I loved the way India played in this series.
In the first test they showed that they had the balls! The fought back in a manner reminiscent of the Aussies of yore! Till the last wicket fell you Australia never gave up (remember those Steve Waugh innings?), and India seems to be learning that lesson, slowly but steadily. Even bowlers seem to value their wickets, and are trying to make the opposition earn it.
In the second test, India played like a number one team should play. With assurance. Like the toss didn’t matter. Like losing Sehwag early didn’t matter. If it had been more than 5 years back we would be talking of the Indian team shutting shop to prevent a defeat. Now India went for an outright victory. Commentators said that the SG ball would reverse after 40 overs – they said lets do it before that. Sachin playing like he always does nowadays. M Vijay and Pujara playing really well. The bowlers doing an exceptional job – all of them. Remember that the tail wasn’t allowed to wag. Stuff good teams are made of.
We still have some distance to go to be ranked alongside the West Indies of 80’s or the Aussies (of 1940s and 2000s). The fielding needs to go up by many a notches. The batting, the middle and lower order, still tends to collapse every once in a while. And our biggest worry, our bowlers. They need to be more consistent and injury free. Harbhajan needs to rediscover his mojo and compliment the tight lines of Ojha with wicket taking. Zaheer needs a couple of good partners. I am believe that we have the ability to get there – all it needs is nurturing by the BCCI, instead of them focusing all their energy in going kinky on Lalit Modi’s ass.
Finally, a lot of people talked of Australia losing three in a row. What I am more interested in is seeing when was the last time a team won three in a row scoring more than 200 in the fourth innings!