Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Champs in Blue

It was an eight match series. The first one was washed out. Thanks to the gods of rain. The 2nd and 3rd ODIs went the Australian way. Nothing to lose. Still Indians had a chance of winning the series. They knew the 4th One-Dayer was a crucial one and the match was evenly balanced by the wits of the two teams. The tigers came up roaring leaving the kangaroos down. That was the moment when all the Indian Cricket fans started living their hopes of India winning the series with a great come back.

Then came the 5th ODI. The truth is that, it was a humiliating defeat for the Indians from an Indian's perspective. Looking at it from an Australian's point of view, the Tiger's teeth were crushed to pieces after a knock-out punch from the Kangaroos. And, this was the ODI that gave a momentum to the series when the Vadodara crowd were blamed by the Australians for making 'MONKEY NOISES' at Symonds. After this issue hit the surface, even the Australian media started abusing the Australian Cricket team alleging that ACB is afraid of BCCI, the world's richest cricket body.

The 6th One-dayer was a thriller. It was a perfect tug of war between the two teams. The head-on clash was equally matched by the teams. Until the end of the 46th over of the Indian innings, who was chasing a target of 311, nobody knew that it's a match that would end up in Australia's victory. It was a good fight which the Indians put up. A great kick-off from Sourav and Sachin did the trick and took the Indians very close to the target, though they couldn't reach it exactly.

The 7th ODI was another unexpected one-dayer. The so called MIGHTY Australians were bowled out for 194. But, the Aussies really proved they're indeed mighty by making India struggle hard to reach the golden figure of 195. Murali Karthik and Zaheer Khan staged a great show and brought down the Australian bowlers. When Indians were struggling at 143 with 8 wickets down, few of the Indian supporters would even have switched off their television sets. Zaheer and Karthik put up a big partnership for the 9th wicket that paved the way for an effort-filled Indian victory.

The series ended there with 4 matches in the Aussies' bag and 2 in the Indian pockets. With that, the Australians won the Future Cup series. Though Indians had lost the series, something that could bring a chilling effect on the tiger's wounds is that the Indians gave Australians a bitter send-off back to their lonely continent with a defeat in the final ODI.

The war is over. But the battle isn't. A bigger show is in the yard with the Men in Blue preparing themselves to meet the Australians on their own soil. It's going to be a tough time for the Indians since the Australians are known for their 'BEHAVIOR' towards the touring cricketing nations.

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