Will Waugh have the world taking a bow?

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2000, 21:00 [IST]
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Bangalore:The conclusion of the previous article "A combination of errors does India in" did read as follows: "Anyhow it is not 'curtains' for the Indians. They do possess genuine talent - at least Waugh for one acknowledges that, and if they can settle their nerves they definitely can pull one back here."

Yes, I did expect an Indian victory for match number two, but never thought that it would come in such a dramatic fashion... well, this victory is nothing short of a miracle.

It only goes to substantiate that India does possess talent of the highest standards. However, its inability to be consistent is a deep-seated and rooted problem - given the ways of functioning of the administrative set-up at various levels - that needs to be weeded out if India intends to reach anywhere near the top.

Coming back to the series in contention, no doubt that this victory would have done the Indians a world of good and will definitely give them an edge going into the deciding Test, however knowing the Aussies, they are going to wrest the initiative at the first given opportunity. That is what has made Australia what it is.

So what is it going to be going into the decider? Well, for starters, Australia has tasted defeat after a long, long time, which means it will only be eager to get back on track and given that the pressure of not having lost is now off, it will go all out to fetch its series win-termed as the final frontier. On the other hand, India will be on a real high after a stunner of a victory.

In my series preview "Indo-Aus series set for a battle royal" I did mention it was going to be a tug of war given that both the teams were loaded with talent and quite a few match winners. Many times in these two matches we saw both teams getting back at each other.

In Mumbai, first the Aussies dismissed India cheaply and India got back to have them 99 for five. The Aussies then pulled back very hard to take a healthy first innings lead. India, however had a semi recovery when Tendulkar threatened to change the script before India folded to have the Aussies go one-up.

In the second match, once again Aussies were the first to put points on the board with a century opening stand and further looked like piling on runs when India wrested the initiative in dramatic fashion . However, the Kangaroos pulled back and then further looked like snuffing off an Indian recovery when India pulled back with all its might knowing that it was its do or die effort to square the series.

Now comes the decider, and like I said in my series preview, I see a tilting factor in Waugh's unflinching, unwavering, insatiable hunger for the all-important series victory that is oozing out of every pore in his body; which has now visibly seeped into his entire team. To sum it up, Waugh and his men might just have the world taking a bow.

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