Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The new Wizards of Oz

-By Swetha Amit
It was just a few days ago that the Australian Skipper made an emphatic statement stirring a feeling of indignation amongst millions. Predicting a breezy win for his team in just two matches depicted his unmistakable arrogance and cockiness. Little did he realize that these magical words would come true, only to have a spectacular turn around of events resulting in a victory for the opposition? The enchanting performance by the men in blue managed to cast a spell and mesmerized their fans by emerging as the new Wizards of Oz.

It is indeed a special moment for the Indian team as this win being their first one after 23 years in the finals on Australian grounds. It certainly is a case of history repeating itself and the stance of ‘champions of champions’ emerge yet again. And followed by great pomp and celebrations all over.

Drama, action, tempers flaring, ego clashes, hurling of petty abuses and of course the heroes destroying the villains: this tri series sure did show similarities to that of a triangular story of a Bollywood flick. A lot of mudslinging did arise due to the gradual drop in confidence levels amongst the Aussies. Fear and insecurity seemed to creep in slowly like ivy growing on old and ruined walls. The unmistakable display of talent by the young Indian team began to threaten the once mighty champs. The inability to withstand the new found competition was a blow to their pride. This caused the same team to create chaos and news by racial slurs or making a mountain out of a molehill.

Sadly such unwarranted behaviour did no good to their sportive images and depicted them in a rather poor light. However, the Indians managed to handle the whole issue with dignity. They refused to be bogged by such pettiness and did not let it curb their passion and grit for the game. The good always triumphs as shown in the marvelous win. This was no piece of cake considering the tremendous pressure they were mounted with.

A lot of speculation was made on the current team comprising of a new lot of youngsters and a sole senior player. Many dismissed it as a not so strong one to play against older and experienced players of the opposite team. Managing to prove their critics wrong, the remarkable captain managed to cruise through such hurdles boldly. A rather thriller of a match showcased the talent of many upcoming players that one can rely upon like a sturdy wall which cannot be knocked down with ease.

After their new found title of the T20 champions, it’s yet another occasion to open champagne bottles for having proven themselves as survivors in this roller coaster ride. Arduous and cumbersome their situations may be, ruthlessness exhibited by their critics, huge expectations from fans, several chances of losing the most crucial games; yet the new found zest and enthusiasm of the Indian players portray an inherent spark and a ‘never say die’ attitude which is unlikely to be deterred easily.

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Appeared as Editors' choice and story of the day



Blogger KParthasarathi said...

Tendulkar in form in the two finals along with Gambhir to some extent and Praveen and Irshant with their incisive bowling were the main architects.Had not Tendulkar found his touch at the right moment ,things would have been different.The others were found wanting. I would ascribe the win mainly to these two bowlers.

SriLanka was below par making the series a fight between two teams only.

The win does not make Aussies a weaker team.They could have won the second final.I am sure they will soon regroup themselves and emerge as a successful team.

I felt there should be moderation in rewards and BCCI should not go head over heels.Easy money and mad adulation would impact adversely on the players and their the game.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Mukundh said...

I am extremely happy to see the Indian team doing so well. But i need to clarify a few things (i take the authority to clarify them as i woke up at 4:30 every morning to follow the matches. :-)).

Australians are bad losers. It comes as no surpise to me when they reacted this way. But i don't admit that the Indians conducted themselves that well. Kumble did a commendable job in dealing with the situation. But Harbhajan was the spoilsport. He need not necessarily have called symonds a monkey, but he did enough to warrant a reprimand. I don't understand how this "Harbhajan vs Symonds" issue became a matter of national pride in India. Thanks to the news channels. They can make criminals look deskbhakths. Aren't our politicians an example? If thewhole team behaved like how Tendulkar conducted himself in the tour, then you could say India managed the whole issue with dignity.

Sachin played two timely knocks in the finals after breaking the jinx. Though the Indian team has a few promising youth, i doubt if they could have won it in straight sets if sachin didn't come up with those match-winning knocks.

After the Natwest series victory in 2002(England), this is the only next convincing series victory in Indian cricket. The coco cola cup victory in sharjah in 1998 was India's previous significant tournament victory. That means, in the last 10 years, we have won three tournaments! Every player is played a match fee to play for his country and try his best to win the match. If the BCCI comes up with 58 lakhs for winning the tournament, why the heck are they paying them match fees (Even when they lose)?

With all this money and IPL contracts, i doubt if India could be consistent with their cricket.

If you analyse Indian cricket history, you would see that the Indians play like kings one day and play like paupers the very next day. So i wont be surprised if they start their losing streak.

But i will take nothing away from the win. I would wish to see them peform well in future and prove me and the statistics wrong. I intentionally did not include the T20 victory because i was discussing ODI's here. I would also say T20 victory was a fluke.

No offences, No hard feelings. Bring on your good articles :)

9:20 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

@KP:I agree that Sachin's getting back to form added that consistency to our batting, which I thought was very fragile up to the finals.

Praise must also go to Dhoni for entrusting Praveen Kumar with the new ball, which was the masterstoke in getting the early breakthroughs.

And yes, the Aussies will come back and play hard. But, at least now they realise that they can be jolted by other teams. So, lots of thinking to do for them as well.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...


Agree with you on points made.

On the additional prize money, i dont know whether the board is compensating for the sponsorship restrictions and reductions they made on the match fees after the world cup debacle.

It is another point that the IPL prize money more than compensates.

If this makes us win overseas regularly, i guess the team deserves it!

7:40 AM  

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