India owes its fans much more

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Sunday, April 8, 2001, 20:30 [IST]
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After the high-intensity drama of the recently concluded India-Australia series, the air now has turned reflective on the great Indian triumph, apart from a lot of talk revolving around Ganguly.

For starters, no doubt this victory is a cherished one. However, in my opinion, Indians shouldn't be making much out of this.

The preceding Azhar-era saw India beat everybody at home, including Australia and South Africa; and convincingly at that. However, even that seemed to wane given that India lost two matches to Pakistan out of the three it played on Indian soil. India then recently lost convincingly to South Africa before it just scraped through against the Australians after having being threatened to go under.

So if you look at things, it's no great deal, especially when you boast of world-class players, that India scampered through to a victory. The Indian team is obligated to give its fans much more than a series win at home.

When are we going to get a series victory abroad? Mind you, a series victory either against Australia, South Africa or the West Indies (Pakistan not included due to obvious reasons).

Referring to the forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe, I heard Ganguly say he is looking forward to his first series win abroad, something which has eluded India for quite sometime now. Well, has he forgotten his series win against the Bangladesh?

While a win is a win - be it against any team, given the calibre of the players that India boasts India has neither done itself nor its fans any justice. Beating the likes of Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Bangladesh and for that matter even Sri Lanka abroad shouldn't count for much. India boasts of world-class players and that being the case a series victory (abroad) against the top teams of the world is a must if the Indians are to be worthy of high praise.

Yes, I am an Indian and do have regard for our team but I strongly feel that if India has not got to be one of the top Test playing nations it is because of us. As Indian fans we easily shower praises without weighing them. As a result, we have not got to see our team develop into a world beating side.

Having the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly (that is considering that he accounts for a calibre player) Laxman, Kumble, Srinath, Harbhajan not to forget the rest, is it too much to ask for a series win either in South Africa, Australia, Pakistan or West Indies? Well, I for one, as an Indian fan will take my hat off only when the Indians win a series abroad.

Coming to the issue of Ganguly, I think the recent Australia series once again exposed the calibre and class of his batsmanship. Come Zimbabwe it is time for him to amass runs so that he can give his average a face-lift. With regards to his captaincy, may I remind that Azhar downed the Aussies without much fuss and Azhar was not considered that great a captain?

As an Indian fan, I do give him credit to for this series victory, I wouldn't make the world out of it though.

With regards to India, due praise to Wright who has really worked a lot of positive change with this team. However, his true victory will be on foreign shores.

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