Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Saluting India's victory of Commonwealth Bank Series

Finally! Finally after three lost chances in 1986, 1992 and 2004 when they didn't even win a single match in the best-of-three finals Down Under, India has managed to upstage the Aussies. It finally ended one of the most turbulent tours for India, a tour which was at a point in danger of ending prematurely. The racism row involving Bhajji and Symonds; the on-field bickering; all seem to have been forgotten in this wonderful victory of India. The impact, importance and extent of the victory for India could be easily seen from the wild celebrations at the Gabba that were triggered by the fall of the wicket of James Hopes. The wicket of Hopes finally ending any hopes of Australia of snatching the match from India and keeping the series lively.

But unlike previous times, this victory was not fashioned solely by the so-called seniors in the team. In fact the lion share of the victory goes to the 'Young Brigade' of India. It was Praveen Kumar who started the Aussie downfall with the highly prized wickets of Gilchrist(1st over) and Ponting(3rd over). And then later when the Hayden-Symonds partnership was beginning to threaten India, a single over of Bhajji turned around the match in favour of India. Hayden was run-out and Symonds was out lbw. It turned out to be the most important over of the match.

Before that it was Tendulkar who played the anchor role again to steer India to a competitive score. He was unlucky not to score a second succesive century missing it by a mere 9 runs. Uthappa, Yuvi and Dhoni chipped in with important and quickfire contributions. India missed a golden chance to score big in the final overs when they lost their way somewhat in the overs 40-45.

But then, All's well that end's well. India have won the series 2-0, and that's what matters. Coupled with the colts victory of the U-19 WC at Malaysia, and it already looks like the next generation of Indian cricketers has arrived and they have that hunger for victory which we so badly missed earlier.

The entire nation is celebrating this superb time for Indian cricket, and so am I. When Dhoni's boys had won the T-20 WC I had jumped on the floor and danced on the streets with my roommates and others in the locality. That's because there is nothing more binding for the people of India than cricket. Now when the boys look to have turned to be men, showing the character and will-power to upstage the Aussies at their own den, I bet that each and every Indian has a smile on his face.

Finally I would like to sign off with statement. When Ponting had said before the start of the Best-of-three finals in the Commonwealth Bank series that the third final would not be required, I bet he wasn't expecting this result. Cheers!


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Abhishek Saha
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
A NRB (Non Resident Bengali) or rather a 'Probashi Bangali'; born in Kolkata, brought up in Jamshedpur and now trying to make his mark at IIM Lucknow.
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