October 16, 2010

A team with remarkable belief

India's performances in the second innings of Tests are indicative of how the team has progressed since Sydney 2008
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Sachin Tendulkar's paddle-sweep off Nathan Hauritz to seal the series 2-0 against Australia is a moment India and their fans will cherish and look back to often. For one, for a change the chase was set up by two youngsters, who could be the future of the team, and in the winning frame were two veterans, Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, who didn't often have batsmen finishing what they left unfinished in their younger days.

More importantly, it reminded one of the same shot from the same batsman to finish off a chase of 387 in Chennai less than two years ago. Between those two paddle-sweeps, India have successfully chased more than 200 on two occasions, nearly doubling their tally of such wins.

Since Sydney in 2008, which is considered a turning point of sorts for this team, India haven't lost a Test batting fourth. Over this period they have drawn once batting fourth, twice after having fallen behind by big margins in the first innings, three times after having conceded more than 500 in the first innings of the match; and they have come back to level four series.

The results haven't been a fluke: this team - the Test team, not the limited-overs one - has remarkable belief in their abilities. It says a lot about their mental strength, which more than anything has been their hallmark over the last two or three years. Except for the 2000-01 home series against Australia, when India elevated themselves to a completely different space, it is difficult to remember a time when they refused to lose Test matches on so many occasions in so short a span of time.

Perhaps that is why MS Dhoni, the captain, made it a point to credit the team even without being asked. After Bangalore, he said, "One good thing in both the Test matches, even though the last-innings targets were not huge, was that there was pressure on both the sides. Ultimately it was a close finish in both the games. You may look at this scorecard and say this was an easy win, but still there was nervousness in the dressing room."

The subconscious shift in the thinking is hard to not notice. Targets of 216 and 207 are now not considered "huge", never mind that India have scored more to win Tests only on six occasions.

The other pleasing aspect has been that everybody has contributed. If Virender Sehwag has set up wins, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar have been superb in fourth innings, and Gautam Gambhir and Rahul Dravid have done their bit in saving matches. The bowlers, injured and often not the best possible combinations, have managed to be heroes every time India have fallen behind in series. Be it Abhimanyu Mithun and Pragyan Ojha toiling away in Sri Lanka, Zaheer Khan showing his amazing skills with the old ball on flat pitches, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth finding inspirational spells against the run of play, or Harbhajan Singh picking up the last few wickets in Kolkata with the clock ticking away loudly, they have managed to take 20 wickets on 15 occasions since Sydney.

All the players credit the team of Dhoni and Gary Kirsten - especially the coach - for the mental turnaround. They say that the management has put the team in a happy place from where they can give their best.

The same cannot always be said of the people who decide the schedules. For it is also true that India have let themselves into situations where they have to dig deep in almost every series. It doesn't help that fitness and workload management remain issues. Mohali was the first time, across formats, that India played a first-choice XI since Sri Lanka visited last year. It can't be a mere coincidence, then, that India remain slow starters, beginning two series over the said period with innings defeats and one with a ten-wicket loss. That they remain a fighting No. 1 side, as opposed to a dominating one.

These are interesting times for the Indian Test side. They sit pretty at the top of the ICC rankings, so pretty that there are chances they might stay there even if they lose all their upcoming Tests in South Africa. Still, the ranking will feel hollow if India falter over the next year.

Lots will happen. There will be the World Cup distraction, the big three in the middle order will start making farewell plans, and there will be four overseas tours: South Africa, the West Indies, England and Australia. As it stands, India have beaten Australia in a series at home and lost away, drawn with South Africa at home and lost away, beaten England both home and away, won against Sri Lanka at home and drawn away. The next year will be a great chance to tick those unticked boxes, but it will need all the character India have shown over the last two years. One thing, though, is sure: not many will be writing this team off.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Proteas123 on October 19, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    hindh88 - 'SA always choke in big moments'. That is a big statement to make considering India's poor record against SA. There is no evidence to support what you are saying in tests, but if you want to under estimate SA, go ahead. Remember test and T20s are not played on the same pitches and in tests you can bowl more short stuff. Last time India was in SA, SA won after being 1-0 down, which rarely happens. Maybe it is india who need to worry about choking. By the way SA lost in league stage and not the semi final, check your facts.

  • Hindh on October 19, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    @wolver first of all this is tests and SA always choke in big moments. U said India suspect of short balls in t20" but in tests u can leave the ball alone or smash it. FYI india won their T20 world cup in SA in which SA choked against india in semi finals.

  • Proteas123 on October 19, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Gopal Krishna Sharma Nandyala - You are right, SA has wasted some of their chances but that does not change the fact that India plays too many home games and that has inflated their ranking. MasterClass - SA are not chokers in tests and not against India. SA is in fact a fighting team that is never out of it. Once you are on top of India, they normally fold. Hopefully this time it will be different. SA batting is not fragile, man for man as good as india and probably better in SA. Ind batting supect against pace, look at last two 20/20 world cups. India could not beat SA in India, so how come you think they can win comfortably in SA? msagar - One pole in an article does not count for much. You are embarassing your self comparing Sachin to the Don, Better avg, strike rate and overall player, no comparrison. Kallis is better than Sachin, almost as good bat and good bowler, check the stats. Agree Sachin is best indian batsman although even this can be debated.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 19, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    SFay-Developing , encouraging, coaching and team selection from a population of less than 23 million will be much much easier compared to the population of India in terms of manpower, money and space requirements. Inspite of that the performance of India in cricket and in other sports is very good. Aus media was praising the facilities provided at CWG, 2010. Aus have no problems of huge population or scarcity of land area and food or life threatening dangers like border terrorism/war. So in the absence of such adverse conditions, it is not an extraordinary achievement that Aus have won 4 world cups or taken 1st position in CWG-it should have won more cups and medals.

  • MrMMJ on October 19, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Australia was #1 for so many years in test matches as per the ICC ranking system. The same ranking system says that India is #1 team as of now. Where is the problem. Since when we have another ranking system which says Undisputed or Disputed #1 or #2. The team which does good in a particular given time gets the better marks and gets the #1. India is doing better then its peers for last 2 years and #1 ranking just confirms that. I have no doubt that India is no. 1 at this moment as I had no doubt about Australia for so many years. There are no different rules or parameters for other teams in ICC's ranking system.

  • msagar on October 19, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    @ Nick. You claim to be an Aussie and you seem to be confused about Sachin's achievements mate. Ron Reed wrote an article in Herald Sun in Australia titled "Tendulkar second to Don" - read it. The newspaper also carried out a poll on "Is Tendulkar the second best batsman of all time" and an overwhelming over 85% of Aussies answered 'Yes'. You must obviously be in the minority 15% of Aussies mate. Reference: Heraldsun- Look under sport/cricket on "Tendulkar second to Don" Also, because it was an Australian poll it was so titled - if it was done by someone independent the poll would have been "Is Tendulkar the greatest batsman" and the answer would still have been 85% in the affirmative. Good luck mate.

  • Hindh on October 19, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    India what a series win .....chak de india.....

  • MasterClass on October 19, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Anyone who doesn't think that Zak, Ishant and Shree or 3rd pace bowler will be a torrid handful for the Saffers has zero understanding of cricket. So while Styne and Co will be tough, Zak and Co won't be any less. Add to that Bhajji, Ojha (or hopefully Ashwin) and you've got a potent bowling arsenal that should have no problem taking 20 SA wickets, given their FRAGILE batting line-up. On the other hand India has a ROCK-SOLID batting line-up. Besides Saffers are CHOKERS!!! And India are the new CLOSE-OUT CHAMPIONS!!! BTW SA has a few low, slow and turning wickets as well, except they don't have have any spinners that can exploit those conditions. The odds are not looking good for the Saffers!

  • Stevo_ on October 18, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    @memoriesofthepast "India is 2nd highest in terms of medal count and will improve further in future" and your point is what ? Australia was 1st in the medal count with a population of less than 23 million.

  • Stevo_ on October 18, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    @cskfangg

    India is the "best team ever" ? Now that is a stretch for even the most one-eyed Indian fan . .

  • Proteas123 on October 19, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    hindh88 - 'SA always choke in big moments'. That is a big statement to make considering India's poor record against SA. There is no evidence to support what you are saying in tests, but if you want to under estimate SA, go ahead. Remember test and T20s are not played on the same pitches and in tests you can bowl more short stuff. Last time India was in SA, SA won after being 1-0 down, which rarely happens. Maybe it is india who need to worry about choking. By the way SA lost in league stage and not the semi final, check your facts.

  • Hindh on October 19, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    @wolver first of all this is tests and SA always choke in big moments. U said India suspect of short balls in t20" but in tests u can leave the ball alone or smash it. FYI india won their T20 world cup in SA in which SA choked against india in semi finals.

  • Proteas123 on October 19, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Gopal Krishna Sharma Nandyala - You are right, SA has wasted some of their chances but that does not change the fact that India plays too many home games and that has inflated their ranking. MasterClass - SA are not chokers in tests and not against India. SA is in fact a fighting team that is never out of it. Once you are on top of India, they normally fold. Hopefully this time it will be different. SA batting is not fragile, man for man as good as india and probably better in SA. Ind batting supect against pace, look at last two 20/20 world cups. India could not beat SA in India, so how come you think they can win comfortably in SA? msagar - One pole in an article does not count for much. You are embarassing your self comparing Sachin to the Don, Better avg, strike rate and overall player, no comparrison. Kallis is better than Sachin, almost as good bat and good bowler, check the stats. Agree Sachin is best indian batsman although even this can be debated.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 19, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    SFay-Developing , encouraging, coaching and team selection from a population of less than 23 million will be much much easier compared to the population of India in terms of manpower, money and space requirements. Inspite of that the performance of India in cricket and in other sports is very good. Aus media was praising the facilities provided at CWG, 2010. Aus have no problems of huge population or scarcity of land area and food or life threatening dangers like border terrorism/war. So in the absence of such adverse conditions, it is not an extraordinary achievement that Aus have won 4 world cups or taken 1st position in CWG-it should have won more cups and medals.

  • MrMMJ on October 19, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Australia was #1 for so many years in test matches as per the ICC ranking system. The same ranking system says that India is #1 team as of now. Where is the problem. Since when we have another ranking system which says Undisputed or Disputed #1 or #2. The team which does good in a particular given time gets the better marks and gets the #1. India is doing better then its peers for last 2 years and #1 ranking just confirms that. I have no doubt that India is no. 1 at this moment as I had no doubt about Australia for so many years. There are no different rules or parameters for other teams in ICC's ranking system.

  • msagar on October 19, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    @ Nick. You claim to be an Aussie and you seem to be confused about Sachin's achievements mate. Ron Reed wrote an article in Herald Sun in Australia titled "Tendulkar second to Don" - read it. The newspaper also carried out a poll on "Is Tendulkar the second best batsman of all time" and an overwhelming over 85% of Aussies answered 'Yes'. You must obviously be in the minority 15% of Aussies mate. Reference: Heraldsun- Look under sport/cricket on "Tendulkar second to Don" Also, because it was an Australian poll it was so titled - if it was done by someone independent the poll would have been "Is Tendulkar the greatest batsman" and the answer would still have been 85% in the affirmative. Good luck mate.

  • Hindh on October 19, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    India what a series win .....chak de india.....

  • MasterClass on October 19, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Anyone who doesn't think that Zak, Ishant and Shree or 3rd pace bowler will be a torrid handful for the Saffers has zero understanding of cricket. So while Styne and Co will be tough, Zak and Co won't be any less. Add to that Bhajji, Ojha (or hopefully Ashwin) and you've got a potent bowling arsenal that should have no problem taking 20 SA wickets, given their FRAGILE batting line-up. On the other hand India has a ROCK-SOLID batting line-up. Besides Saffers are CHOKERS!!! And India are the new CLOSE-OUT CHAMPIONS!!! BTW SA has a few low, slow and turning wickets as well, except they don't have have any spinners that can exploit those conditions. The odds are not looking good for the Saffers!

  • Stevo_ on October 18, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    @memoriesofthepast "India is 2nd highest in terms of medal count and will improve further in future" and your point is what ? Australia was 1st in the medal count with a population of less than 23 million.

  • Stevo_ on October 18, 2010, 21:56 GMT

    @cskfangg

    India is the "best team ever" ? Now that is a stretch for even the most one-eyed Indian fan . .

  • Stevo_ on October 18, 2010, 21:55 GMT

    @LivingDead

    Bradman batted on uncovered pitches, I don't think a turner in India would have given him too much of a headache

  • cricbuff11 on October 18, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    I agree with some comments that India is not a dominating number 1 yet (like WI and Aus were). To be that, I need to win more consistently in foreign countries. India have staked claimed by being consistent and showing self-belief in past few years. Let us see if they can crank up a notch. Barring the partisan bickering from both sides, I think it will be a delicious battle (not only for an Indian fan like me, but for any lover of true cricket, which is test cricket) to see the fabs go against the Steyn and Co on Bouncy SA pitches. I do hope they can rise up to the challenge and be a true number one. What a way it will be for the Sachin and co to end their careers by finally winning in SA. The final frontier anybody??? People fasten your seats belts!!!!! Go Indians!!!!

  • on October 18, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    @Sada, hats off man!! See Bradman is also dragged into the conversation. Sick people!!

    @Wolver, just check how SA got to no 1. It was when England beat Aus in an ashes series, they weren't even playing a test match at that point of time. They're a mighty fine team and presently the only ones to pose a challenge to India. They had their chances but didn't capitalize, India did. India is the deserved no. 1. Face it.

    @Timmy, exactly what bias do u find in this article? Its about India's performances in the last 3 years (almost) while batting in the fourth innings. Take the corresponding numbers for other teams and you'll see the point.

  • LivingDead on October 18, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    @ Nick : When given a "luxury" of batting on "flat pitches" (read turning tracks in the subcontinent), everybody know what your little Ricky can accomplish. He has a laughable average in your so-called "flat pitches" :D :D. And may be Bradman never played on turning tracks in India, else he would have had a regular average! Just admit it, Aussies were NEVER able to dominate India! Good luck for the Ashes.:D :D

  • VK10 on October 18, 2010, 16:50 GMT

    Nick - batting on lifeless pitches and against weak nations ... right! 1. So, has Ponting killed on these pitches since '07? Ave = a whopping 44! 2. And Bradman didn't play weak nations? He milked Ind at ave= 178+ in '46-'47!

  • AnkushS on October 18, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    Indian pitches are not lifeless. lot of great batsmen have lower averages in India then there overall career averages..( Ponting being the prime example) . It is only that there is a notion that bouncy pitches are good pitches created by few commentators. Had australia had "turning pitches" and india "bouncy pitches"..i am sure lot of commentators would have said ...oo..the real skill is to play turning balls and not the ones which are bang bang.

  • on October 18, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    @Wolver: remember Gwalior 2010..Steyn 10-0-89-0...Parnell 10-0-95-2...r they really waiting for the lil champion to shatter them apart once again?? @Nick: Don Bradman never went out to bat with a billion people watching him & expecting a century...he had an average of 99.94 when cricket was known mainly to only two nations..

  • diri on October 18, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    India wont be able to beat Sa at home....thats a fact.....Steyn and morkel gonna run through them

  • Jabulani on October 18, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    @Abhay Sinha - Get your facts right before you make comments like, "...South Africa has not won a single test series in India...." what do you call the white wash SA dished out to India in 2000? The facts are that South Africa has won one series in India 2-0 (2) in '99/'00; lost two test series in India; 1-2 (3) in '96/'97 and 0-1 (2) in '04/'05; and there have been two drawn series 1-1 (3) in '07/'08 and 1-1 in '09/'10.

    India has never won or drawn a series in South Africa, South Africa has won all four of them; 1-0 (4) in '92/'93, 2-0 (3) in '96/'97, 1-0 (2) in '01/'02, 2-1 (3) in '06/'07 which was India's ONLY TEST WIN in SA.

  • Durgasharan on October 18, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Please, please, please, correct the title. It is bad english. Remarkable belief does not make sense in this context. What is the editor doing?

  • cskfangg on October 18, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    It clearly shows that Aussie's cant digest the fact that Inidia is the best team ever.. When West Indies dominated cricket they always abuse WI players and praising their own.. And now they realise that they are lost their game of cricket completly.so started to abuse Indian players.. But Everyone knows that Aussies's are now like Barking dogs at Indian Mountain.. And Mr.Nick...WTF?....R u a Racist?..u little hypocrite....

  • Proteas123 on October 18, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    India don't deserve to be number one yet. Try and win in SA. With Kirsten and Fab 3, this is probably the best chance but considering the very poor record in SA, it is highly unlikely. Comparing India with WI and Aus champion teams is being delusional and overly patriotic. When SA was number 1, we never claimed this. Dominate world cricket for 5 years then you can talk. This of couse won't happen as Steyn and Co are waiting.

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

    Nick....Mate...sorry that India is not a great cricketing nation......nor a a great athletic nation and not a good administrative nation...and I and u can go on finding out flaws.. thanks we are a happy about your concern.

    Just answer one thing.... It took 8 years for Australia to be a world power house in cricket..as remarked by Mark Taylor (from 1987 to 1995 beating West Indies in West Indies) and you were dethroned in 2007 I suppose... You claim that you annihilated India in WC 2003 ...accepted.....Why in your right senses can't u accept that we have been there on top of the tree for one and a half year now?

    You guys didn't become powerhouse overnight.... i Remember Dean Jones dropping catches, Boon and Co. retiring, Ponting and Bevan and Co. debuting in 1995 or thereabout....

    So 13 years at the top made you realise that you will never come down.....?

  • on October 18, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    i agree ponting has struggled a bit in recent years, as his average in that period suggests. i guess he doesn't have the luxury of batting on lifeless pitches all that often and australia doesn't fixture many games against the weak nations, which invariably would have padded his numbers. bradman was clearly the real little master. he is not only the greatest cricketer of all time, but the greatest athlete in any sport. he accumulated his runs on uncovered pitches. truly a phenomenal effort, which i don't envisage being matched.

  • on October 18, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    2929paul, the ratings are a fair reflection of where the teams are. Learn to live with it.

  • Hindh on October 18, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    Aussies and nick are trying hard to find excuses and they r not getting enough....

  • Mark00 on October 18, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Please fix the title. It's bad English. A lot of young people read Cricinfo and it teaches them bad English.

    Now they'll go around saying things like "wow, federer has great belief."

  • MasterClass on October 18, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    @Nick: HAH! What would a Greek know of cricket anyway. Only good for creating international monitory crisis by wasteful spending and black-mailing world for dole-out.

  • TimmyF_23 on October 18, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    What an unbelievably bias aticle. India are going well at the moment, but there is no need to scream it from the rooftops with articles like this. Indian fans should never EVER comment on the bias of articles from other nationalities. Constantly i see Indian fans commenting on Ian Chappels articles saying how bias they are. Look at your own. At least Chappel knows what his talking about...

  • zxaar on October 18, 2010, 1:12 GMT

    @ Nick Giannakis, so you think every one should just throw his wickets and perform like ponting with last two years average of 30s. Is this what you are saying. Do you have problems with bradman too because he averaged 99 and held record for highest number of centuries for decades. Do you think like sachin he also played for records. Off course you can not slate your Aussie player. I am sure you have heard the word Hypocrite many times in your life and well versed with its meaning.

  • CricFan78 on October 17, 2010, 23:24 GMT

    Nick is an Aussie and on top of that a celtics fan .... you expect him to be a sore loser but anything else.

  • leonine1 on October 17, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    I feel extremely sorry for Nick. He has clearly lost it after the 2-0 whitewash. Ponting's captaincy record in India reads - P7 W0 (read Zilch) L5. This is how India's record in Australia used to be 10-15 years ago. The boot is on the other foot now. You have to read this, mate - http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/481715.html And as far as Tendulkar is concerned, the longevity factor should really not be talked about here. I mean, 403 runs in a 2 match series. C'mon man! He has once again regained his position as the best batsman in the world. Besides Lara, can you name a more complete batsman to have blessed us with such magnificent stroke-play in the last 15-20 years. And please don't speak of Ponting here. Let's not mention someone who averages a palty 27 on those FLAT Indian wickets. By the way, the Indian pitches don't seem that flat to me when I look at Ponting's records here :D :D :D

  • rattoir on October 17, 2010, 22:00 GMT

    A team with remarkable belief? Mental Strength? Are you kidding?

    How do you explain all of the collapses in the batting?

    How do you explain them particularly against one of the most inexperienced bowling lineups that has toured India?

    India always relies on talented individuals rather than teamwork which is why they will never dominate.

  • batmannrobin on October 17, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    @Nick- It s very obvious that u r not able to digest d fact that Oz have been whitewashed n India r No-1. "i would like to issue some praise to tendulkar"- Really?? We all know wat Don, warney, Hadlee, Sobers, Viv Richards, Allan Donald,Martin crowe, Geoff Boycott, Ian Botham, Muralidharan, Gavaskar ( To name a few) have spoken abt Sach.Names which know abt cricket better than many. So we dont really care if Mr. Nick praises Sach r not.Neither r v worried abt what Nick thinks motivates Sach. " I m sick of seeing Sach scoring so heavily against us. Glad he s not playing" - Aussie captain for this series. MJ Clarke. So watever may motivate him , the very sight of him induces fear in the Oz camp !! 12 yrs back - One Mr. Shane Warne spoke of how Sach caused him nightmares n 12 years hence Aussies still fear him!! n we all know Mr Warney n Clarkey have played against Sach n know better abt him than Mr Nick !! Good luck Sire !

  • on October 17, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    Talking about belief. I saw one of the most outrageous innings by Razzaq in the Lahore Lions vs Karachi dolphins cup final. This belief should indeed be with every guy of the team since little drops of water make the sea. Here it was live : http://www.mixupdate.com/?p=1575

  • 2929paul on October 17, 2010, 18:50 GMT

    The good thing about the ICC rankings of course is that they're a load of rubbish, just like all these sports ranking systems. Whilst we can often agree on the best team or batter or bowler at any given time, based on form or results, e.g. Tendulkar, Aus, India or whatever (or in tennis Federer, in golf Woods etc) at various times, the ranking sytems are just a basis for negotiation (argument?) and for the teams currently placed 2nd to 5th in both the Test and ODI rankings, there's so little to choose between them, it's impossible to separate them. Just to show how bizarre the system is, England have won their last five ODI series, including SA away and Aus but lie 5th in the table whilst SA lie 2nd and Aus are comfortably top. I'm not going to pretend England are the best but it just proves that there are lies, damned lies, statistics and rankings! Stats and rankings PROVE nothing.

  • on October 17, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    @Nick, just watch the last two series between India and Australia in Australia. The only place where India hasn't done well is Melbourne with its slow surfaces. Now I hope you dont say Melbourne is not slow,even Ponting has admitted to that fact. India dominated both series, with only Sydney standing between them and the series win on both occasions. The first one, it was really difficult to get a result on that flat track in 2003-04, but India tried hard to win by exerting the pressure of runs and almost won in the end. The second occasion in 2007-08 is well documented, need not discuss on that. Your assumption that Indians cant win a series in Australia is just a myth. Same goes with ur assertion that Indians are flat track bullies. If anything its the Aussie batsmen who've been proven to be so, but that's for another day, I dont want to bring down players from another country just to support mine. Hope you got the point :)

  • Kaushik_Ray on October 17, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    hello everybody.. lets get this straight.. there is no point in comparing India and Australia at this point of time... India may be the current number 1, but wait till we keep that laurel for some time.. its too early to be too excited... Australia has domiated world cricket for a long period of time in Tests and ODIs.. remember post 1992 there has not been a single world cup final that has not featured Australia...with venues ranging from the subcontinents in 1996, to England in1999, to South Africa in 2003 and West Indies in 2007.. in the tests as well let us not forget that Australia has won most series home and away... they are going through a change of guard at the moment.. let us not forget that the day is not far that Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman all retire within a span of 2 years.. they have been the pillars of most of our victories..

  • parasdua on October 17, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    @Nick: Wow mate, you do have a lot of don't-know-what-to-do-in-life-so-let-us-deride-the-Indian-cricket-team-and-its-fans time on your hands! Let us all bow our heads to thou for we've all been blessed by thy presence. Please bestow us thy blessings for you conquer all and are the insufferable-know-it-all! Thank you god, we've all achieved nirvana by meeting thy incarnation!

  • on October 17, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    Its understood Nick is only interested to prove Aussie gr8s and Indians as miserly on cricket field n anything else.... let him do it if it satisfies him.... why is anyone so interested in proving just another aussie wrong?? For god sake, he is agreeing aussies have done below thier standards in c'wealth n India is bettering their past standards... its an upward curve for India and downward for aussies currently (in c'wealth n in cricket field too now).. he is agreeing.... Live in present man.... He likes to live on past.... WHY THE HELL ARE EVERYONE SO EAGER TO PROVE HIM ANYTHING??

  • on October 17, 2010, 16:54 GMT

    makes me laugh...

    let the aussies live in the past laurels... aus WAS a no.1 team.. and I am happy at present - India IS the no.1 team now....

    Glad that no one is bringing the Great Bradman to defend themselves........

  • on October 17, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    i would like to issue some praise to tendulkar. i think he is going to continue to break records stemming from his longevity in the game. he is clearly motivated by statistics and considers them crucial in how he will be remembered by future generations. i think the only disappointing thing is his staunchest fans are somewhat isolated from him at indian venues due to ten-foot fences. i understand why they are required, but it istill disappointing. it also deprives young indian fans the opportunity to lean over the boundary and interact with their idols and get signatures like what occurs in australia.

  • iamgroot on October 17, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    In 2004 when Aussie team won that "final frontier" 2-1 there was one match in Chennai.. Australia was bowled out for 235 and India made 376..and Australia replied with 369..and set a target of 229 out of which sehwag and yuvraj (make shift opener) knocked of 19 and left with 210 get on final day of test match... guess what happened? it rained on the final and fifth day ...preventing India from winning .it could have gone in Aus way too but the moment was with India. It could have been interesting had the final day was played which could have gone in India's way...but it kept raining heavily..it made difference to that series..giving Australia the series.. and the final frontier.. but it was close and Aus was lucky enough to survive that day due to rain.. .and after that Aus came twice and lost 4 times in India.. and all those 4 times Ponting was captain.. and dhoni was captain for India.. now we got chance to win in Aus and SA ..in forthcoming series.. so that will prove everything..

  • Cric_Is_Fun on October 17, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    My Ashes prediction: It would be an even contest with 2-2 draw. Ponting would renounce captaincy saying " I need to focus on my batting ...". Clark would lose his place after a lackluster performance. And finally, Hussey, who would score at least two centuries, would become the new captain. That would dawn the era of Mr. Cricket in Australian cricket.

  • Nampally on October 17, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Hey Guys, let us forget Nick Giannaikis and focus more on Indian Cricket. This is Sidarth Monga's column, Not Nick's.India has beaten Aystralia in all departments of the game after losing toss in both the tests and batting fourth with one of their aces severely handicapped with bad back. Let us see where we stand today and stay in the present. It does not matter what Nick thinks. India is #1 and Australia is #5 in the ICC rankings for the tests. That is a fact and will remain so. Also India at its full strength without injuries is a tough team to beat in Cricket.Yes Australia is a great sporting Nation despite its small population and deserves lot of credit for its sporting success in swimming, field hockey, Rugby, Athletics and so on. But here we are talking about the recent test series.It is best to stick to the subject matter rather than wander away.

  • The_Professor on October 17, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    Dear Nick Giannakis (and the rest of you who are arguing over past/ trivial things), this article refers to Team-India's present character/ mindset. NOT of years bygone. Certainly, all teams have done things in the past that they can be proud of and ashamed of eg. claim a dropped catch or underarm bowling etc. However, let's all LIVE IN THE PRESENT - W.I. was the best team (in 70's & 80's)...then Aust was the best team...NOW India IS the best team! W.I. and Aust had bragging rights before...now it's India's turn. Nick G, pls give credit where it's due and just say 'YES, India is the best team'....much in the way that we gave W.I. and Aust credit when they were the best. As for population, that is irrelevant - it's eleven against eleven on the field...a large poll can be a disadvantage as talent can be lost in the mix...we can go into arguments about money, infrastructure and proper coaches/ training facilities etc. Bottom line, India IS the best team, yeah? Cheers mate.

  • uday_narayanan on October 17, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    @Nick ... The catch you are talking about that Ganguly claimed, was that given out. NO?So how in the world does that compare to what happened in Sydney. I am not talking about how honesty of the players. I am talking about the right thing to do. Although Ganguly claimed the catch, the batsman was given not out which was the right thing to do. Not exactly what happened in Sydney.

  • on October 17, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    @ Nick "making excuses is not a common theme within our culture" - well said mate... now you don't make excuses for losing.... 2-0

    eagerly waitiing for the ashes... Can aussies claim back 4th place?

  • on October 17, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    @Aniruddha- i never said it was unsporting to doctor pitches to suit the home team. i said india can't win a test series in australia, which they never have. australia have gone to india and won there on your low, turning dustbowls. i think why you guys constantly come unstuck on our wickets is as much to do with a lack of mental fortitude than it is with technique.

  • on October 17, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    @vparisa- mcgrath probably struggled on your flat tracks because he had a career average of like six. Australia isn't good at boxing, shooting and archery? We have produced numerous world champions in recent years. The boxers you see at the Olympics etc are competing at the amateur level. We've won golds in recent editions of the Olympics in both archery and shooting. In fact, we have one of the premier marksmen in the world in Michael diamond. You might want to educate yourself on his career before conjuring up an ignorant rebuttal.

  • on October 17, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    @uday- you mention we apparently claimed an illegitimate catch in the '08 sydney test. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. You may want to locate the vision of the '03 world cup final (actually, maybe you don't. You guys were comprehensively annihilated) when ganguly produced a despicable act and tried to claim a catch that fell well short of him in the slips. I also mention the difference in populations because you would think the huge gulf in our respective player pools is a huge handicap for us. You can't comprehend this logic?

  • on October 17, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    @memoriesofthepast- you try and give the impression that Australia were lucky by claiming three consecutive world cups because they won 1 off finals in an unpredictable format. The fact we have done this in an unpredictable format only emphasies our dominance in the sport. In fact, we have an unbeaten streak of like 29 matches or something in cricket's premier tournament. Australia just brushed everybody aside with complete disdain. It is good you're very happy with your nation's achievements at the cwg but from an aussie perspective it was a very mediocre display. You mention the washing machine incident but there is no concrete evidence that occurred, hence why there was no charges laid. The story came from an article in the times of india which is notorious for constant aussie bashing, because these stories prove hugly popular with their ill-informed readers.

  • sugumarrising on October 17, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    FITTING REPLY FOR MR.DINIDU SANJEER WK, PLEASE MAKE COMMENTS WITH SOME LOGIC, SRILANKA HAS NO RIGHT TO QUESTION INDIA. BCOZ FIRST OF ALL THEY ARE SO JEALOUS ABOUT INDIA BEING THE NO.1 TEAM, THEY CAN'T DIGEST INDIA AS THE BEST TEAM, AM GOING TO PROVIDE YOU ONE OF THE IMPORTANT STATISTICS WHETHER YOU ARE A INDIAN FAN, ANTI-INDIAN FAN OR NEUTRAL FAN: {INDIA IS THE ONLY CRICKET NATION IN THE WORLD TO HAVE WON ALL THE ICC EVENTS TEST, ODI, T20, NO OTHER TEAM HAS ACHIEVED THIS FEAT} IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT CHECK IT OUT, FIRST OTHER TEAMS SHOULD ACHIEVE THIS FEAT AFTERWARDS THEY CAN QUESTION INDIA'S TEST SUPREMACY, AND SRILANKAN CRICKET HAS NO RIGHT TO QUESTION INDIA THEY HAVE ACHIEVED NOTHING WHEN COMPARED TO INDIA, EVEN AUSTRALIA CAN'T QUESTION OUR SUPREMACY, FIRST YOU GUYS ACHIEVE THESE FEATS AFTERWARDS YOU CAN TALK ABOUT INDIA WINNING A SERIES ABROAD.

  • iamgroot on October 17, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @Is_Dhoni_Lucky, @Kaushik_Ray, @Kreacher_Rocks==== hats off to u guys for making some sensible and thoughtful comments here.. Excellent guys keep it up.. hats off to ur pinpoint observations and fitting reply to those critics who talk bad about Indian Cricket...Cheers!..

  • Nampally on October 17, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    One of the Aussie fan Nick, appears to think that the India waited on the sidelines till the retirement of their own greats and then rose to the top. Even if that is true what is wrong with that? They say every Dog has its Day.Well McGrath, Warne, Hayden & Gilchrist had their day. Now it is time for the Indians to have their day. It is quite likely India might have the bench strength to stretch their #1 reign to a decade. There are some excellent batsmen to replace the "FAB 4". These include openers + middle order batting in Vijay, Mukund, Dhawan, Kohli, Raina, Sharma, Rehane, Pujara, Tiwary. There are also excellent bowlers to replace Harbhajan and Kumble like Ashwin, Ojha, Chawla and young pacemen like Unadkat, Mithun and Balaji.So Mr. Nick, please note that the Aussies bench strength was not strong to replace their greats but India has. Also India produced 4 of the greatest batsmen world has seen in Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman.Aussies were unable to do so even when at #1.

  • on October 17, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    I like the point which said that we now need to be a dominant No1 rather than a fighting No1..... We have now replacements whenever someone gets injured....For Example Vijay and Pujara, who had excellent games might not even play the next game when Gambhir and VVS comes back!! sreesanth bowled well and was luckless not to have many wickets...Ojha is bowling well and keeping Mishra waiting in the wings...Zak comes out of nowhere to produce amazing spells...HArbhajan is finally bowling slowly again. Gambhir and Sehwag are one of the most destructive opening pairs, absolutely reminds me of Hayden and Langer in their prime....and I still havent mentioned Sachin, Dravid or Dhoni in my comment so far...just shows hw strong a test team we are! :)

  • memoriesofthepast on October 17, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Nick G-india started playing cricket much after Aus did, won the 1983 world cup and even the 20-20 world cup in 2007 inspite of having a huge population to manage and problems in providing sport facilities or coaching to such huge size and challenges in selecting the team from a large no. of candidates-aus dont face such problems and naturally Aus gets it easy to win 3 such titles of an unpredictable format whose result is decided by just one final-in such circumstances Aus should have won 3 more world cups. In CWG 2010 which is non-cricket event, India is 2nd highest in terms of medal count and will improve further in future. Oz atheletes should stop the culture of hurling down washing machines after their cricket team got white washed by Indian cricket team.

  • Kaushik_Ray on October 17, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    @sunilsahu1701.. i completely disagree with you.. you are saying that Ganguly created the team consisting of Dravid/Laxman/Sachin? I think you need to brush up your memory.. they were already there when Ganguly took over and he only took the credit for Dravid/Laxman/Sachin's performances. He was always there in the dressing room to see these batsmen take India to victory..you say in Ganguly's team there was only Tendulkar and himself? what was Dravid, Laxman, Srinath and Kumble doing?? I hardly remember a test match where Ganguly won the match on the basis of his own performance be it in India or abroad..and where is Yuvraj now and he has never performed in tests and only a handful of ODIs?? apart from Sehwag all the other players brought in by Ganguly are nowhere to be seen. Yuvraj, Kaif, Deep Dasgupta, Debashis Mohanty, Devang Gandhi, and the list goes on. Bhajji is a decent bowler only on Indian dustbowls.. I think that you need to remove your bias...

  • Cric_Is_Fun on October 17, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    One thing our friends from Aus are forgetting is that if Dhoni had won both the toss then India would have handed Ponting $ Co innings defeat in both the matches. The same goes true for the last SL series. India would have won 3-0 if Dhoni had one the toss in the first two matches. So, Ponting and Sanga are lucky to be saved from such disgrace.

  • Kreacher_Rocks on October 17, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    @Nick G - Really? Making excuses is not in the Aussie culture? I wonder why Ponting was whining about England using the 12th man during the Ashes last year. Or why you are whining about a disintegrating wicket where your batsmen lacked the skill or temperament to knock off 104. Or why you are whining about ODIs being a matter of chance in one sentence, then tooting your trumpet about 4 consecutive WC finals appearances in the next sentence. Or why Symonds, Hayden, etc. keep whining about Sydney almost 3 years after the incident got tossed out by a court. Is it that when Oz complains it isn't whining, when others do it is? Three cheers for Aussie double standards! As for Indians waiting for your "legends" to retire, quite a few of them have had disgraceful records against Indians. Indians would have been rather sad to see them go - having them helped boost Indian stats so much! Warne and Gilchrist were bad against India in tests everywhere and Ponting still averages below 30 in India.

  • batmannrobin on October 17, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    @Nick-A classic example of trying 2 deviate from the topic of debate when d fact of matter is India clearly ve been d better side in test cricket against Oz dis decade and are currently No1 and Oz are longing @ 5 behind even Poms.?Per ur statement ' Unpredicatable nature of Odi cricket' - so does that mean d consecutive world cup wins by Oz r just by luck? Any cric buff wud know -Oz from 95-07 were d champions of world cricket. But India, at dmoment r world No 1 n ve been d better test side in contests between d 2 dis decade. U accept it or not. Tats the fact.As if d mohali test had howlers only 4 Oz, even India suffered many dubious decisions.If indians cant play balls when it bounces,Oz cant when it is low n turns!n how s it when Clarke takes 3 in an over @ sydney, he s man wid golden arm n barely a parttimer when he does @ mumbai. D match was won due 2 Lax n Sach runs in d 2nd inn on d samer track.Class players who play equally well on such turners as well as d bouncy tracks in Oz!

  • on October 17, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    @RayShaumik: How can u even say that the 2001 series was GIFTED to INDIA?? You seem to have lost it. You are forgetting laxman and dravid's heroics in the kolkata test.Its a shame to see INDIANS commenting saying the 2001 series was gifted to us.

  • cricconnossieur on October 17, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    If India has been outstanding in Test cricket over the last 5 yrs, it is primarily because of two men--Virender Sehwag, his imperial form in test cricket and VVS Laxamn , solid as a rock.

  • on October 17, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    @Nick Giannakis:

    Australians have always prepared Bouncy tracks like the one in Perth whenever we have toured, and u give us sweet chin music. Its tough for teams in the subcontinent and we take it as a part and parcel of the game. So, when u play to your strengths why cant we prepare spinning tracks where our spinners can bowl loops around your batsmen?? Why isnt it sporting? People in glass houses cant throw sticks and stones.

  • on October 17, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    @Nick, dude after I read your comments, for a second I thought I was reading articles from page 2. Thank you for making me laugh. Please don't stop them, and don't think for a second they are dumb, it's just that your comments are hilarious, although they are not meant to be.

    @sunilsahu1701, No offense intended but, what ever you want to express, please be clear rather than chopping off the words and encrypting them in the from of numbers and abbreviations. Not that doing that is wrong, just that it would be easy for people like me to understand your feelings and opinions.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 17, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    Nick G-Before Mumbai test of 2004, Aus had failed to chase 184 at Adelaide vs WI in 1992-93, failed to chase 143 at Melbourne vs Ind in 1981 and 116 at Sydney vs SA in 1994-95- R these losses due to bad wickets prepared by Aus or due to inept Aus batting in these tests? Clarke got 6 wickets because Mcgrath and Gillepsie failed to get those 6 wickets. Do u think ur Aus cricket board is a cartoon to arrange mickey mouse tournaments like CB series which had best of 3 finals criteria to judge the winner? Aus owe a lot to the tall McGrath's consistent accurate bowling line and length and ability to get quickly the wickets of opponent top-order batsmen. Yet Aus lost the Kolkatta test of 2001- Waugh's team looked much much more embarassed and overawed by the bigstage.

  • HarshaCD on October 17, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    Gangully was a good aggressive captain. Infact a great one. But end of the day you have to say Dhoni is far better (IPL, NO 1 test team, Champions Leaue, T 20 World cup etc.).There is almost nothing he has not achieved in the brief period as captain. I am not an Indian but have great respect for Dhoni. Only minus for him is that he likes to get the whole credit to himself in a subtle way. Saying his team does not have" superstars" was one such comment (What do you call Tendulkar and Sehwag?) But that area too he has addressed along the way and haven`t seen such comments recently.

  • on October 17, 2010, 4:24 GMT

    @Nick, you guys didnt complain because there were decisions against India too (Ojha came to the crease because of a wrong decision against Ishant!). Further both the teams got decisions against them unlike Sydney'08 when about 10 decisions went against India. And yes, BCCI has all the money and they will bully Australia. Learn to live with it. Money is king. Indians can be called flat track bullies if pitches in Australia, England and NewZealand are considered flat.Just look at their records there. What makes you think batting on turning tracks on the last day doesn't require any skill? Australia collapsed for 92 in Mumbai because they didnt have the skill. Come to terms with the fact that Australian reign is over. India may not be the next Aus or WI, especially with so many stars slated to retire in the next 2 years, but right now they are the team to beat. Accept that and move on....

  • Farce-Follower on October 17, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    The arguments are turning into another ridiculous SRT is the greatest war of words... Indians do not deserve class acts like RD and VVS...even today they think India's cricketing achievements rest solely with SRT...sad, but true.

  • uday_narayanan on October 17, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    @Nick..You also said that Aus had a better team with 2 % of India's population. That statement doesn't even make sense. Cricket is played between two teams of 11 players. It is not played by the entire population of two countries. Like you said your country is good at playing multiple sports..agreed.. but general sense of talking doesn't seem to prevail judging by the way some of your posts.

  • uday_narayanan on October 17, 2010, 2:36 GMT

    @Nick Giannakis .. I normally prefer to just read the comments and laugh it off because most of them seem silly to me but you have taken it a step further. I could not stop myself from replying to your post. You say that BCCI could not accept the fact the bad decisions are part and parcel of the game. I agree BCCI threatened to take a drastic decision, but when a team starts claiming one bounce catches and the umpire instead of referring to the 3rd umpire gives it out even though he was not sure and there are many more poor decisions in the same innings and that results in a team not winning the test match, it is common to react. You are talking about decisions Mohali, but more decisions went against us in that game than you. So assume that there were no bad decisions in the Mohali game, India would have won the game easily. You dont see us complain about that, so clearly Sydney was different.

  • kingkarthik on October 17, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    Please check Sachin's contribution in the 4th innings for the last 2 years. The real reason can be found there. Of course, the pitches on the 5th day/4th innings do not have the terror that they used to have. Also the quality of bowlers has been declining resulting in teams being able chase 4th innings score. The unimaginative captains who sit and wait for things to happen rather than making it happen also do not help the defence of 4th innings targtes.

  • SSon_cric on October 17, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    @Mark00: I 'believe' that your comment on the word 'belief' is misguiding. The word belief does not necessarily imply religion. Look, there is a huge difference in the the way people from US and Britain speak (the two countries that are known to speak proper english). Also, english has been constantly changing and it is possible that you might have missed a new usages of an already known word. I would like to ask you to check the facts before making such statements, so that they are not misguiding for other readers.

  • vparisa on October 17, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    @Pritesh - Nick and We are having a general healthy argument. No one's fighting, no ones abusing and no ones barking for sure!!

    Just like anyone could have captained Australia in 2000's. Any one can captain India now. Dhoni is definitely not the first name on the paper when Selectors discuss the team composition. He is an average player in tests. He does not bat as well in tests like he does in ODI's.

  • vparisa on October 17, 2010, 0:12 GMT

    @Nick, what happened to the petulance of Australians fans during Body line series? English played with in the rules.. didn't they??.. but what was all the fuss about?? What goes around comes around i guess though i agree BCCI should not have shown the muscle.

    Its not fair to compare India and Australia in other games. India is just a 65 year old country, Sport is not a career for us until very recently.Australia did not consistently win any medals when it was a young nation. I am sure in the future things are going to change. Future is good for India @ Wrestling/Boxing/Badminton/Shooting/Weightlifting/Archery. Australia though are not good @ the mentioned games. I dont think India can compete in Swimming/Field Hockey(sad)/Rowing/Flatwater etc.. Water sports we cannot simply compete!!

  • vparisa on October 16, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    @Nick, If Aussie players are legends and Indian players flat track bullies, Why did players like Ponting/Warne/Mcgrath failed on flat tracks of India. India won at Perth, hyped as the fastest pitch in the world with bowlers of limited caliber when compared against Australian bowlers. 2004 Mumbai pitch was disintegrated for both the teams. If you are a cricket player, you should be able to play both spin and seam bowling equally well. Different conditions make the game beautiful. Aussie players find it very hard(infact suck) on spin friendly wickets, Indian players find it hard on bouncier tracks but atleast give Aussie a run for their money. Australia failed to win a test during the last two tours. India won atleast a test. If any domination exists, Indian batsmen dominated Australian bowlers and Australian batsmen could not play even the mediocre Indian bowling. The truth is Mcgrath/Warne made your batsmen look good but against India they struggled and the pressure got to your batter

  • sarangsrk on October 16, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    @Nick &@Asher - You need to know the history behind Steve Bucknor and India.Bucknor had time and again shown prejudice against India and that had irritated Indian fans and the team too.If you can recall, Indian team/BCCI asked for sacking of only Bucknor and not both umpires after that Sydney test.The review system can certainly help improve the decision making but even then, its not 100% correct and would cause more debates.As the article has correctly put that India is a fighting No.1 and not dominating one, any thoughts of this side being equal/close to WI/Aus are not right.Those sides were blessed with more talent and willpower than this Indian side.However,even with all that,Waugh's team cud not cross the Final Frontier and lost on good Indian pitches( not the Mumbai Monster in 2004).Would you not say then that Aussies could not win against quality spin an and hence, there shud be doubts on being the best side in the world? So,aussies played their best in favourable conditions.

  • sunilsahu1701 on October 16, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    im completely disagree with rayshaumik.u r tellin dat dhoni is better captain den ganguly..hw?listen my dear frnd i rewind u,u knw ganguly took captaincy from tendulkar and also after d biggest crisis in indian cricket history dat is match fixing.no azhar no jadeja...and only 2 match winners tendulkar and kumble...ur ri8 dravid /laxman/tendulkar contribute almost every time whn india win.but dnt 4 get ganguly is d person who create dat team nw ur tellin no 1 in test and no 2 in odi..he gave chance 2 dravid,shewag,bhajji,yuvraj,zaheer,laxman and evn dhoni...who are nw match winners...dhoni leading d team which has minm 6 to 7match winners bt in ganguly team only tendulkar and himself...like we knw steve waugh is better captain den ponting bcz pocting got d experience team to lead bt steve waugh make dat team experience..

  • on October 16, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    @Everyone including Mr. Nick Giannakis - Dont understand y ppl fight here... aussie readers will boost their cricket n Indians theirs... I just know change is inevitable... now if ppl start fighting every time there is a change, then both the nation's cricket lovers need to grow up!! why can't we just respect the team playing well.. be it aussies sometime back or India now.... Let the dogs bark...

  • RayShaumik on October 16, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    Being an Indian, I want to say a couple of things.

    Firstly, Dhoni's achievements make me proud.... He is not being given due credit. Ganguly was always over-hyped. Out of 21 test wins 9 are against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. So that makes 12 against top Test Teams. Dhoni has reached 12 (11 against top teams and he has captained 30 tests less than Ganguly). And most, IF NOT ALL of Ganguly's test wins were due to Dravid/Sachin/Laxman. And the situation is the same now.

    And people are complaining about Bucknor's decisions. WHAT ABOUT THE ATROCIOUS LBW DECISIONS AGAINST GILCHRIST in the 2001 SERIES after he scored a century in the first test (See the horrendous one in the kolkata test where the ball not only pitched outside leg stump but Gilly even nicked it and Bhajji got the hat-trick which never was). The series was GIFTED TO INDIA like people are saying the sydney test was gifted to Australia by Bucknor.

  • AsherCA on October 16, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Nick's observation about the turning point being Sydney 2008 is correct. However, the justification seems inappropriate. During Sydney 2008, Australia used up all the luck a team can get when waiting "professionally" for "human errors" from the adjudicators & benefitting from there. Even before Sydney, almost all the series wind of Australia against India can be traced down to "human errors" from umpires. After Sydney, Australia have only lost the benefit of such "human errors" & the results are there for the world to see. ICC is still looking for ways to ensure that the "human error" element is not even minimised (forget removed) from results of Cricket matches - I wonder why !

  • on October 16, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    @suraj- u mention 'bucknors heroics' in '08 was pivotal for us, but that just illustrates the petulance of many indian fans who cannot accept bad decisions are part of the game. it was disgraceful when the bcci threatened 2 go home when they didn't get the rub of the green in that regard. we had some pivotal decisions go against us in mohali which some may argue altered the result. did we hear this mentioned from the aus camp? no, because making excuses is not a common theme within our culture. we tend to focus on the aspects of the game we should have done better. our team needs to be rejuvenated and i'm confident in the not too distant future, once we blood some youngsters we will reach the summit of international cricket again. i think the indians fans are very naive when they talk about replicating a wi/aus type dynasty. many people are skeptical whether they are more than flat track bullies. traditionally if the ball has bounced above their knees, indian batters have floundered.

  • on October 16, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    memoriesofthepast- u mention we failed 2 chase 104 in the 4th innings of the mumbai test in '04, as if it indicated our batting was inept. the reality is the wicket had completely disintegrated and was a sad indictment on the way they prepare pitches in india. heck, clarke claimed 6/9 on that pitch and he's barely considered a part-timer. u also mention the cb series, like winning 2 consecutive odi's is a monumental achievement despite the unpredictable nature of limited overs cricket. cb series is a mickey mouse tournament but u have plucked that out because u consider that a very impressive feat, where as i will point to 4 consecutive world cup finals appearances, in which we won three of them. the '03 final it was clear the indians were overawed by the big stage and were completely embarrassed. it is surprising that india hasn't even accomplished a fraction of what aus has in the sport, despite the fact we have <2% of your population and excel at a multitude of sports not just one.

  • rspr on October 16, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Its not mental toughness, nor is it great captaincy as some of the debate does the round. I see dhoni as the luckiest captain who doesn't have to bat at all, the big 4 does it for him. India has been winning by the sheer strength of batting alone and they don't have a top class attack. The WI and Aus that reigned at the top was a complete team in , it had great bowlers as well as batsman. What we can do is by the time these ageing men retire do a 2 match test series in the listed countries and get a draw so that at least this status of No.1 is not prone to questions and doubts later

  • on October 16, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    @Nick Giannakis - You are forgetting one thing...when India won in Sydney, Australia was almost a full team. When India won CB series, Australia had all your greats of Hayden, Gilchrist, Symonds. So its wrong to say India won when Australia was down. And it was rightly said...Australia was not a champion team but team of champions....and the team is falling apart like pack of cards. I am happy to see PONTING to be in the same league as TENDULKAR was for India, batting and figthing alone. I am dying to see how Ponting peforms now and then we will come back to the question...who is best Sacihn or ponting.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 16, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    Nick G-Shane Warne was a run leaking bowler for indians right from his debut test in 1991 at Sydney. Check the aus teams that toured India in 1996, 1998, 2001 and the results of those series.And in 2003-04 series in Aus, the host had to be content with 1-1. Only Mcgrath was missing & he was the one who got the top-order wickets-he and gillespie were also there in Kolkatta 2001. Dont forget that an injured Sachin was absent from the 1st two tests of Oct 2004 series held in India and rain denied victory to Indians at Chennai test. Ganguly was absent from the Nagpur test where Aus managed to get 2-0 series victory. In Mumbai test Aus could not even chase 104 runs. Hayden and Lee had toured India in 2008. Gilchrist was there in Perth test of 2008 and CB series. So all the great retirees that u mentioned had found a challenge from the Indians.

  • 2929paul on October 16, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    Rahul_78 is spot on. This could go down as the best batting side of all time. It has all bases covered. How much longer it stays together is a matter of conjecture but let's rejoice in it whilst they're all still around. I thought the Aussies of the early noughties was about as good as it got but this team has it all plus youngsters available to come in as well. Even Dhoni loses little in his own way by comparison to Gilly, although he's not such a game changer. I do worry about their ability to take 20 wickets overseas with the current attack but Zaheer is class and with support (and a half decent medical team), we could be looking at a five year dynasty here or more.

  • on October 16, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Nothing wrong with the title dear Mark. You got to educate yourself in what context it is taken is'nt it? Yes self-belief is required but more than that, belief in your team, your colleague, the core group, the thinking is all part and parcel of a good "team". A good example is Laxman relying on Ishant to make a contribution. Dhoni's belief in giving Pujara a go and understanding that Dravid, Tendulkar are better equipped in absorbing pressure. Nothing wrong with criticizing but be logical and constructive. I also agree on the topic that Irfan Pathan should be drafted in, not on Indian pitches but for most overseas tours. He would be an asset in seam friendly pitches and also strengthen our batting. The selector's are still doing a great job. Of recent I enjoy articles posted by this editor as it's nice to identify and give due credit to the right person, irrespective if it is the opposition. We all love to have a good game. A close pressure game is good, win or loose

  • sugumarrising on October 16, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    Fitting reply for Mr. (Nick Giannakis), if india had waited for hayden, gilchrist, martyn, warne, mcgrath, gillespie, langer to retire, then according to you, australia also did the same, when the mighty westindian domination came to an end, the australian team waited for the retirements of viv richards, gordon greenidge, desmond haynes, clive lloyd, malcolm marshall, michael holding, andy roberts, joel garner, afterwards they became the next dominant team (in 1995), because australia can't even think of victory when these legends were playing, and also Mr. (Nick Giannakis) I WANT TO REMIND YOU ANOTHER STATS: AUSTRALIA IS A DOMINANT TEAM FOR OTHER TEAMS ONLY NOT FOR INDIA, CHECK OUT THE STATS INDIA LEADING THE HEAD TO HEAD IN THE PERIOD OF THE AUSSIE DOMINATION IN THE PINNACLE OF THE GAME(1995-2010) (TEST CRICKET) INDIA WON - 12, AUSTRALIA WON 10, IS THIS A PERFORMANCE OF A DOMINANT TEAM? AND ALSO AFTER THE INFAMOUS SYDNEY TEST INDIA HAS NOT EVEN LOST A SINGLE TEST TO YOUR AUSSIE TEAM

  • sugumarrising on October 16, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Fitting reply for Mr. (Nick Giannakis), if india had waited for hayden, gilchrist, martyn, warne, mcgrath, gillespie, langer to retire, then according to you, australia also did the same, when the mighty westindian domination came to an end, the australian team waited for the retirements of viv richards, gordon greenidge, desmond haynes, clive lloyd, malcolm marshall, michael holding, andy roberts, joel garner, afterwards they became the next dominant team (in 1995), because australia can't even think of victory when these legends were playing, and also Mr. (Nick Giannakis) I WANT TO REMIND YOU ANOTHER STATS: AUSTRALIA IS A DOMINANT TEAM FOR OTHER TEAMS ONLY NOT FOR INDIA, CHECK OUT THE STATS INDIA LEADING THE HEAD TO HEAD IN THE PERIOD OF THE AUSSIE DOMINATION IN THE PINNACLE OF THE GAME(1995-2010) (TEST CRICKET) INDIA WON - 12, AUSTRALIA WON 10, IS THIS A PERFORMANCE OF A DOMINANT TEAM? AND ALSO AFTER THE INFAMOUS SYDNEY TEST INDIA HAS NOT EVEN LOST A SINGLE TEST TO YOUR AUSSIE TEAM

  • spprivate on October 16, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Nick Dont forget that same great aussies under steve waugh couldnt capture the final frontier 1998,2001 and so on.I dont understand what is so great about Australia when u win series in tailor made home pitches.As told for India the greatness is winning in away series which australians as no1 couldnt manages.Lakshman,Dravid,Harbajan and Sachin continuosly kicked aussies back i all the series.Give a break and open ur eyes nick the kangaroo

  • on October 16, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    @ Nick, India won the 2001 series, retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy in 2003/04 in Australia and nearly won the series again in 2008 but for Bucknor's heroics.... The only time they lost was in India in 2004. Which channel broadcasts live cricket in Australia? Hope they are not broadcasting re-runs of 1980/90 matches!

  • on October 16, 2010, 15:12 GMT

    @dinidu srilanka has lost 3 test in last 2 years & guess against whom these 3 loses have come yes ur enemy no.1 & team no.1 INDIA

  • Vasi-Koosi on October 16, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    There is something about MAHI!!! In the recent past chasing and winning matches, there have been 4 constants (to a greater extent); Mahi, Sachin, Rahul, VVS India lost to SL in SL without Mahi under Anil Kumble... Mahi as a captain seems to be someone who is still a mystery. We have seem a lot of folks animated when things don't go their way; Mahi is still to exhibit that on the field. Most of all his man management has been wonderful, handling of seniors, mentoring juniors, giving credit where it is due. Most of all he gambles and always seem to have a plan b,c,d ready. Out of the blue, the ball swings and zack gets punter or it is Raina who picks his wicket. The other 3 will be gone in a couple of years max; Yes, things will not be easy, but, with Mahi in the helm, it might not be as bad as it has been for the Aussies or the West Indians.

  • Nampally on October 16, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    India is #1 in the world Test cricket because of its batting which rises to the challenge each time. If only India can develop their bowling thru' training at coaching camps, India will replace Australia for a long #1 reign.Indian top 5 batsmen - Sehwag, Gambhir/Vijay.Mukund, Dravid/Pujara, Tendulkar, Laxman, are best in the world - may be all time best. They have always delivered when the need arose. The lower half of the batting with Raina, Yuvraj, Dhoni is equally productive though not as reliable.India need bowlers and must get Ashwin, Balaji, Unadkat, Mithun, Chawla in the line up along with Ishant, Zahir, Harbhajan and Ojha already in.Tiwary, Saha, Rehane, Dhawan are other talented youngsters waiting for their chance. India failed to beat SL in the recent tests because of the injuries to the key players - Zahir, Harbhajan, Sreesanth, Mithun & Gambhir.If the same team that beat the Aussies is put against SL, India should win easily.Good Luck to India in the forthcoming SA tour.

  • on October 16, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    Some of the guys who are posting their opinion for the heck of it. Either these guys are too jealous or just have the habbit of playing devil's advocates. Otherwise how can you describe the guys who claim UDRS, home conditions, retiring of aussie greats and what not as reason for the success of Indian test team! These guys are just awake from their slumber and don't understand the hard yards some of the Indians greats have done over last 10+years. The current success is just a reflection of their motivation, determination and hard work. Period.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on October 16, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    It is useless to argue with sl fans, they dont trust the 2 umpires on the field. Well sl team has not won a single test in india,aus and sa. Ind beat sl in 1999 and 2003 wc. And in natwest and vb series. We also won 4 consecutive odi series against sl

  • Samgen on October 16, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    India has been winning consistently in the subcontinent. Their batting has been solid, bowlers have been coming to the party regularly although they are not in the same class as the batsmen. I feel they are capable of winning abroad and the upcoming test series against SA and other teams is an oppertunity for India to improve their away record and become undisputed #1 team in the world. Due credit should go to Greg Chappel (for making the team environment hell) and Gary (for the welcome changes he made esp. w.r.to Chappel's period). I would give credit to Greg Chappel for picking out Raina and hilighting the need to improve fitness and fielding levels (last two are still issues and need to be resolved in India wants to remain #1 side for long). If it was possible to have a non playing captain, Dhoni would make a good one. He is becoming a liability to the team as a player.

  • adadadade on October 16, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    first of all I dont understand why are we playing so much cricket leading upto world cup. 11 one days internationals now. then less than a week's rest leading into the 1st SA test. then again 7 one days on the trot. We will be playing continuous cricket right till jan 23. India's run the risk of having injuries which can jeopardize their wc challenge.

    Why play so much cricket just before the WC? I dont understand the logic behind this.

  • butala1982 on October 16, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    People forget India squared series against Steve Waugh's Australian side in Australia... It could have been series win if rain had not stopped final game. India would have won last Australian Series as well if it were not for Bucknor to gift Sydney test... so Australian legend retirement has nothing to do with Indian team getting number 1. Things is there is no more sadagopan ramesh, shivsundar dad, mongias, or aakash chopra or khodas batting in INdian linup.. plust bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets all over the world. that is the turn around. even Kumble learnt how to bowl in overseas condition in later half of his career. so having full strength batting lineup and 4 good bowlers to finish the job is the rason for INdian team success....

  • Hindh on October 16, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    @dinidu if india des not deserve NO 1 ranking then SL r nowhere near Even NO 5 because they yet to win matches away in Aus,Ind,SA let alone a series...

  • on October 16, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    The most disputed team white washes aussies!!!!

    I hear most of the comments - with 112 points England should be ranked 1, with 110 points Aussies should be ranked 2... with India 130 points, should be ranked below england and aussies.. and by the way the ranking system is flawed and is useless.. but then ranking system was very useful until the Aussies were leading it...

    Ponting is better than Sachin... Strauss is strategically better than Dhoni... Indians are prone to bouncers... by the way English & Aussies are the best against the spinners... IPL teams are not good enough to win the Champion league...

    need to say more?!

  • keralite on October 16, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    This team owes a lot to Ganguly. It was under him India became a tough unit. Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Zaheer blossomed under his captaincy. I am not saying they are not good players but what once they lacked was Self belief and a Never say die attitude. Australia has been number one for a long time not just because they had better players but They fought till the last ball was bowled or last run was scored. Now Indians have that strength. But to be called a real number one, I think we have a long way to go. Play more tests abroad, not with Bangladesh and Sri lanka but with south Africa, England and Australia. I am waiting for that. And we should play at least 3 tests, not two.

  • on October 16, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    @mayank-i think most astute observers of the game pinpoint our '95 tour of the wi as the moment aus dethroned the wi as the no. 1 nation in the world. the wi team featured all-time greats like lara, ambrose, walsh etc and hadn't been beaten in the caribbean 4 something like 2 decades. u don't need 2 be concerned about our future. our team is at its lowest ebb, but can only improve from here. we have some prodigious young, talent waiting in the wings, while the selectors to come to their senses and clear the dead wood in hussey, north, hauritz etc. the indian team is only going to decline with their best players like tendulkar, dravid, laxman etc set for retirement in the near future. they only stuck around because they knew our greats were about to give it away because they had already achieved everything in the game and wanted some of the spotlight 2. when are u guys actually going to come here and win, instead of being flat track bullies, who are continually exposed on bouncy decks?!

  • sweetspot on October 16, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    @ Nick G - I remember when the "Great" Aussie team came to India. They lost 1-2 with Steve Waugh as captain. Warney got the pasting of his life, and Laxman played the innings of his life. Wish you could throw us that team again! We might get bored at the top, looking at the level your team is playing at now. Much like Mike Tyson was a threat before ONE guy decided to give it back to him.

  • vparisa on October 16, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    @Nick - Sachin, Dravid, Laxman never watched Australia Dominate the sport. Australia always struggled against India. In fact between 1996-2008(including the tour of India) before the Aussie players retired, India leads with the scoreline of 10-9 in test matches. Aussie were stopped twice by India @16 wins on trott. The only time Aussie won in India was when Tendulkar was sidelined due to Injury for couple of tests in 2004. Aussie never truly dominated India at Test Cricket. McGrath/Warne(against other teams except India) made your team look good. The batsmen were just ok, not great. so Nick, I ask what domination are you talking about mate????

  • on October 16, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    Just one thing i hate people who say indian team play well at home....which team doesn't??/aussies took 35 years to win a test in india whereas they easily beat the same team in australia...south africa has not won a single test series in india....n srilanka..though they njoy same condition in india, have not won a single test here...n leave england dey even find it difficult to understand even sehwag's spin....sn why the fuss only with INDIA....everyone njoy home conditions....even take ashes for example....england won last two ashes in england and lost bitterly in aus...n i bet they will loose this one also.....

  • on October 16, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    @Nick.. How in the hell can you say that India was inferior to the Aussies? For your information, in this decade, starting from 2001, India beat Australia in India (2-1), drew a series in Australia (1-1) in 2003-04, won in 2008 in India (2-0) and again won the recent series (2-0).

    In between we lost 2 series - in 2004 in India and 2008 in Australia. The series which India lost in 2008 was marred with umpiring controversies and thats known to one and all. If it wasnt for umpiring howlers, we would have won the test and drew the series. In 2004, the last day of the third test was washed out with India needing only 180 to win. Had these incidents not occured, India would have probably never lost a series to the rampaging Aussies in this decade. Nevertheless, even with those losses, India have a superior record against the Aussies and if any team feared India it was the Aussies even with their so-called GREATS.

  • sansaw80 on October 16, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    First of all Sidharth very good article, I guess true test will be later this year playing against SA and once middle decides to make farewell.

    @ Nick G - I think you need lessons in statistics, please check Sachin's & Co. is avg against AUS and you will get your answer. Fact is AUS never ever able to dominate us even when you were at your pick. Even when we played away u didn't manage to have clean sweeps like you had against pomps.

  • on October 16, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    @Nick G - U mean exactly like how the aussies waited for the stars of mighty west indies to retire....get a grip Nick....no one team can be No. 1 forever. First and for a very long period it was West Indies...then Australia but their time is up now....shudder to think what will happen when Ricky Ponting hangs up his boots! Commiserations on losing the series 2-0!

  • on October 16, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    @ dindu sanjeev wk.... how could people forget the contribution of zaheer and ishant in first test as well as the contributions of murali vijay and pujara in second test.... and about crowd support... thats the main reason of home series... if there isnt any crowd support how could it be called home series.... and the thing about commentary.. only people watching it through tv can hear the commentary.... and about srilanka playing less amount of matches... srilanka have played 18 and lost 5 while india have played 28 and lost only 6 matches... and srilanka have won only 1 test match outside srilanka.... but i do support UDRS... but not adopting it has nothing to do with winning or losing... BCCI not adopting that because of the expenses.... but i want to see UDRS implemented...

  • sudhs_107 on October 16, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    @Dinidu Sanjeer Wk -- First of all, India winning because of crowd - ridiculous. Also, I dont think TV commentators commentary will be heard in the ground!! How can it be even a supporting factor for team!! May be you are thinking players will go back and see match on NEO cricket to get inspired form the commentary!!!

  • on October 16, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Common people lets see these figures how many test matched india have played in last two year , ?? and how many Sri Lanka , its common fact that india will play good in India only , and you didnt tell y india dont need UDRS ??? can anybody explain proper reason ?? if other best teams in the world they need then y indian not ready to use coz they affriad to lose , cricket is not only about win its win and lose everything fair love n war and cricket

  • on October 16, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    i agree the turning point was 2008 for the indian cricket team. this coincides with the time when many australian greats had retired. i think players like tendulkar, dravid, sehwag etc had only one option and that was to watch australia utterly dominate the sport and make everyone else look very ordinary. i think india recognised they were vastly inferior to an australian side containing hayden, langer, gilchrist, warne, mcgrath, gillespie, martyn etc and decided to bide their time and wait for retirements, as that was the only way they could achieve some of the things the aussies have.

  • TheDoctor394 on October 16, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Can I just point out to a couple of people that, as an Englishman, I do accept India as being number one. Thank you. :-)

  • Muffaddal on October 16, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    With due respect to Mr Dinidu Sanjeer,i would like to add that either he knows too much about the subject or too little,well i dont want to say"India is the best" or get carried way with the success,we througly understand success and failure's are part of the game,but not giving performance based credit is also unfair to the invidudal and the team as a whole,if every body clicks all the time then we are not playing cricket its something esle,the very fact the diff ppl have stood up and preformed at diff situations says that its a team game and team effort,and regarding UDRS its upto the management n team to decide and we respect the decesion,its not that india is always benefiting without it.And pls if you dont have constructive criticism u pls put your views in your head and chill out that perhaps will cool you down.

  • on October 16, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    @mark00:You are talking about faith not belief>

  • sugumarrising on October 16, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    nice comment from (sach_is_life) because even if we win in southafrica and australia they would say india is not fit to be a no.1 team, whatever some idiots think they may, but india is the no.1 team.

  • Thejus_r on October 16, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    @dinidu sanjeev.... cricket is not about one player or two.. its a combined effort.... india have done better than all teams in the last 2 years... check out the stats.... lost only 2 of its last 21 test.... read this article http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/481786.html... u will understand why india is ranked no:1

  • HundredPercentBarcelonista on October 16, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Since when did third innings become the fourth innings?

  • CRKS on October 16, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    Truely Desrevs No.1 Ranking . so far India has not lost a series Under Dhoni 's captaincy

  • Rahul_78 on October 16, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    It will be debatable for many but I think the current indian team will be long remembered in a same way as the past great westindian team of 80s but not in bawling but in bating department. If WIs had holding, marshall, croft and garner then this team has sachin, dravid, sehwag and laxman. No wonder they havent lost a test bating last and managed to chase some very tricky fourth innigs targets. The currents indian teams balling is very thin after kumbles retirement but it poses 2 batsmen sachin and sehwag who will walk in most of the all time great XIs. And VVS and Rahul are not too much behind.

  • Gujaratan on October 16, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    That is how it is, Ofcourse, Auusies and Brits will never accept India being No.1, it is in their blood to NOT let their power go to subcontinental team, and than we have our neighbors, who are always jealous and that is the reason, they ruled us for 300 years, so India has to face critics not only from outsiders, but also from neighbors, so that is how it will be, people like Ian Chappel can not digest the fact that India CAN beat Aussie in down under, as well as in India.

    Take it, you better start digesting the Rise of India, you always thought you can rule them forever.

  • memoriesofthepast on October 16, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    Dhoni lost the tosses in last seven tests and so India had to bat in the 4th innings thrice and each time the target was higher than 200 runs which is still a challenge to make in 4th innings of a test match. India had failed to make 120 runs target in 4th innings in test in West Indies, 1997. Even a target of 155 runs was achieved by losing 8 wickets in Chennai test of 2001 against Aus. Dhoni lost the toss but won the match-this is an achievement. Of course in the past too India have done super achievements like winning a test after being given a follow on at Kolkatta of 2001, chasing successfully a target of 404 runs in Port Of Spain test of 1976, chasing 387 in 2008 at Chennai against Eng, tied test of 1986 at Chennai where India equalled the score of 347 runs on day 5, chasing 233 at Adelaide in 2003. At the same time India had failed to chase the targets of 222 and 271 runs against Pak in Chennai 1999 and Bangalore 1987. Winning consistency should be maintained.

  • henchart on October 16, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    @ novice_vinay '' I am sure this time India will win in South Africa ''-dont count the chicks before they are hatched buddy.Steyn,Morkel and Ntini would be a different proposition on bouncy tracks of Kingsmead,Newlands and Centurion .Remember Barbados during T20 WorldCup?Indians were not comfortable against raising deliveries and that track was bouncy.

  • on October 16, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    @ Dinidu Sanjeer Wk what r u sayin that ind won bcoz of supporters ya it was supporters who scored 72 runs it was supporter who took 20 wickets ind what abt vijay,dravid who scored 77 in 1st test,viru scored 50 in 1st test match ishant took 3 wickets scored runs with lax zak took 12 wickets in series all this done coz of supporters,i agree supporters help even dhoni agreed but to say tht ind won coz of supporter & sach & lax sorry ur not willing to give credit to indian team what abt ind chase in srilanka who supported them their ur sayin this ind team depends on others who r otherrs isn't sachin playin for india or lax playin for india r they playin for other team what do u mean by real cricket is ind playin & winning on computer

  • indianpunter on October 16, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    well said Mark00. very valid point.

  • on October 16, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    message to ian chappell!!v ve stayed NO.1 FR AN YEAR NOW!!!!!u said v wont last long uh?????hahaha rofl!!!i dunno how u get everythin xactly wrong!!u said sachin s over aftr 2007 WC debacle!!SO DONT COMMENT BOUT INDIA!!U OFTEN END UP EMBARASSING URSELF who otherwise s a gud commentator!!stop messng up wid team india IAN!!v rock v truly rock!!!!INDIA S THE BEST!!CHAK DE!!!

  • on October 16, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    What they need now is a better seam attack, Zaheer is on the bench half of the time recovering from injuries, Ishant has lost his zip and Sreesanth doesn't have a good temperament to lead an attack. They need to do is bring that Yadav guy who has some serious pace and can put in some serious effort.

  • Percy_Fender on October 16, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    South Africa is definitely going to be a defining tour for this team. The team needs to acclimatise by being there for at least 15 days during which time, they should play at least 3 matches on typical Protean wickets. Dravid Laxman Tendulkar and Sehwag have been there many times before and would be aware of what to expect. Laxman is probably at the peak yet again just as Sachin too seems to be. They should play at 3 and 4 with Dravid at 5. Raina may find it a bit hot at No 6. I would take Irfan Pathan for No 6 because he is a very accomplished and fearless batsman who is good with the horizontal strokes. He should be a handy first change bowler as well who will do well on their wickets as he did in the 20/20 World Cup.I would prefer Ashwin to Harbhajan. Ojha, Zaheer, Ishant, Sreesanth Unadkat and Mithun, should make a good bowling lineup. Of course,either Gambhir or Vijay will open with Sehwag.Pujara and Raina should gain from this experience and could get to play in the Tests.

  • addiemanav on October 16, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    i wanted to write down many things but @Sach_is_Life has done gr8 job..nothing that i can add now..totally agree with u man!! as far as Mark00 goes ,his points are as useless as his username "00"!!no points there for u!!

  • Runster1 on October 16, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    India are still NO.1 even when the AUSSIES get help from the UMPIRES!!! Good on ya india.

  • Gizza on October 16, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Mark00 there's no need to be so pedantic. There's nothing wrong with using the word belief on its own. Anybody with reasonable intelligence and has a good grasp of English will understand what "belief" is referring given the context. Any what do devout Catholics have to do with cricket apart from Matt Hayden?

  • IPL_is_Thrash on October 16, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    The results author is talking indeed shows sign of belief. But Team India also lost many more close matches and series because of lack of belief. Need of the Hours is Team India which has belief in National Duties and total disregard for that nonsense IPL. Team India and BCCI is madly obsessed with Stupid, Rubbish, Non-Sense, Obsolete, Betting & Commercial event IPL, which is selling 6s and 4s on Lifeless Pitches. IPL-Mad Team India is losing Skill, Inspiration, Motivation, Hunger, Determination, Committment and Fitness to play International or Test Cricket on lively Pitches. Curators, Commentators and BCCI Officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is not thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in International Tournaments. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch at International level on lively pitches, unlike IPL Teams which looks like club cricket and played on lifeless pitches.

  • on October 16, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Computer only saying india is No 1 , but they are not played real cricket how many indian batemen scored 1st match , Laxman saved , 2nd match Sachin saved , so wat others doing ?????? Cricket is not indivdual game that need team work and this indian team alwz depend on others , dont forget when any overseas team play in india there is no crowd support for that particuler team , crowd cheer also helping players , and the commentry ppl what they talking i am sorry to say they also supporting to India not to aussie, commentrator has to be fair even same happen with Sri Lanka last year. and the question is Why India dont need UDRS ??? that not gonna harm India ??? PPl just think why this BCCI dont need UDRS and they want every FTP Tour 4 tests without UDRS selfish People.........

  • on October 16, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    exactly!!!! now, not many will be writing this team off, (ofcourse except Ian Chappel)

  • novice_Win on October 16, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Awesome article!!! I am sure this time India will win in South Africa :) Can't say about Australia though! ;)

  • Sach_is_Life on October 16, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    Well..Aussies can't digest the fact that it is India who had been pain in the back 4 almost 10 yrs ..are now No 1 ..and ofcourse no one from Aus r SA r Eng can accept a subcontinent team being No 1 especially India with its financial clout ..Then there r our neighbors who always took our help to bail out 4m their financial problems ..but they can't digest the fact that their brother being No1 n our other neighbors who always thought that we're the reason for all the happenings starting from corruption 2 terrorist attacks ..n there r others who again happy with a non subcontinent team being No 1..but can't accept any of their neighbors ..especially India ..So, I'm damn sure..even if we won a series in SA ..they wont accept us as no1..they'll again say ..Yeah.. India is yet 2 win a match on Moon or on Mars..BTW,when is the last time SA won a series in PAK,SL? Why is that only India has 2 win in SA..SA lost 2 AUS in SA and drew with Eng ..How can u guys say that SA is better than India?

  • Mark00 on October 16, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Corrected title: A team with remarkable SELF belief?

    The word belief as used itself is utterly meaningless. A team with remarkable belief could be a bunch of devout catholics. The editor isn't doing his job.

  • cenitin on October 16, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    As this article talks about India's ability of performing in 4th inng since 1998. I just cheked stats for last 4 years (from 2007). India managed to win/draw 12 test during this time after batting last and only lost 4 times. Win/Draw Matches only Player Matches Runs Avg Sachin 10 370 74 Lax 10 352 117 Dra 12 198 33 Seh 9 200 28.6 Gamb 5 125 41 Dhoni 12 98 49

    Clearly Sachin and Lax are the main factors for this record. Dhoni avg is good scored only 98 runs explained he was not needed many times. Normally everone think only Lax can play in pressure situation but above records also tells me that Sachin has een playing his best in the critical situation for the last 4 years.

  • Hindh on October 16, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    India the deserved NO 1 team and congrats for yet another series win...

  • SPS1 on October 16, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    What India will need badly is a 3rd seamer / all rounder coming in at No. 6. That is one area where India had a golden opportunity to groom Irfan Pathan or Sanjay Bangar or J P Yadav, but missed out. On pitches in South Africa, Australia and England, which don't aid spin much, when the main seamers will start tiring, the absence of a seamer / allrounder will be felt. Which is why it is shocking why Dhoni and selectors have continued to ignore Irfan Pathan. Inspite of his shortcoming, he is our best bet at the moment.

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  • SPS1 on October 16, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    What India will need badly is a 3rd seamer / all rounder coming in at No. 6. That is one area where India had a golden opportunity to groom Irfan Pathan or Sanjay Bangar or J P Yadav, but missed out. On pitches in South Africa, Australia and England, which don't aid spin much, when the main seamers will start tiring, the absence of a seamer / allrounder will be felt. Which is why it is shocking why Dhoni and selectors have continued to ignore Irfan Pathan. Inspite of his shortcoming, he is our best bet at the moment.

  • Hindh on October 16, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    India the deserved NO 1 team and congrats for yet another series win...

  • cenitin on October 16, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    As this article talks about India's ability of performing in 4th inng since 1998. I just cheked stats for last 4 years (from 2007). India managed to win/draw 12 test during this time after batting last and only lost 4 times. Win/Draw Matches only Player Matches Runs Avg Sachin 10 370 74 Lax 10 352 117 Dra 12 198 33 Seh 9 200 28.6 Gamb 5 125 41 Dhoni 12 98 49

    Clearly Sachin and Lax are the main factors for this record. Dhoni avg is good scored only 98 runs explained he was not needed many times. Normally everone think only Lax can play in pressure situation but above records also tells me that Sachin has een playing his best in the critical situation for the last 4 years.

  • Mark00 on October 16, 2010, 4:40 GMT

    Corrected title: A team with remarkable SELF belief?

    The word belief as used itself is utterly meaningless. A team with remarkable belief could be a bunch of devout catholics. The editor isn't doing his job.

  • Sach_is_Life on October 16, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    Well..Aussies can't digest the fact that it is India who had been pain in the back 4 almost 10 yrs ..are now No 1 ..and ofcourse no one from Aus r SA r Eng can accept a subcontinent team being No 1 especially India with its financial clout ..Then there r our neighbors who always took our help to bail out 4m their financial problems ..but they can't digest the fact that their brother being No1 n our other neighbors who always thought that we're the reason for all the happenings starting from corruption 2 terrorist attacks ..n there r others who again happy with a non subcontinent team being No 1..but can't accept any of their neighbors ..especially India ..So, I'm damn sure..even if we won a series in SA ..they wont accept us as no1..they'll again say ..Yeah.. India is yet 2 win a match on Moon or on Mars..BTW,when is the last time SA won a series in PAK,SL? Why is that only India has 2 win in SA..SA lost 2 AUS in SA and drew with Eng ..How can u guys say that SA is better than India?

  • novice_Win on October 16, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Awesome article!!! I am sure this time India will win in South Africa :) Can't say about Australia though! ;)

  • on October 16, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    exactly!!!! now, not many will be writing this team off, (ofcourse except Ian Chappel)

  • on October 16, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Computer only saying india is No 1 , but they are not played real cricket how many indian batemen scored 1st match , Laxman saved , 2nd match Sachin saved , so wat others doing ?????? Cricket is not indivdual game that need team work and this indian team alwz depend on others , dont forget when any overseas team play in india there is no crowd support for that particuler team , crowd cheer also helping players , and the commentry ppl what they talking i am sorry to say they also supporting to India not to aussie, commentrator has to be fair even same happen with Sri Lanka last year. and the question is Why India dont need UDRS ??? that not gonna harm India ??? PPl just think why this BCCI dont need UDRS and they want every FTP Tour 4 tests without UDRS selfish People.........

  • IPL_is_Thrash on October 16, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    The results author is talking indeed shows sign of belief. But Team India also lost many more close matches and series because of lack of belief. Need of the Hours is Team India which has belief in National Duties and total disregard for that nonsense IPL. Team India and BCCI is madly obsessed with Stupid, Rubbish, Non-Sense, Obsolete, Betting & Commercial event IPL, which is selling 6s and 4s on Lifeless Pitches. IPL-Mad Team India is losing Skill, Inspiration, Motivation, Hunger, Determination, Committment and Fitness to play International or Test Cricket on lively Pitches. Curators, Commentators and BCCI Officials are working for IPL growth rather than Cricket growth. Until IPL is not thrashed, Team India is not going to perform well in International Tournaments. Test, ODI & T20 Cricket is great to watch at International level on lively pitches, unlike IPL Teams which looks like club cricket and played on lifeless pitches.

  • Gizza on October 16, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Mark00 there's no need to be so pedantic. There's nothing wrong with using the word belief on its own. Anybody with reasonable intelligence and has a good grasp of English will understand what "belief" is referring given the context. Any what do devout Catholics have to do with cricket apart from Matt Hayden?