Sunday, February 18, 2007


It always takes a special effort to beat the Aussies, be it in the test matches or in the one-dayers. The loss in the finals of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series and then the two losses in the Chappell-Hadlee trophy to the underdogs is something straight out of the imagination of fiction writers of some repute.

The losses to England were nothing short of an upset, while the Kiwis are always strong on their home turf and have in the past, shown commitment of the highest class when facing their trans-Tasman rivals.

The losses to New Zealand were suffered when some of the key players in the Aussie one-day machine are either rested or injured. However, the record books are never going to show this fact. There is something that is to be realized by other teams around the world. Australia is beatable and the reputation of the team should not be a factor for the opponents. The Indian team has to learn this lesson for the mere thought of facing the Aussies unsettles even the best.

Even the best captain can be made to look like a novice. Ricky Ponting appeared out of his wits when Gibbs, Smith and Boucher overhauled a score of over 400. Hussey too, appeared clueless when the likes of Taylor, Fulton and Macmillan took on the might of the Aussie bowlers.

There is another thing that emerges out of the victories for the Kiwis. The team led by Stephen Fleming could not reach the finals of the tri-series in Australia. Yet, on home grounds, they managed to upstage their more famous rivals. Home advantage always counts and teams should not be ashamed to count on this factor.

The Indian media has managed to raise the visions of an Indian win in the World Cup. The win over Sri Lanka and the losses suffered by the Aussies have given strength to this fallacious theory. The Aussies cannot be taken lightly and the Indians have a long way to go.

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