Thatscricket- Cricket News - Waugh looks forward to Indian summer

Published: Saturday, January 6, 2001, 21:45 [IST]
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Sydney: Australia's landmark win in completing a first ever 5-0 whitewash of the West Indian cricket team as they won the fifth and last Test by six wickets at Sydney on Saturday prepares them more than ever for what captain Steve Waugh said was an Indian "summer" next month.Australia has not scored a series win in India in the last three decades.This is the one record Steve Waugh would definitely like to rewrite.But the last two days of the final Test have also exposed a few chinks in the Australian armour that may trouble the Steve Waugh-led team during their Indian tour.By winning the Sydney Test, the Australians also extended their winning streak to a record 15 Tests and they have no intention of taking the foot off the peddle of their speeding juggernaut when they visit India. But, experts feel, the Indian subcontinent is a totally different ball game.Not many in the past, including Steve Waugh's predecessor Mike Taylor, have been able to overcome Indian conditions to register Test wins. After being on a winning pedestal for so long, the Australians have also developed a sort of complacency and over-confidence that can make their task on the Indian turf even more difficult.The unprecedented number of successive triumphs has also made the Australian cricketers a bit suspect to even mild resistance on the field. Some of them tend to react in a spoilt brat manner when these resistance acts are enacted. As a few observers pointed out after the Sydney Test, it is not really a desirable quality for a touring Test cricketer.The reaction of the Australian pace spearhead Glen McGrath on not getting the positive verdict on an appeal against Mahendra Nagamootoo from Australian umpire Darrell Hair bordered on totally unacceptable. McGrath failed to concentrate after this episode.On Friday, Australia faced one of the likely scenarios in India when the Sydney wicket started showing signs of crumbling and almost looking like one of those dust-traps found all over the Indian subcontinent.The penultimate day of the last Test at Sydney also tested all the weapons in Waugh's arsenal as West Indians, for the first time in the series, put up a fine show of batting. Australian tempers began to rise as three of the West Indians crossed half-century marks, pushing the match into the fifth day and setting Australians a not-too-easy winning target of 173 runs.What made matters worse for Australian cricketers was the fact that their spin duo failed to make any impact on the West Indians for the most of the day. The selectors and captain Steve Waugh must have been wondering how this pair would penetrate the Indians' bastions with their limited spinning repertoire.Fittingly, the resistance was led by two young West Indians of Indian origin Ramnaresh Sarwan and Nagamootoo. The scant respect shown by these two to spinners must have raised the worst memories of a rampaging Sachin Tendulkar in captain Steve Waugh's mind. Sachin had been particularly harsh on spinner Shane Warne when the Australians last visited India.Incidentally, Warne has been included in the Australian team to play in the triangular One-day International series involving Australia, West Indies and Zimbabwe. Warne was out of action for few months because of a shoulder injury and there has been a speculation whether he would tour India or not.India Abroad News Service

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