January 19, 2012

Prayer for a strong India

Lloyd's West Indians kept coming to Australia because they played good cricket and everyone made money from it. India and Australia keep playing because everyone makes money from it
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"Kerry was in love with them," the old Australian Cricket Board chief Bob Merriman once said. By Kerry he meant Packer. "Them" were West Indies. The love was real love, not an "I love ice-cream" sort of love. This love was widely shared, across a nation. Boys batted with Viv-approved SS Jumbos and dog-owners named their dogs Eldine and men dug the swagger of these cricketers and an abnormal number of normally non-cricket-mad women dug that too. "Just the attractiveness of them," said Merriman. "I think Kerry himself loved watching them." So six summers out of eight, from 1977-78 onwards, Clive Lloyd-led West Indian teams came to perform their lethal magic in Australia and, more particularly, for Packer and his Channel 9. Other than on Sesame Street they were just about the only black faces seen on Australian daytime TV.

Six summers out of eight felt like a lot. Throw in Australia's two Caribbean trips and that made it eight encounters in eight seasons. Australia is locked now in another gut-on-gut embrace with a country two oceans east of the Caribbean islands, population 1.2 billion, estimated TV sets 112 million. "India's major partner" is how senior Cricket Australia men describe the organisation they work for. They say it a bit proudly. What it means is this: 11 times in nine summers, India have toured Australia or the Australian team has gone there. There live Indian boys of 12 and 13 with no memory of an Australia-less cricket summer at home. The last one was 2005-06.

Lloyd's West Indians kept coming because they played thrilling, menacing cricket and because everybody made money out of it. Australia and India keep playing each other because everybody makes money out of it. If one of the two ingredients - good cricket - is missing, does that wreck the cake? The men who sit on the board of "India's major partner" might say: "To a point." Or: "Pig's arse." If India win or India lose, Indians will keep watching cricket and Indian TV stations will keep buying cricket. That's the presumption. The market decides. An ailing, rebuilding Indian team might make for years of fascinating TV-watching in India. It could, true, get teeth-itching for Australians. With one Test left this summer people have already mentally flicked over to the tennis. Also, there is right now in Australia a palpable shortage of dog-owners naming their dogs Gautam. But even if Australians do stop watching, stop going, stop caring, Australia still gets the Indian TV money. That's a payday five to six times bigger than when England tour and it's incalculable trough-fulls more than they get from hosting any other country.

The Windies' pomp happened in pre-TV bonanza time. But their players were well paid for coming. For Australia, the hype was huge and the crowds were solid or better and advertisers queued up with glee. One constant guaranteed it: the cricket was good.

It can take years to retrospectively read a series of four or more Tests in clear morning light. No one knows yet if this summer's meting out of awesome thrashings is down to Australian awesomeness or India's decline or both. If you bend your mind to the issue, though, most of India's troubles seem traceable to people's preoccupation with slashed-down Twenty20. Their batsmen run between wickets with the stepping-on-syringes gait of men used to dealing only in boundaries - men for whom "runs" might more accurately be rechristened "points". No stonewaller exists to balance Sehwag at the top. No technician of Dravidian pristineness can be found to bat at three, so poor Rahul Dravid is still there, even though he's 39. VVS Laxman looks Twenty20-fit, not cricket-fit, with 20 overs his batting ceiling and that's only on rare days of very vast stamina. To point out that the tailenders hit exclusively to cow corner and that cow, intellectually speaking, is in this instance a particularly apt animal metaphor is to underestimate the craftiness of cows. Despite this, no one protects the tail or tries farming the strike. The one who could, Dhoni, bats in bursts. As a wicketkeeper Dhoni exudes a kind of disengaged competence: this from the country that gave cricket Tamhane, Engineer, Kirmaniā€¦

An ailing, rebuilding Indian team might make for years of fascinating TV-watching in India. It could, true, get teeth-itching for Australians. With one Test left this summer people have already mentally flicked over to the tennis

Which is to say that regular Twenty20 meetings between the two nations might be no bad thing. But 13 months from now they'll be playing four more Tests in India, then another four Tests two summers later in Australia, with seven one-dayers and a T20 the season before that, and an additional seven one-dayers and two T20s the season after, and that's not counting one-off clashes in World Cups, Champions Trophies, World Twenty20 carnivals, yet-to-be-named insurance company cups and anything else India's major partner or even India itself plans to sneak into the schedule and hasn't forewarned us about. Meanwhile, Australia is likely to get better on the field while India struggles and spurts along. To keep Australians interested, somehow India must replace Laxman, Dravid and Tendulkar - and replace them not just as cricketers. Those three men are deeply liked.

Cricket needs a strong India, it's said. Cricket Australia is begging for one.

There's a cycle that works. It's called the Ashes. Thirty months after England tour Australia, Australia go there, and 18 months later England come back again. Occasionally they have increased the frequency. That hasn't worked since the 19th century.

Most love fizzles, fades, sometimes never to be rekindled. In the last of those six West Indian summers, 1984-85, Andrew Hilditch blocked Australia to a heroic draw at the MCG and only 11,325 spectators paid money to see it. West Indies weren't invited back so often after that. Malcolm Speed, Cricket Australia's former chief executive, is an admirer of his successor, James Sutherland, and in his book Sticky Wicket, Speed says: "I think his best work will revolve around Australia's partnership with India."

Two cricket teams playing each other ad nauseam is seldom a bright idea and in the last couple of weeks the idea got a whole lot dumber.

Christian Ryan is a writer based in Melbourne. He is the author of Golden Boy: Kim Hughes and the Bad Old Days of Australian Cricket and, most recently Australia: Story of a Cricket Country

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | January 21, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    While Christian is right about some aspects, he is way off on the rest. The Ashes have also produced one sided results, yet Christian seems to like them. England also sent a side in the 70s that failed miserably. The side had many old hands lincluding Cowdrey who not only failed with the bat, but also got hit by Aussie pacemen like Lillee since they were too slow to get out of the way. India's tours in 2003 and 2007 made for very close and interesting test matches. A single one sided series is not reason enough to conclude that Inda-Australia contests should be less frequent. Besides, it would be impossible to schedule and reschedule cricket tours constantly based on the most recent performances.

  • POSTED BY on | January 21, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    @LordTendulkar: idol worshippers who think that indivudual and mindless records are greater than the team . punter is there in the team because he gives tactical guidance to the team and also gets some runs..... since so-called GOD is doing neither it is time for him to leave as Django said....

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    What's he talking about? Prayer for a stronger India. Dude, Aus and Eng both were thrashed in India recently. If they come to India and beat them the way they did in their backyard, we will call them a better team. Even India isn't bad in their own backyard. As a matter of fact, India have won more matched in India than Aus did in their own country in past year or so. You should instead pray for a better Aussie team that can win back the so-very-hyped URN rest of the world doesn't give a damn about. I know India is, by no stretch of imagination, a world beater, but neither is Aus, and definitely not England.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    since 1996,india is 12/13 against australia even after taking into account these recent loses ,no team matches this record in last 16 years, so it wasnt only money which was responsible for great interest in oz/india matches,it was great cricket played by two countires too, which made watching these matches compelling.

  • POSTED BY kenishah on | January 20, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    well after india got whitewahed in eng people said india can only win in ther backyard n now we find out its the same wit eng,aus,sri lankan maybe SA but pak also won against eng at home n wen they went away they played easy oppositions

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    When you start paying players based on their performance things will change and there will be incentive. Current system is based on socialistic attitudes - pay them per their rank (seniority). This breeds incompetence. None of these so called players havea fighting spirit left in them if you see them play. Secondly start promoting other games in India - such as hockey, soccer, volleyball etc. A healthy competition across sports is as important as within a sport. This develops character of players and also inspires newer, younger players to learn skills limited by a single sport.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    This is getting a little too much on the trio of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman. There were 8 others in the team who also did not perform. Being the senior pro...these 3 should have fared better. We are missing out or not highlighting the failure of openers, wicket keeper , our regular spinner, Number 6 batsman(sourav retired 3 yrs back). Our pace bowling Zaheer bowled good enough but definitely not spectacular, Ishant has played 45 test matches but not good enough..... It's doing a reality check , than blaming the senior pros....they will in all probability will retire in a year or so.......after that? Do you have the solution for the rest of 8 spots as of now? Sachin still look good, Dravid inspite of being showed the most fighting spirit, Laxman could have done better but he had amazing run in the last couple of years... Australia won at home..these pacers will be zeroes once they visit subcontinent.they dont have a quality spinnertheir middle order is vulnerable against spin..

  • POSTED BY JayPadia on | January 20, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    Some of these articles that rubbish India are preposterous. Indeed, India has made an utterly pathetic show of cricket down under this summer; which makes a reason for the fans to be very very very angry. But ridiculing India like they were always a rubbish team and thrive in the cricketing world only on the basis of the large cricket crazy Indian audience is not appropriate. Especially when that comes from Australia which sank so low that even if it defeats India 4-0 in this series, it would barely be able make its ranking above India. And about the Indian fans, it is rude and imprudent to consider them not able to appreciate and ask for good cricket. For that matter, the quality of the last ashes where Australia was trashed was very low if someone was watching the high quality battle of equals in SA (vs India) going on simultaneously.

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | January 20, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    Ryan, the success of Australia against India does not necessarily mean that it's only India which is "an ailing, rebuilding team". Funnily I was watching Australia's 98 all out at the Ashes boxing day Test match a few minutes ago and guess what Australia has the same batting team that has consistently failed them in non-Australian conditions over the last two years. What about the aging Ponting, Hussey. We see no replacements! Haddin continues to struggle - no replacement in sight. The worries at the top continues - save for David Warner. Phil Hughes, Ed Cowan and Marsh don't appear that they belong to the top league. So before commenting on India's ailing team, look at Australia. It's bound to get thrashed outside Australia (& even in Australia against strong bowling attacks). Indian bowling has been traditionally weak, and if Australia sits on this 3-0 glory, it'll be a HUGE mistake.Australia's rebuild process has hardly commenced and it's still long way to go to unearth good batters

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 20, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    As usual, 90% of posters are completely missing the point. Though I have to admit it isn't a very obvious one on this occasion. I think what the author is trying to say is that from an Australian cricket followers perspective we just want to see good cricket being played by the touring teams. Even if that means we get consistently massacred, as the great Windies sides used to do to us. Ratings were fantastic even though we were basically no hope of beating them . He makes no comment about Indian audiences or what they want, presumably he doesn't feel qualified to make such comments. (Something Indians could learn from perhaps). So, given that, all he is saying is that people will turn up to watch India play in Australia while ever they play well. If they don't play well enough to give us a run for our money or even beat us, people will stop watching. Quite simply really and nothing more should be read into it.

  • POSTED BY MiddleStump on | January 21, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    While Christian is right about some aspects, he is way off on the rest. The Ashes have also produced one sided results, yet Christian seems to like them. England also sent a side in the 70s that failed miserably. The side had many old hands lincluding Cowdrey who not only failed with the bat, but also got hit by Aussie pacemen like Lillee since they were too slow to get out of the way. India's tours in 2003 and 2007 made for very close and interesting test matches. A single one sided series is not reason enough to conclude that Inda-Australia contests should be less frequent. Besides, it would be impossible to schedule and reschedule cricket tours constantly based on the most recent performances.

  • POSTED BY on | January 21, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    @LordTendulkar: idol worshippers who think that indivudual and mindless records are greater than the team . punter is there in the team because he gives tactical guidance to the team and also gets some runs..... since so-called GOD is doing neither it is time for him to leave as Django said....

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    What's he talking about? Prayer for a stronger India. Dude, Aus and Eng both were thrashed in India recently. If they come to India and beat them the way they did in their backyard, we will call them a better team. Even India isn't bad in their own backyard. As a matter of fact, India have won more matched in India than Aus did in their own country in past year or so. You should instead pray for a better Aussie team that can win back the so-very-hyped URN rest of the world doesn't give a damn about. I know India is, by no stretch of imagination, a world beater, but neither is Aus, and definitely not England.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    since 1996,india is 12/13 against australia even after taking into account these recent loses ,no team matches this record in last 16 years, so it wasnt only money which was responsible for great interest in oz/india matches,it was great cricket played by two countires too, which made watching these matches compelling.

  • POSTED BY kenishah on | January 20, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    well after india got whitewahed in eng people said india can only win in ther backyard n now we find out its the same wit eng,aus,sri lankan maybe SA but pak also won against eng at home n wen they went away they played easy oppositions

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    When you start paying players based on their performance things will change and there will be incentive. Current system is based on socialistic attitudes - pay them per their rank (seniority). This breeds incompetence. None of these so called players havea fighting spirit left in them if you see them play. Secondly start promoting other games in India - such as hockey, soccer, volleyball etc. A healthy competition across sports is as important as within a sport. This develops character of players and also inspires newer, younger players to learn skills limited by a single sport.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    This is getting a little too much on the trio of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman. There were 8 others in the team who also did not perform. Being the senior pro...these 3 should have fared better. We are missing out or not highlighting the failure of openers, wicket keeper , our regular spinner, Number 6 batsman(sourav retired 3 yrs back). Our pace bowling Zaheer bowled good enough but definitely not spectacular, Ishant has played 45 test matches but not good enough..... It's doing a reality check , than blaming the senior pros....they will in all probability will retire in a year or so.......after that? Do you have the solution for the rest of 8 spots as of now? Sachin still look good, Dravid inspite of being showed the most fighting spirit, Laxman could have done better but he had amazing run in the last couple of years... Australia won at home..these pacers will be zeroes once they visit subcontinent.they dont have a quality spinnertheir middle order is vulnerable against spin..

  • POSTED BY JayPadia on | January 20, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    Some of these articles that rubbish India are preposterous. Indeed, India has made an utterly pathetic show of cricket down under this summer; which makes a reason for the fans to be very very very angry. But ridiculing India like they were always a rubbish team and thrive in the cricketing world only on the basis of the large cricket crazy Indian audience is not appropriate. Especially when that comes from Australia which sank so low that even if it defeats India 4-0 in this series, it would barely be able make its ranking above India. And about the Indian fans, it is rude and imprudent to consider them not able to appreciate and ask for good cricket. For that matter, the quality of the last ashes where Australia was trashed was very low if someone was watching the high quality battle of equals in SA (vs India) going on simultaneously.

  • POSTED BY Leggie on | January 20, 2012, 1:56 GMT

    Ryan, the success of Australia against India does not necessarily mean that it's only India which is "an ailing, rebuilding team". Funnily I was watching Australia's 98 all out at the Ashes boxing day Test match a few minutes ago and guess what Australia has the same batting team that has consistently failed them in non-Australian conditions over the last two years. What about the aging Ponting, Hussey. We see no replacements! Haddin continues to struggle - no replacement in sight. The worries at the top continues - save for David Warner. Phil Hughes, Ed Cowan and Marsh don't appear that they belong to the top league. So before commenting on India's ailing team, look at Australia. It's bound to get thrashed outside Australia (& even in Australia against strong bowling attacks). Indian bowling has been traditionally weak, and if Australia sits on this 3-0 glory, it'll be a HUGE mistake.Australia's rebuild process has hardly commenced and it's still long way to go to unearth good batters

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 20, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    As usual, 90% of posters are completely missing the point. Though I have to admit it isn't a very obvious one on this occasion. I think what the author is trying to say is that from an Australian cricket followers perspective we just want to see good cricket being played by the touring teams. Even if that means we get consistently massacred, as the great Windies sides used to do to us. Ratings were fantastic even though we were basically no hope of beating them . He makes no comment about Indian audiences or what they want, presumably he doesn't feel qualified to make such comments. (Something Indians could learn from perhaps). So, given that, all he is saying is that people will turn up to watch India play in Australia while ever they play well. If they don't play well enough to give us a run for our money or even beat us, people will stop watching. Quite simply really and nothing more should be read into it.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | January 20, 2012, 0:39 GMT

    You're right Christian India through the BCCI kills any rivalry they have with another country in cricket quite quickly by playing too many games. Look at Sri Lanka. Look at Pakistan before the Mumbai attack it was ridiculous and incredibly boring. @mughal29173, India got 20 wickets against Australia in Melbourne. I think they would have taken 20 wickets in Perth too but their batting was so bad they lost by an innings. Yadav and Ashwin look promising. Zaheer is old and Ishant not good enough. Maybe bringing back Praveen Kumar and Aaron would sort the bowling out. But the batting needs an overhaul. I've never seen so many almost 40-years old in a cricket team at one time. And these day there's a lot more travelling unlike 100 years ago where you occasionally got old cricketers playing Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | January 20, 2012, 0:22 GMT

    @Pathik Joshi, that was against South Africa dear

  • POSTED BY Raja_naveed_khan on | January 20, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    Laly Gill and versatile.raja stop trying taking pakistan credit, Its pakistan home series by Icc future programs but its not actually played in pakistan, its on a neutral vanue, so say pakistan beat england on a Neutral vanue not on the home backyad,

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    @ Laly Gill. Point noted, but I'm not sure making the same pitches everywhere is the solution. Part of the excitement of home and away series is that the touring side needs to adapt to local conditions. I think the issue is 'time' more than anything else. Contrast India's preparation for this Australian tour with that of England's last summer. India played two only two tour matches against low quality opposition, and that two both on Manuka Oval (really more a club cricket ground). England played several tour matches, sent ALL their players early to acclimatise to the local conditions, and played their tour games on pitches and locations similar to that of their test matches. Granted, yes, there was a lot of strength and talent in that England side, but the fruits of good preparation can never be filled with anything else. As I said, I think the problem is 'time' - these days cricket boards try and pack too much cricket into the calendar, cutting the preparation time to insufficient.

  • POSTED BY Gilbertju on | January 19, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Ryan, You can never compare Sachin's class to anyone in the world...!I hope BCCI will never ever think of dropping class players like sachin,laxman and dravid. Everyone are aware that these players play for the country and not for the money.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Australians want to see Tendulkar. But Laxman - not so much. Dravid plays some beautiful strokes through the cover, but at 39 surely he should be bowing out for some younger players. I dread to think how terrible India will be in their rebuilding phase - even worse than Australia have been since Haydos, Langer, Gilly and Marto retired.

  • POSTED BY Optimistix on | January 19, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    Gross exaggeration by Christian on the basis of one lopsided series - India had in fact been Australia's best challenger in the 2002-2008 period, as was freely admitted by the Aussie players of that era.

    And let's not forget, the "guaranteed good cricket" in the series featuring the WI in the 80s was mostly by WI alone, with some pretty abject performances from Australia.

    India are going to be in a rebuilding phase, sure - but let's not forget that Aus are only just coming out of theirs (the next few series shall tell, but they've found some very promising bowlers, and that's the job more than half done).

    Having said all that, I too would dearly love to see Indian cricket get stronger and produce a team capable of winning consistently under all conditions.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    its funny all countries are winning in their own backyards australia lost to india in 2010 and 2008 in india, england lost to india in india 5-0, england lost to pakistan in the 3rd day today srilanka cant win outside of srilanka they should bomb all these pitches and make same pitches in each country

  • POSTED BY versatile.raja on | January 19, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    look England they lost to Pakistan Australia, England all are good at there home only and so as we are at Asian subcontinent nothing to worry 2 years back home we will be on top again... the legends will create history and world will see why india in world cup winner, whole world came here na if they were so gud then y they couldn't win...

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | January 19, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    India has 2 selection problems. Firstly almost all the players are nearly forty or a couple of years either side of twenty. Far too young or too old. The best teams have most thier players in the 27-32 age range, the ages when most players are at thier peak in ability, experience, and fitness. Secondly all these 'exiting youngsters' are labelled 'exciting' because thats all they are - twenty twenty sloggers. None of them have any technique worth a blade of grass and whenever they get a fifty its almost always when the long handle has come off, edges fall safe, slogs land just outside the rope instead of in the guy at cow corner's hands, ect. In T20 four ducks followed by a rapid 50 is perfectly acceptable. In fact you want your entire batting lineup made of these players. In Tests its an average of 12.5, ie what you expect from a number ten.

  • POSTED BY Bubla on | January 19, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Personally I like this article even being an Indian. Christian is very critical and I like the way he placed it. I have played cricket with many Australian and to my all Indian friends I can only say 'thats how Australian rolls'. I am also diappointed from this series so far but seed falls on the ground to give a new tree. I strongly believe that Indians should be little more aggressive while playing in Australia. When u guys are talking about West Indies at their prime time then I must say u should be reminded the series before 1977-78 from when WI became invincible. Even when Packer started the World series WI with their full team were lost but they came back strongly. And I am curious how many dogs being named after Bradman,Hughes or Chappel in Australia.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | January 19, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    LOOK HERE IS SOME SOLUTION TO INDIA 'S BATTING & BOWLING . IN BATTING INDIA NEEDS TO TAKE SERIOUS STEPS TO INTRODUCE YOUNG TALENTS LIKE ROHIT SHARMA , RAHANE , PUJARA INSTEAD OF OLDIES . THESE YOUNGSTERS ARE ALSO GOOD FILELDERS & RUN QUICKLY B/W THE WKTS . THIS IS THE MAIN DIFFERNECE B/W INDIA'S TEST & ODI SIDE . IN BOWLING ONLY ISHANT SHARMA IS THE MAIN PROBLEM , WE NEED TO REPLACE HIM BUT OUR SELECTORS ( JOKERS) DIDN'T SELECT IRFAN PATHAN & WE HAVE NO OTHER OPTION , SO WE SHOULD DROP HIM & SHOULD TRY BOTH ASHWIN & OJHA IN ADELAIDE . WE SHOULD TRY TO DRAW THIS MATCH SO WE DON'T LOSE MORE POINTS . AFTER THIS WE WILL PLAY 14 TESTS AT HOME UPTO NOV 2013 . & IF WE CONTINUE OUR HOME RECORD WE WILL BACK AT TOP 1 OR 2 .

  • POSTED BY Ajayvs on | January 19, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Yes everybody wants a part of India's cricketing pie. On top of it we need to put up with bigoted articles like this. My humble opinion is that one good summer does not make everything great. I would suggest that Australia are still on the road to recovery and not done anything significant after the retirement of their own legends Warne,Mcgrath and Hayden.

  • POSTED BY Lord_Tendulkar on | January 19, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    All those like @Django asking Tendulkar to retire should ask Ponting instead. Just by getting one odd hundred in two years dosen't prove him to be world class again! Sachin has been playing classy cricket although his scores don't necessarily reflect that. Its a matter of time he gets his hundred. Also he is not the one harping about it and its the media and all people like us. Getting rid of Tendulkar will be the prime aspiration of other teams as he is a great player most bowlers cherish to get a wicket of.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Guess u r one of those writers who think u know all about cricket just coz u can put up some good stats from history...plz dont forget dear....that Australia were bowled out for 47 just a month or so ago against New Zealand....good for you that the Indians have put up a spineless performance...u finally got something to write about dear.

  • POSTED BY mensan on | January 19, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    India is an over-rated team, rightly brought to earth by rampant AUS.

  • POSTED BY mughal29173 on | January 19, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    i guess he is right. We just have to listen and stop thinking like an idiot. Cricket is no more a passion in India rather it is a "Karobar" for money makers. they dubbed it as "greater then ashes". Is it? Even if indian batting start to blossom what about the bowling??? Can then get 20 wickets in 5 days??? ask ur self.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    A double hundred is coming from tendulkar in perth......

  • POSTED BY doubtingthomas on | January 19, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Good. Seriously good. They seem to be hellbent in killing the goose (cricket) that lays golden eggs.

  • POSTED BY ether0505 on | January 19, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I agree whole-heartedly with Christian. I am an Indian, and I think the posters pointing fingers at Christian are doing Indian cricket a disservice. Tub thumping and chest beating patriotism does not always work. Pragmatism is sometimes useful! The elders are done, atleast Laxman & Sachin. Time for them to be axed, as I dont think they will go on their own. Dravid can maybe go for a year or so and gradually hand over, but even his reflexes are badly suffering. I cannot believe he has been bowled 5 times in 6 innings. Dhoni needs to give up captaincy for the test side. He is just not capable. And time to stop being in awe of Sehwag. What has he been doing for the last year out of India? Completely ineffective. Need changes soon, otherwise even the money will dry up as people in India stop watching. Maybe that will be for the good, time to give the Indian players a reality checkup. And, please please please do not compare the Indian team to the Windies of the 1980s. They were legends.

  • POSTED BY crazyuddie on | January 19, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    They met so many times since the start 2001, especially because the quality of cricket has been exceptional. Be it Australia's triumph in the 2004 series, or that magical 2003-4 tied series. That this series did not live up to the expectations does not, should not suddenly make the last decade of India-Australia cricket inconsequential.

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | January 19, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    no matter that useless ashes of yours is always competitive...why not 5-0 of england thrashing ooh my god such a nail biting contest and also who can forget the goose bumps when austraia lost 3-1..everyone just have applause for the famous and useless ashes series and two overrated home bullies teams australia and especially england as seen today against pak and 5-0 loss of odi series in india ..come on you all are too stubborn no matter what is the reality just one bad summer and you all just keep on exaggerating..

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    Christian, India and Australia have been the biggest, fiercest and most closely fought rivalry for much of the modern era. They were the only team that could provide a consistent challenge to the great Australian teams of 1994-2008. The quality of cricket hasn't been 'rubbish', but rather generally of the highest standard. One lop-sided series doesn't negate all that came before.

  • POSTED BY Mob_King on | January 19, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Neutral fan here weighing in. The main difference between this series of defeats and Oz getting beaten 2-0 in India is that the Indian players just don't seem to care. They aren't really even trying and to be honest they shouldn't even be in this predicament. At least when Oz go down, they go down fighting and will keep charging in at you, trying to shatter the wickets with some kind of brutal force of will. As much as I love to hate individual players in the Baggy Greens, I have to admire them all for their dedication to Test match dominance.

  • POSTED BY ntnb on | January 19, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    So ,Eng thrashes india & Pak in its own backyard & get thrashed in subcontinent in return. AUS did not have major success in India so far but can easily beat them in its own backyard. you get the idea. so predictable. Indians are waiting for AUS to come to india when Sehwag can hit another 300 & sachin can score a double in 1 days again:-)

  • POSTED BY csowmi7 on | January 19, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    An article of truly preposterous proportions. Quite Frankly as 'rubbish' as it can get. Agreed India are going through a lean patch and are playing very poor cricket but the previous tours have been nothing sort of sensational. Can any test series recreate the magic of Perth 2007-08 or the recent Mohali test? India were the only side that challenged and could defeat the Aussies in their prime. May I ask where was Christian Ryan when Aussies were handed a 3-1 drubbing to England all of which were Innings defeats or when England were thrashed 5-0 questioning the quality of cricket being played by the Aussies and English?

  • POSTED BY Lord_Tendulkar on | January 19, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    The only way for India to silence all critics back home and around the world and epecially those like Christian in Australia who easily forget how their great Australian team collapsed playing agains India, SA and even NZ just before the series is by playing well in Adelaide. The whole reason for CA to partner with BCCI and organize the games was coz they were immensely close and provided loads of entertainment before this series. I bet, many arrogant writers like Christian will calm down as soon as India give it back to Australia on the field. I sincerely hope the Indian team gets its batting form back and bring life to test cricket by fighting in out in Adelaide to silence these critics.

  • POSTED BY Django on | January 19, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Very strongly-worded, and very well written article Ryan. I think a lot more of Cricinfo's writers should start writing articles like this, instead of sitting on the fence on every darn issue. This one has been one of the most horrible tours of Australia, by any team, in the last decade. I think Bangladesh or WI or Zim would have taken at least one test into the fifth day. More than the final scoreline, it is the lack of fight that is bothering spectators around the world. And that is the reason India needs to rid this team of its esteemed seniors, including one Mr. Tendulkar, who has now grown sick and tired of *that* hundred and is willing to accomplish that in a slam-bang ODI against Sri Lanka instead. Get that hundred and off you go my man. Enough.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    This makes a lot of sense after reading elsewhere that Indians are still going to play laxman,....what can you say? This is just like politics the old codger will not quit till he or she drops dead....

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | January 19, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    Indians calling the last series in India a 'whitewash' have a very short memory. Well, I haven't forgotten Laxman winning the lst game batting TWICE with a runner after coming into the game with a bad back, and I haven't forgotten the umpiring which robbed us of a deserved victory. 1-1 would have been a fair result for that series. The second test wasn't decided till after lunch on the 5th day. A couple of wickets and it could have gone Australia's way. It was an exciting, tight, fiercely competitive series. Compare that to this current farce downunder. India have been awful batting, bowling and the fielding has been abysmal. There is no comparison to the hard-fought series in India. This is really bad for test cricket. Accept that the article is making a valid point instead of getting all uptight about it.

  • POSTED BY whyowhy on | January 19, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    GoIndia, you must be sent back to the institution from which you seem to have emerged, Forget the other cricket playing nations, ask your beloved India to play against Pakistan now (even in India) and the match will be over in less than three days. Maybe India should get back to playing some serious Hockey.......

  • POSTED BY Mahesh4811 on | January 19, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    If not India, Australia certainly got indians interested when they were bowled out for 47 :-)

  • POSTED BY Bang_La on | January 19, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    This is the last resort left, prayer. What poor Indians can do other than praying when cricket is not their main business?

  • POSTED BY sureshji on | January 19, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Don't forget, India would have won the previous three test series played in Australia, if the umpiring had been better.

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | January 19, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    also were you sleeping on india's last tour to australia in which test series result was 2-1 when 2nd test was a complete blunder in case of umpiring and after that cb tri series was won by india including a comprehensive 2-0 win in finals...come on you really need to brush up your facts else stop writing.

  • POSTED BY jinder01 on | January 19, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    So wrong ,,,,,,India was only country to have challenged australia in their dominating period....it came close to winning series in 2003...it provided another highly competitve n anger filled contest in 2008.....u know what australia only improved because 1 billion people of india prayed for australia after they were thumped in 4 of 6 test last palyed b/w 2 countries...i do hope when dey tour india next time they can avoid whitewash............

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | January 19, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    and Mr. Useless ryan if this is the case than teams like australia and england should stop touring in subcontinent because as always england have to clean sweeps both in odi's and tests and australian defeats on last tours of india have been same.

  • POSTED BY er.Vaibhav on | January 19, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    pure rubbish...just an exaggeration of what is happening right now...it is mentioned in previous comments that why this all rubbish wasn't brought up when australians lost the series by 2-0 that was also not at all competitive...i hope these foreign writers start acting as neutral cricket lovers as soon as they can instead of being useless criticizers who can not digest indian success and start having party at indian defeats with rubbish like these.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    I dont understand what this article means. But except this series, all the encounters of aus-inf have been well competed. Ian chappel himself on record said: its india who has been challengong aus more consistently in the last decade. And it was india's victory at perth in 2008 which galvanised SA to believe even they can beat AUSSIES.aND BY THE WAY INDIA TOUR AUs EVRY 4 YRS which in no way is frequent as the author claims. I think christian should come with a better article.

  • POSTED BY dissapointed on | January 19, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    You need to have lived in Australia in the early 80's to see what he's talking about. The West Indies were incredible, not even Australia at their height were even close. I agree, India and Australia can have some close matches since the demise of Australian cricket, but everyone is disappointed when India tours because a strong side or weak, boring bunch of players who just complain and when things don't go well, then the BCCI starts their childish antics. Personally, I wouldn't care if we never played them again or an other sub-continent side less Pakistan who at least have vigor in their style.

  • POSTED BY nickvegas on | January 19, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Oh boo hoo, "I hate Ponting". Ponting doesn't even know you exist, neither does Dravid, Tendulkbore and the rest. Get over it. India are on the way out just as Australia were before they rebuilt. Can India do it? Only if they are not soft.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    donno on what basis the Writer called ind-aus as just money making series??agree india is too poor in the ongoing series but apart from that all the other series in the last one decade both home & away b/w ind-aus was closely fought right from steve waugh's 1-2 loss in india in 2001 against brilliant laxman's 281 to 1-1 in aus in 2003 to 2-1 win for aus in india in 2004 to 1-2 loss for india in aus in 2008 to 2-0 win against aus in 2008 & 2010(both closely fought)..that makes just one series which was too one sided and boring..btw thats way better than overhyped Ashes in Aus since the last 20yrs(except last Ashes) when most of the time aus was overwhelming and winning the series too easily and was very one sided

  • POSTED BY boooonnie on | January 19, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    I cant agree with this article. Yes this series has been one sided but it is the exception to the recent norm. Most series have provided some very good cricket. I noticed that Australia are heading back to the UK again to play a couple of one day games - didn't we just have a series over there recently on top of the Ashes series? India vs Australia may not be the only contests suffering over kill. What about Sri Lanka vs India?

  • POSTED BY majesticmaniac on | January 19, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    I dont understand the big fuss. The australians have not managed to win a single test in India in the last 2 series they played there. So where is this houlier than thou attitude coming from.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Last two times Australia were in India, they lost the series 2-0 each time. Australia has not won any out of last 7 Tests they played in India!! Everyone is a TIGER in his own backyard. This applies to both sides!! Ponting has played 14 Tests in India making 662 runs at an avg. of 26.48 with only 1 century!! Sachin has played 19 Tests in Australia making 1771 runs at an avg. of 55.34 with 6 centuries!! Laxman has played 14 Tests in Australia making 1183 runs at an avg. of 45.50 with 4 centuries!! Dravid has played 15 Tests in Australia making 1140 runs at an avg. of 43.84 with 1 century!! This proves that Sachin, Dravid & Laxman played better in Australia, than Ponting played in India!! So stop the crap about retiring these legends. Sachin is still India's highest scorer in the ongoing series!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    A write up as though cricket is a prerogative of the Australians only and Indians are poor practitioners. Let's not forget that a certain Australian captain shed tears when he relinquished his captaincy unable to handle the might of the 80's West Indians.

    Now, where are the West Indians? Mark this, when the last of the FAB four hang their boots we will still have a decent line up in the name of Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Kohli,Mukund & Vijay on the batting front.

    Even on the bowling front we will be adequately served Indian cricket will not be impoverished for want of talent.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 19, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    Well, I figure it like this-had this summer come after a long run of walk over series wins for us it would have been a bore. Coming after the Ashes thrashing last year at the hands of the 'Old Enemy' I reckon it's just great. I would have preferred that the games went longer and were more keenly fought but I can live with it. Frankly when we were just about unbeatable for around 10 years that WAS a bore.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | January 19, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    India has really disappointed this summer. Best chance ever, and they blew it. I think that disappointment shows in this article. But let us not forget, and if my memory serves correctly, India is the only team in the world not to lose a test series to Australia in Australia during the course of the 2000s, a remarkable achievement. The two series played ended in 2 all draws I believe. A stark reminded that India must have played some damn good cricket in that time! However, Ryan does make a point that sometimes (I refer to the two test series in India last year) money drives the game more than it should. Why exactly was that two test series played? Can anyone tell me?

  • POSTED BY world.cricketer on | January 19, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    @woodhaven24.. India has beaten Australia by 2-0 in india dont forget they won worldcup and also tri series last time and if sydny test was played fair india could have won 2-1 in2008 @ Shashank Pawar I think u are right raina,yuvraj(to some extent ) and vijay got their oppertunities but they did not catch it they not fit for International test cricket

  • POSTED BY 68704 on | January 19, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    I agree that the series has been a bit of a wash out so far , but India and Australia have had really tight contests that stlarted way back in 87 with a world cup win of 1 run by Australia - not to forget the tied test that the two played out in Madras. The last series where India won 2-0 was a lot closer than the end result suggests. I think you are forgetting that Australia was pretty sad for the last two years and India has consistently beaten them. It makes sense for teams to play India for the revenue and that explains why these two teams play each other so often. India sadly have been poor travellers and that is reflected in he current results. Australia might not find it all that easy in the subcontinent when they tour next without Ponting and Hussey. Relax Christian , you have just st started to win. You are talking as though you have the late 90s or the early 2000s side and India will hold its own in the one dayers. And remember we beat you in the world cup in March! sridhar

  • POSTED BY din7 on | January 19, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    @YNS_GoIndia and other indians ...(i m also an inidan)........its bitter, but its truth.....australia have thrashed india3-0 and it willl be 4-0 .....ha ha ha ......... This article is write its the time to change indian team....whole of the top6....... For now live with it indian batsman are nothing more than flat pitch bullies especially sehwag....come on aussies thrash india 4-0 i don't mind it, they deserve it. I just remembered 1 of the comments i read months back for an article on cricinfo.....after WC...the guy told india will rule in all the three formats, just wondering has that guy got a shelter to hide his face? hahahah

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | January 19, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Ashes needs a strong Australia. Cricket England is begging for one. That presumptuous statement is no less ridiculous than the one you made. One series does not make the tradition one-sided in all but the most bigoted eyes.

  • POSTED BY whyowhy on | January 19, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    Absolutely spot on, these Indians are a bunch of aging losers who cannot last more than 3 days in a test match. Even the Kiwis were better fighters. To start with the IPL should be scrapped, if overseas players stayed out of the IPL it will not last another season, let the Bollywood and Collywood idiots stick to movies which will keep the coolies happy in India and the rest of the world can get back to playing better cricket. Pakistan is an example - their players do not play in the IPL and the current team is proof that they are better for it.

  • POSTED BY harcosh on | January 19, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    This is nonsense parayer will not help to win make pitches in india and sri lanka like Australian pitch for practice and arrange tour for australia

  • POSTED BY Harry_Kool on | January 19, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Some typical comments from head in the sand fans. Face it guys, your geriatric side has long gone past their use by date. Sure there will be some odd performances, but they will be spaced further & further apart. You only have to look at the way they field, it's almost hysterical, the only thing missing are the walking frames. Good luck if you expect these pensioners to be competing in 2 years time.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    its not a good idea no one replace this order in test ,dravid the wall of india and laxman special for cricket in australia then sachin ,he is in form only he is having a average of 40 in this series itself he is the top scorer in the indian side

  • POSTED BY TheBengalTiger on | January 19, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    One of the worst articles this site has ever seen. I cant quite grasp what you're talking about. Most importantly, India owes absolutely nothing to Australia. Absoultely nothing.

  • POSTED BY jazzaaaaaaaa on | January 19, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    I can see what the writer is getting at but was the cricket between Aus and the Windies really top quality in the 80s? Sure the Windies had a great team and played great cricket, but the Aussies had one of the worst teams in our history and continually got hammered. I wouldn't say they played top quality cricket, far from it.

  • POSTED BY ADXI on | January 19, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    The author seems to be a victim of amnesia....the article seems to be suggest that aus hav been dominating india every time, which is nowehere near the truth. I am sure he did not intend for the article to come this way coz if he its plain stupid!!!

  • POSTED BY sony_sr on | January 19, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Utter nonsense! So you seriously think the current aus team is way ahead of others? After retirement of warne and macgrath, aussies are just another team and nothing more.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Sadly the Indians are not equipped to get over the ball. They play too much from the crease. So far Kohli and Yadav have been the emerging success. The time has come for change. Australia went through this in 07 ad are now emerging finally from the post warne , mcgrath , hayden, giully and langer hangover. Now its time for these millionare's to hang up their bats and let the young players come through. There will be tough times but they must work through it. BCCI wake up and dont let your players tell you what they want the umpires to do also.

  • POSTED BY Pakmann on | January 19, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    Reading these comments, I have some advice for Christian: Now that you have written this, don't tour India. Besides, you should have known better; they are already in court to ban Yahoo, facebook and even Google! You want to stay in cricket? then stay in the good books of the Indians and their channels. And most importantly don't even think about speaking your mind about Sachin Tendulkar unless you want to be taken in for sacrilege!

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | January 19, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    The author is suffering from amnesia. OZ ran roughshod over other tri-series participants during the Benson and Hedges triangular but were roundly thrashed whenever the WI came calling in the '80s and if I remember correctly, never won a Triangular finals against WI during their pomp. This is apart from the drubbing WI gave them in every Test series in the 80s. So the "good cricket" as termed by Ryan that Aussie crowds got to see and enjoy thoroughly was played only by the Caribbean Calypsos. Lloyd and Richards' teams kept CA afloat (with their middling teams) with their brand of world-beating cricket and so CA owes WI a lot. But off late, I have been seeing some negative-minded OZ fans dissing WI's precipitous decline and even calling for stripping of their Test status. Of course, regular unbiased OZ commenters like @Meety,@Gizza@Biggus@Smudgeon are exceptions.

  • POSTED BY Emancipator007 on | January 19, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    That last line had me seething and is typically ignorant. Could any analyst really have predicted that India would capitulate so hopelessly? India has been touring OZ regularly ONLY as part of a 4 year cycle since 1999 with no sandwiched-in tours. Only extra ODI tours were slotted in India during the period mentioned and the last OZ tour in India '10 was the only non-scheduled tour (courtesy to make up for BCCI's ad-hoc Test schedule). And for the record since '98 OZ tour to India (under Taylor), India has won 11 Tests and OZ won 13 (uptil Perth '12). India was the only team which kept chipping away at the OZ citadel in OZ during their PEAK and POMP period by drawing in 2003 and almost drawing again (everybody knows Sydney'08 was snatched) in 2008, giving SA confidence to crack OZ in 08-09 and then England in 2010-11. Ganguly's teams never lost to Waugh's world-record team over 2 series. Much in the same way Imran's teams never lost to WI during their world-dominating era over 3 series

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | January 19, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    India is world champion but this looks true when they play in Asia or specially at home, otherwise....

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | January 19, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    This is being needlessly harsh- obviously it never came out when Australia were losing!

    BTW, Cricket Australia had made a conscious decision to tour India more after their innings and 219 run defeat in Kolkata'98- the logic was a typical hard nosed Aussie one- that one needed to keep coming in order to start winning.

    India and Australia have produced some of the most scintillating cricket over the last decade- and the 70,000 strong crowd at MCG was expecting precisely that. It is a different matter that things went other way!

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | January 19, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    It seems everyone lives in the present and forgets the quality of cricket played previously.......

    Indian team has been the only side to beat or compete with australia in last 10-12 years and australia got completely whipped last time they came to india......

    Leaving logic aside, i see this nothing more than as being "mind games"...

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | January 19, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    I JUST WATHCED THE FIRST SESSION OF DAY 1 OF RANJI FINAL B/W TN & RAJ. THE PITCH WAS SO MUCH DRY & THE BALL WAS HARLDY BOUNCING & BATSMEN WERE EASILY MAKING RUNS . THE PLAYERS FROM INDIA PLAYS ON THESE BATTING PARADISE PITCHES IN DOMESTIC CRICKET & WERE EXPOSED ON GREEN PITCHES AT OVERSEAS . WE NEED TO CHANGE PITCHES . I M NOT SAYING THAT ALL PITCHES IN INDIA SHOULD BE MAKED GREEN BUT SOME PITCHES LIKE MOHALI , NAGPUR , BAGLORE SHOULD BE MAKE GREEN & BOUNCY SO INDIAN BATMSMEN WILL LEARN SOME TRICKS ON PLAYING GREEN WKTS .

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 19, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Cricket brings audience numbers only when there's an emotional connect. In India the vast majority of people go to watch their respective heroes play, just as they do to watch movies. If the movie happens to be good, it's a bonus. Everybody loves a superstar and a superstar is one who has built his reputation on performance AND records. Yuvraj's fan base rose exponentially after he hit those 6 sixers. Every Sachin fan loves to watch his 100, the match result irrespective. Everybody loves to watch Sehwag in full flow, patiently waiting for the once in a now bluemoon event. All this started with Gavaskar, the first record builder. The younger brigade are yet to make their bones. Kohli is still to get there tho' he behaves like he's in the majors. People love Raina, the modern day Yuvraj. People love to see Dhoni bat in ODIs .. when he slogs! Dravid is admired... for his attitude and consistency. It's all this that connects emotionally. Replacing them at one go, is no answer!

  • POSTED BY Doogius on | January 19, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    I think the expression describing this article is a 'stream of unconsciousness'. I'm not even sure what its trying to say. Ashes is all. India wants to pay us money, we'll take it and we win at home, they win at there home. Dravid, Laxman, legends in every sense, Tendulkar a great batsman but otherwise....??? The title suggest a strong India is needed for financial reward, but the conclusion is that if you play to often for financial reward, its dumb... is that a segue???

  • POSTED BY SillyPoint2009 on | January 19, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    When the West Indies toured Australia, West Indies played the good cricket. Australia lost six straight at one stage (3 in the Windies and 3 at home before Hughes resigned)...so it wasnt really good cricket from both sides, was it? 76 all out in Perth and other ignominies....Hindsight makes a lot of things seem better than they were.

  • POSTED BY YNS_GoIndia on | January 19, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    Did you think before writing this? Pure trash! Apart from this series, all others have been extremely competitive with the best cricket. Btw, get you facts straight. "Poor Dravid" has four test centuries in 2011. Laxman has been Aus's worst nightmare. And by the way, cricket in India is not played in summer. It's played in the winter! Australia should also think of how to keep the Indian's interested. After Warnie and Gilchrist, none of the current ausssies interest me. And I HATE Ponting :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    100% wrong to replace Tendulkar. By replacing Sachin, you won't get much in line up. Sachin has performed best in team than any of youngster. If you still think Sachin has blocked place for young one, grab some Cricket knowledge. No one can match to Sachin's feats. One day his all records might be broken, but the way he carried himself, his temperament, his abilities, the pressure he handled will never be matched by anyone.

  • POSTED BY Pakmann on | January 19, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    What makes any test series gripping is the sight of genuine fast bowlers intimidating and dispatching top class batsmen in the manner lions prey on buffaloes in the Serengeti...India does not have a strong tradition of genuine fast bowling.

    On the other hand, whatever else one might say of the Pakistanis, they keep churning out genuine pacemen almost like the West Indies used to do when they were at the top of their game. If the Windies attacked with Garner, Holdings and Marshal. The Pakistanis have had their own versions of such lions: Khan, Akram, Younis, Akhtar, Gul, Aamir and the list keeps building up as we speak. Some of these guys were the practitioners of the art of reverse swing the very invention of which is credited to another Pakistani great, Sarfraz Nawaz.

    If India could boast even half of the pacemen that Pakistan manages to throw into the game, there'd be a bonanza for Cricket Australia and and some of the other boards in international cricket.

  • POSTED BY Agnihothra on | January 19, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    You have it easy Ryan.. We in India were subjected to INDIA playing 50 (yes 50) matches in all formats in 2 (yes 2) years against SRI LANKA. Beat that!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Incisive article, and hints at plenty of the vulture disposition that underlies contemporary cricket and its wretched gains -- in India and Australia and beyond.

  • POSTED BY pyramix on | January 19, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    The Test cricket between India and Australia has been phenomal over the last decade, and a lot of it at a time when nobody else in the world could hold a candle to the Aussie powerhouse. Yes, this has been a bad/boring series because of the abject surrender by the Indians, but it seems a little too soon to be condemning the relations between the two countries, or making it sound like a good, competitive cricket was knowingly traded for money. I've witnessed the Ashes hype every couple of years since the 90s, even when the result was a foregone conclusion. You're telling me you could live through a decade of that and 3 Test matches here have you calling for heads?

    Yes, the content hasn't been of that high a quality in other forms, but that can be said of any bi-lateral 7-ODI series. For me though, if I had to pick, India v Australia has been the premier cricket over the last decade (spare the rise of England over the last few years).

  • POSTED BY KEVINMACHADO on | January 19, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Harsh but very TRUE, the ageing trio should gracefully retire, giving the youn uns in waiting a fair go.

  • POSTED BY Siddharth_Pandit on | January 19, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    I am a bit surprised reading all this, especially considering none of this came out when australia lost 0-2 in India last time and could well have gone done 0-4. Although, I agree the 0-2 was much closer than what 0-3 looks right now.

  • POSTED BY caught_knott_bowled_old on | January 19, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    For Indian cricket to be strong, the BCCI first needs to shaken out of its hubris. If the losses in England and Australia haven't done that, IPL5 surely will. I am certain viewer backlash will be felt in the 5th edition of IPL. The hangover of the losses, franchise mis-management, viewer fatigue and lack of any emerging marquee players will take its toll on TV ratings and attendance. I predict Ad Revenues and Gate collections will be down. Once BCCI gets this jolt, they'll revert to placing appropriate priority on International cricket.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | January 19, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    india are touring aus for tests every 4 years, aus then tour india for tests every 4 years. instead of playing the ODIs on the same test tour of india they come back the year after to fulfill their tour comitments. i dont see aus v india as a problem? its that india refuse to host bangledesh or even consider resuming cricket ties with pakistan thats to the detriment of international cricket. as for cricket fixtures in aus we arent doing too badly the 7 other main test nations play ODI's and tests here every 4 years. that acceptable to me, it doesnt bother me if aus want to get into bed with india so long as we arent blindly following their lead and still get every other test team to tour here.

  • POSTED BY moonuranus on | January 19, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    One bad summer in many and the author is begging for better cricket from India. And couple of good Ashes series and the author makes it an epitome of a contest. Load of nonsense to suit a narrative. Is bashing of IPL there too? Yes, it is there.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 19, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    Cricket brings audience numbers only when there's an emotional connect. In India the vast majority of people go to watch their respective heroes play, just as they do to watch movies. If the movie happens to be good, it's a bonus. Everybody loves a superstar and a superstar is one who has built his reputation on performance AND records. Yuvraj's fan base rose exponentially after he hit those 6 sixers. Every Sachin fan loves to watch his 100, the match result irrespective. Everybody loves to watch Sehwag in full flow, patiently waiting for the once in a now bluemoon event. All this started with Gavaskar, the first record builder. The younger brigade are yet to make their bones. Kohli is still to get there tho' he behaves like he's in the majors. People love Raina, the modern day Yuvraj. People love to see Dhoni bat in ODIs .. when he slogs! Dravid is admired... for his attitude and consistency. It's all this that connects emotionally. Replacing them at one go, is no answer!

  • POSTED BY lobsterchampion on | January 19, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    What does author mean that cricket between WI and Aus "good" in late 70s and early 80s? If I remember correctly, WI routinely thrashed Aus in home and away series. As for Aus vs India is concerned, apart from the ongoing series all series in last decade (home and away)have been evenly fought.

  • POSTED BY woodhaven on | January 19, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    india is an overrated team. they should be in the same category like srilanka, NZ, bangladesh, west indies, zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    I might reflect BCCI's point of view on this, its too early for the comments such as India struggles and spurts along. Its the first time in last 3 tours that India is not putting up a fight. The point your missing is India is still paying like no1 or at least like a team which was recently no1 at home, despite the all mighty thrashing against England. Next time Aus visit India you can at least expect two new batsman for Dravid and Laxman and expect them to perform coz they will be playing at home. I would even go on to say that world cricket might even say India rise to no1 or get pretty close to being no1 by 2013, because they are playing at home, and ofcource real challenge will start from there. The point I am getting to here is India have remained and will remain almost invincible at home and keep providing good cricket. The away scenario will have to be changed by new generation players, and since they are not playing away for two years there is no need to rush new players.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | January 19, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    Wonderful article. Sad, but true. But problem is pretty straight forward. India, unlike West Indies and Australia, were never a team that caused fear in opposition ranks. Yes, they did earn the respect of opposition teams when Sehwag, Indian Middle Order, Zaheer, Kumble and Harbhajan were performing but they never actually created a sense of panic or fear in opposition teams. Though India is the money making capital of world cricket, has Indian cricket really progressed? Where are the well planned academies and good coaching in smaller towns and remote districts? Nowhere. Still people who get to play for India hardly ever get good coaching (Dravid and Tendulkar were exceptions). They make it on their own ability (which contain their fair share of flaws). And often they get found out at international level for their flaws. Had those flaws been evicted in their teens they would have been better cricketers and more successful at International level.

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  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | January 19, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    Wonderful article. Sad, but true. But problem is pretty straight forward. India, unlike West Indies and Australia, were never a team that caused fear in opposition ranks. Yes, they did earn the respect of opposition teams when Sehwag, Indian Middle Order, Zaheer, Kumble and Harbhajan were performing but they never actually created a sense of panic or fear in opposition teams. Though India is the money making capital of world cricket, has Indian cricket really progressed? Where are the well planned academies and good coaching in smaller towns and remote districts? Nowhere. Still people who get to play for India hardly ever get good coaching (Dravid and Tendulkar were exceptions). They make it on their own ability (which contain their fair share of flaws). And often they get found out at international level for their flaws. Had those flaws been evicted in their teens they would have been better cricketers and more successful at International level.

  • POSTED BY on | January 19, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    I might reflect BCCI's point of view on this, its too early for the comments such as India struggles and spurts along. Its the first time in last 3 tours that India is not putting up a fight. The point your missing is India is still paying like no1 or at least like a team which was recently no1 at home, despite the all mighty thrashing against England. Next time Aus visit India you can at least expect two new batsman for Dravid and Laxman and expect them to perform coz they will be playing at home. I would even go on to say that world cricket might even say India rise to no1 or get pretty close to being no1 by 2013, because they are playing at home, and ofcource real challenge will start from there. The point I am getting to here is India have remained and will remain almost invincible at home and keep providing good cricket. The away scenario will have to be changed by new generation players, and since they are not playing away for two years there is no need to rush new players.

  • POSTED BY woodhaven on | January 19, 2012, 3:59 GMT

    india is an overrated team. they should be in the same category like srilanka, NZ, bangladesh, west indies, zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY lobsterchampion on | January 19, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    What does author mean that cricket between WI and Aus "good" in late 70s and early 80s? If I remember correctly, WI routinely thrashed Aus in home and away series. As for Aus vs India is concerned, apart from the ongoing series all series in last decade (home and away)have been evenly fought.

  • POSTED BY TheOnlyEmperor on | January 19, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    Cricket brings audience numbers only when there's an emotional connect. In India the vast majority of people go to watch their respective heroes play, just as they do to watch movies. If the movie happens to be good, it's a bonus. Everybody loves a superstar and a superstar is one who has built his reputation on performance AND records. Yuvraj's fan base rose exponentially after he hit those 6 sixers. Every Sachin fan loves to watch his 100, the match result irrespective. Everybody loves to watch Sehwag in full flow, patiently waiting for the once in a now bluemoon event. All this started with Gavaskar, the first record builder. The younger brigade are yet to make their bones. Kohli is still to get there tho' he behaves like he's in the majors. People love Raina, the modern day Yuvraj. People love to see Dhoni bat in ODIs .. when he slogs! Dravid is admired... for his attitude and consistency. It's all this that connects emotionally. Replacing them at one go, is no answer!

  • POSTED BY moonuranus on | January 19, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    One bad summer in many and the author is begging for better cricket from India. And couple of good Ashes series and the author makes it an epitome of a contest. Load of nonsense to suit a narrative. Is bashing of IPL there too? Yes, it is there.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | January 19, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    india are touring aus for tests every 4 years, aus then tour india for tests every 4 years. instead of playing the ODIs on the same test tour of india they come back the year after to fulfill their tour comitments. i dont see aus v india as a problem? its that india refuse to host bangledesh or even consider resuming cricket ties with pakistan thats to the detriment of international cricket. as for cricket fixtures in aus we arent doing too badly the 7 other main test nations play ODI's and tests here every 4 years. that acceptable to me, it doesnt bother me if aus want to get into bed with india so long as we arent blindly following their lead and still get every other test team to tour here.

  • POSTED BY caught_knott_bowled_old on | January 19, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    For Indian cricket to be strong, the BCCI first needs to shaken out of its hubris. If the losses in England and Australia haven't done that, IPL5 surely will. I am certain viewer backlash will be felt in the 5th edition of IPL. The hangover of the losses, franchise mis-management, viewer fatigue and lack of any emerging marquee players will take its toll on TV ratings and attendance. I predict Ad Revenues and Gate collections will be down. Once BCCI gets this jolt, they'll revert to placing appropriate priority on International cricket.

  • POSTED BY Siddharth_Pandit on | January 19, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    I am a bit surprised reading all this, especially considering none of this came out when australia lost 0-2 in India last time and could well have gone done 0-4. Although, I agree the 0-2 was much closer than what 0-3 looks right now.

  • POSTED BY KEVINMACHADO on | January 19, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Harsh but very TRUE, the ageing trio should gracefully retire, giving the youn uns in waiting a fair go.