Thatscricket - News - Indias quest for overseas victory continues
Published: Monday, June 24, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
Sachin steers India to a 3-wkt win over Sussex
Thatscricket Special: English Summer
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New Delhi: With India still in search of an elusive away series win, its tour to England will, once again, generate a lot of keenness. If India can undo the psychological wrap that has been plastered around it and pull off a series victory, then one need not have to mention about the welcome it is going to receive back home instant heroes, in spite of all the recent poor showings. [an error occurred while processing this directive]However, it is no easy task this. England is playing at its best and is looking trimmer and fitter than it has been in the past two years and with Hussain at the forefront, the trek to the top of the course for India is going to be one of skill, dedication and commitment. Unlike the Caribbean tour where India was up against a relatively mediocre West Indian side, England looks fiddle-fit having brushed aside the cobwebs and fine-tuned its armoury against the Sri Lankans.Englands batting, which failed in its first outing, came good for the rest of the series and now looks in ominous shape. The English players, it seems, have adapted well to tackling the art of spin the one area that could have posed them problems. After having successfully countered the King of Spin Muralitharan, England might not stumble across the likes of Kumble and Harbhajan.Its bowling department too looks to have gained added strength with Alex Tudor supplying extra leg that the English needed to carry them through. Hoggard has come off age and the outstanding series has only reinforced his claim as a quality bowler of which England seems to have no dearth. And with the old warhorse Gough waiting to get back into the thick of things, England should start favourites. While things dont look as strong on the Indian front, it definitely doesnt seem as weak either.As usual, Indian batting will most certainly be tipped as its forte - however many times it may have let the nation down. Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and Sehwag, on paper, sound impregnable but as time and again weve seen that is not the case and that could be Indias undoing. One vital ingredient that this batting line up lacks is nerve and tenacity. It might possess the worlds best bat in Sachin and a few guys with a more than healthy average but when it comes down to battle it is the quality of the gut that counts and not the texture. Its bowling department too is weak sans Srinath one of its most trusted warriors, and that could prove to be a set back. However, the very tag of being an underdog could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as India has always performed with the pressure on the oppositions back. So one could, after all, get to witness a proud Indian side on its way home.
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