Game over. India will return home empty-handed

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Published: Friday, March 2, 2012, 18:14 [IST]
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India to return home empty-handed

It is all over for Team India. They will return home empty-handed from Australia. After a 0-4 humiliation in Tests, they had a flicker of hope of making the tri-series finals. But that was extinguished by Sri Lanka as they edged Australia by nine runs in Melbourne on Friday.

It was entirely a different story when the team set foot in India in 2008 after they won the tri-series in Australia. They had done the country proud and fans were waiting to receive the players at airports. But this time, there will not be any such welcome.

MS Dhoni and his men were eagerly waiting in Brisbane to plan their next move. They were not sure of their finals' qualification as it depended on the Australia-Sri Lanka match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Now, they can relax and book their flight tickets back home. For most part of the nearly three-month tour of Australia, Indian batting and bowling have been exposed in tough conditions.

After 0-4 Test mauling by the hosts, they shared the Twenty20 International series 1-1. In the tri-series, of the eight matches, they managed to win only three, lost four and tied one against Sri Lanka.

For most of the Indian players, it will not be a happy homecoming in one sense. But at the same time they will be relieved that the misery Down Under is over.

As they have not reached the finals, they will have few more days of rest before heading to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup, starting from March 11.

In the entire tour, India managed just four victories in 14 matches, including all three formats. They played four Tests, two T20Is and eight ODIs.

This was the second overseas in a row that India had no silverware to show. The same thing happened in England last year where they were whitewashed 0-4 in the Test series and lost the ODI series (0-3) and the lone T20I.

Between these two dismal tours, India showed that they are the "Real Tigers" at home. They thumped West Indies 4-1 in a five-match ODI series and also blanked England 5-0 in another 50-over series.

This is a big worry for Team India that two foreign trips have yielded nothing. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) needs to act immediately to fix this problem.

Now that the tour is over, BCCI can deliberate on what went wrong in Australia. But, the way BCCI functions, one cannot expect anything drastic.

In less than 10 days' time, Asia Cup will start and that will be followed by the Indian Premier League (IPL). India might flex their muscles in Asia Cup and definitely there won't be any dearth of performances in the IPL.

Once that happens, Australian debacle will be forgotten until the team embarks on another foreign tour.

BCCI needs to act now.


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