So Where The Bloody Hell Are You …

The finals of the CB series had to be between these two teams. There was a fatalistic predictability that it would be. Anything else would have been inadequate. Thats where the predictability ended.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side is the new India. When they were chosen and others sidestepped, the justifiable feeling among many was that the move was too drastic. You don’t really throw nobodys newbies into the deep end. Not that MSD seems to think in that kind of manner at all. The nobody-upstart-contender-winner-champion transition seemed ingrained somewhere As each passing gamble started coming off, you had to admire the man for his leadership and his troops for their guts and gumption. Battles don’t come tougher than this.

And much as India looked starved for action, Ricky Ponting’s demeanour (inspite of a series of wins) suggested that they’d rather this ended real quick. Dogged by controversy, he’s called it the most frustrating experience of his 12 year career. Hardly the best way to motivate troops.

And that has been the difference.

So we’ve lasted the summer. And proved the critics wrong. We’ve taken the abuse and (in some regrettable cases) given back as well as we have received. And we’ve adjusted to alien conditions. And converted inexperience to an advantage of fearlessness. We have drawn strength from the controversy. And we have been the better behaved team on and off the field. And when some have not had a good day, others have shouldered the burden. Importantly, we’ve played better cricket.

And much of this, we’ve probably learnt from you.

wherethebloodyhellareyou.jpg

P.S. The original (quite brilliant) Aussie tourism campaign.

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14 thoughts on “So Where The Bloody Hell Are You …

  1. Sfx,

    Let me try to answer that question. They were

    a. Playing out latent sadomasochistic fantasies on radio and
    b. Getting new hair hats and
    c. beating up naked people in front of a stadium full of drunks.

    Mid life crisis anyone?

    Cheers

  2. ponting is having nightmares of consistently pulling each delivery he faces…

    gilly sulking his retirement tour(s) ended so early…

    hayden has thrown all radios from his home…

    binga has got another copy of tape that says ‘india is great’

    roy is chasing full monties…

  3. The Aussie batting was tepid, and they didnt have a spinner or third paceman who would threaten India. Consider McGrath, Gillespie followed by Lee or Fleming, and then consider Johnson or Clark. Clark’s is actually an interesting situation for given his accuracy in Test cricket you would think he would be deadly in ODI cricket especially in the third powerplay. This didn’t happen.

    In purely cricketing terms, id suggest that it was as much as case of India playing well as it was a case of Australia playing poorly

  4. Homer,

    In purely cricketing terms, the irony of Ponting calling India a ‘team in transition’ in the one day format and a ‘team that will face a big transition’ in the Test format is quite inescapable ….

    Many in Australia seem to argue for precisely that from their cricket team now.

    What goes around …..

    Cheers

  5. straight point ,

    A lot of all you mention, and more , used to be Australia’s methodology – even their strength. And not to say that their dominance is over, but to hear them speak about fatigue at the end of a summer at home is strange. And that when there is a Pakistan tour scheduled ahead and the IPL which has them salivating …

    I’ve lost track of the number of matches Dhoni has played since July. And surely he’s fatigued. But nothing in his on-field demeanour will tell you that.

    Cheers

  6. add sachin, harbhajan to the list also…

    even with fragile body he never uttered a word that he is tired after long summer in oz he has been playing not stop cricket since his return and still came pu with innings when it mattered most….

    what about harbhajan…wasn’t it difficult for him as well (leave aside right or wrong) of seeing daily crap…facing uncertainty over his career…yet turning up with the performances…

    so i am too surprises when oz says about fatigue…i think its their psyche that they will come up with anything but truly say that got beaten by superior side…without any footnote…

  7. The main weapons which served Australia well in the past against India were absent this time around.

    They were 1) Attack from the top of the order 2) depth in batting and 3) uncomfortable pace attack. ( Spin was never a problem before, but it is now with the new boys!)

    In contrast, what did India take along which made the difference?

    1) better fielding 2) a pace attack which is comparable to the best in the world today 3) a varied bowling attack which offers perhaps the largest range of skills in world cricket today 4) continued depth in batting 5) a batting line-up now well familiar with different varieties of pace bowling…left, right, tall, short, seam, swing…thanks to their own pace stable in the nets.

  8. I might add, Australia didn’t quite utilize a fourth weapon of theirs adequately enough – catching. This entire series, it bordered on the Indian rather than roosting on an Australian perch.

  9. Yes i agree that we played better. But have we beaten the best team in the world? Or have we beaten a team in decline? There’s a clue there as to how good we are.

    I realize that trying to measure this in absolute terms is slippery (that is the point of my ratings), but how deep was the deep end?

    The irony of Ponting’s comments about transition is palpable as you point out, but i don’t think they face the same problem as we d0 because Ponting, Symonds and Clarke are in their prime, as are Bracken, Lee and Clark. By contrast, we can still boast of only 3 players who may be similarly considered to be in their prime – Dhoni, Tendulkar and Yuvraj.

    Im just trying to temper the euphoria….. not for you’re consumption. As 2007 has shown, the brickbats are one defeat away.

  10. Kartikeya,

    A team that won 16 tests in a row, won the world cup 2007 and the ICC champions trophy as well with almost the same team composition can hardly be termed as ‘on decline’. It hit ‘bad form’ maybe. As you mentioned 6 of their players are in their prime. A bit of a disconnect there no?

    The potential problem area after the exodus of the greats was bowling. To me the current Oz batting line up is one of the strongest over the last 6-8 years. That failed big time.

    Agreed, the euphoria maybe overdone. Because we won 3-2 with 1 match rained off in the series. That too with the help of a particular SRT.

    There are areas galore, that need to be sorted out. But maybe savouring the victory and the moment is what the team and its supporters deserve. So lets put off the doubts for later. There will be enough time for that.

  11. sp,

    yes, agreed. sachin and to some extent bhajji have been playing relentlessly as well.

    and with dhoni added to the mix they each have a unique contribution. while dhoni has multitasked admirably, sachin has fought off age and sparkled and bhajji has been amazingly resolute in the face of controversy.

    inspiring stuff.

  12. Hi Soul,

    While its true to an extent that they underperformed, I think its always a tricky one about whether one lost it or the other won it. As Rahul points out, the Aussie team had a fabulous record in the run up to the series and it just seemed like they did not quite have the measure of the opposition enough.

    Things like depth in batting etc are a bit debatable and I just think that the difference was that India didnt appear to believe that they had lost it before it started.

    In many ways that can be attributed to Perth, I suppose…..

    Cheers

  13. kartikeya,

    2007 is a great reminder …

    it was less than a year ago , and probably the start of the IPL will be the first anniversary of when the country (and many in the bcci) were finding excuses in “too much money” ….

    cheers.

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