Indo-Aus series a winner for world cricket

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2000, 20:30 [IST]
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What a battle the just concluded India-Australia series turned out to be. But I suppose Australia will be a grieved side after having been at the door step of taking a 2-0 lead and then seeing it being shut on them. For the Indians, this will mark as one of the most, I suppose the most, memorable and consequential series victories of all time.

Not only was this particular series of great importance to Indian cricket, but it also was what world cricket was looking for or rather was in need of. With Australia and South Africa making a habit of series white washes there was a serious danger of a huge divide in the quality of cricket exhibited by teams.

However, this series and also the resurgence of England, not to forget, will do world cricket a lot of good. With more competitiveness instilled in the circuit, cricket is now gaining some lost ground.

For Australia, this series will be a good lesson - albeit a bitter one that no matter how close one is to the victory post and how far behind the opponent, unless the door is shut on the opponents never to take a breather. There is one more important lesson for the Australians and that is if they have to be an all-conquering side then they have to learn to tackle spin on turning tracks and maybe produce more quality spinners.

For India, all criticism of hiring a foreign coach will now be put to rest. John Wright has definitely done wonders with the team. And the boys now look like a fighting unit, albeit there is a long way to go and a lot of more work to be done.

In my series preview "India-Australia series set for a battle royal", I had expected a tight series but I thought the Australians would prevail given that they were hard-core professionals and that the Indians, under Wright, were just getting to be professional. Apparently, Wright's input was just enough to squeeze through a victory.

On the negative side, India did commit errors. It will do the Indians and John Wright a lot of good if they iron out those errors and get cracking.

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