Heady days of ~~Men in Blue~~ is a thing of the past

Published: Thursday, April 21, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:It was just over a year ago that the Indian cricket team looked unstoppable to all barring the all-conquering Australians who too were given a fright in the four-Test series by Sourav Ganguly's highly motivated men.

The high of the Test series in Australia, in which India nearly upset the Aussies' applecart at Sydney in the final Test, was followed by epochal victories in the three-Test and five-match One-day International series in Pakistan against the country's arch rivals.

But all those heady days experienced by the 'Men in Blue' seem like distant memories now.

The inability of virtually the same set of men to conquer Pakistan - who had been thrashed 3-0 by Australia Down Under immediately preceding the Indian tour - in the Test rubber followed by the humiliating defeat in the six-match One-day series, has raised a question mark over the Indian squad's real abilities.

How quickly the cookie has crumbled for Ganguly and his band of wounded and tired warriors! The captain himself has an enquiry mark against his name in the light of his repeated failures in the entire series against Pakistan.

He has also been slapped with a six-match ban for India's inability to maintain the required over-rate in successive matches. He has already served out two of those and would have to miss four more ODIs during the forthcoming tri-series in Sri Lanka.

And to make matters worse for the team is the departure of coach John Wright, much admired and respected by the team members, from the scene at the end of it all.

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