India has only themselves to blame: Waugh

Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2000, 5:30 [IST]
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Sydney: Australian captain Steve Waugh said India only had themselves to blame after crashing to a 3-0 series loss with an innings defeat in the third and final test at the Sydney Cricket Ground today. The Australian captain dealt swiftly with that suggestions India's players had been hard done by the umpires and said their defeat had more to do with their own approach than by any decision that went against them.

"I would have to say they were pretty negative from the start," Waugh said. "But it's not easy to be positive when you haven't got such a good away record that's hard to change. "I can understand a little bit of their thinking, they probably wanted to start off with a good performance in Adelaide which didn't happen. After that their confidence was down and once we get on top of a side we are hard to stop.

"A number of Indian commentators have blamed India's loss on a rash of debatable decisions which have gone against them. Leading the list of complaints are the decisions that went in favour of Australia's third test double-century maker Justin Langer as well as three dubious rulings that went against Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar. The most controversial decision involving Tendulkar was in the first test in Adelaide when he was given out leg before wicket without scoring as he ducked into a Glenn McGrath bouncer that struck him on the shoulder.

They also pointed an accusing finger at the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee, Sri Lanka's Ranjan Madugalle, who imposed a fine and a one-match suspended sentence against Indian medium-pacer Venkatesh Prasad but let off McGrath after he gave Tendulkar a "send-off" in Sydney. Tendulkar refused to enter into the debate over the umpiring standards when quizzed at the post-game press conference on today, only to say that he was disappointed by his team's performance.

Only two Indian players, Tendulkar and Venkat Laxman averaged over 30 with the bat while Ajit Agarkar and Venkatesh Prasad were the only bowlers to take 10 or more wickets. "It's been a tough tour for the bowlers and the batters," Tendulkar said. "It's an altogether different ball game when you play in Australia compared to India. But there are quite a lot of things we have learnt on this tour and they should help to broaden our knowledge."


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