, 2010, 3:34 GMT

    Last para was the important one. All other stuff has been said umpteen times.

  • knowledge_eater on October 15, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    A last test in Kolkata would have been perfect. There must be at least 3 tests. Peace

  • on October 15, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    nicely analyzed and written. There is no doubt Oz are great fighters and i'm kind of happy to see on the receiving end. this would teach us the lessons on fighting spirit. i don't think any other country including India has that kind of attitude.

  • mLv1 on October 15, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    I usually love reading Harsha's articles but this one was an exception as there was a lot of negativity when he talks about the Indian team..weren't the 2 games and the past 2 years convincing enough to show India ARE playing tests like no.1 that you needed a 3rd test? Disappointing article!

  • crimsonbull on October 15, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    I am an India fan. We need 4 good young fast bowlers who won't break down so often. In peace preapre for war. hackneyed but true.

  • shashankvaish on October 15, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    for india to win in rsa,we need viru n sachin to be in top shape n the pace trio of zak,sree n ishant in roaring form....we hv a far better chance to win this time as a lot of our players hv gud experience of playin well in sa thanxxx to ipl n clt20

    as far as ashes is concerned england dont hv enough in them to upstage the aussies in their own backyard.....only hope is kp n swann....anderson is an ordinary bowler when ball is nt swinging,broad is ordinary everywhere n finn well he will be under lots of pressure....so aussies shud win it comfortably

  • boris6491 on October 15, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    The only writer on cricinfo I follow religiously has again delivered a fine article. Australia has always been praised for instilling faith into players by giving them extended runs in the team. In the last few years, this has been the main source of criticism. As Harsha pointed out, the decline of Hussey and the stalling in Clarke's development into Australia's premier batsman as well as the constant faith in an ever inconsistent Marcus North and Nathan Hauritz who does not seem up to the task are all cases which support this criticism. I will be fascinated to see how India though manage in South Africa considering that their seam attack shoulders completely on Zaheer. There have however been some good signs from Ishant and Sreesanth to show they are back in form. Both teams have equally testing times ahead of them. Harsha also hit the nail on the head when talking about the drawbacks of a two test series. It seems we were robbed of a climax to an enthralling series.

  • on October 15, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    I hope Australia don't fade away like WI . We need good competitive cricket nations to keep the cricket alive .

  • on October 15, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    "With 478 before them in Bangalore, they played for a win ..."

    Honestly speaking, India didn't play to win in the first innings. Remember how slow Vijay was in the first innings ? It was a blessing in disguise that they got all out before crossing 500. If India had gone on to score 550 or more this match would probably have ended in a draw.

    Dhoni was right - Bowlers won the match for India . They bowled well in the 2nd innings. It started to reverse so early.

  • kapilesh23 on October 15, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    'Australia did better than 80% here and were still down 0-2',i really liked this point .i couldn't agree more.