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HindustanTimes Tue,25 Nov 2014
Raking up the past in triumph is unfair
Sanjay Manjrekar
March 26, 2013
First Published: 23:48 IST(26/3/2013)
Last Updated: 01:28 IST(27/3/2013)

Beating Australia 4-0 is no mean feat. No matter what the conditions, beating a mainstream international team four times in four Test matches and often well under five days is a terrific achievement.

But to bring up overseas disasters of the recent past and judge this team, thereby denying them credit, is unfair.

Why, even the members of this India team are vastly different from the team that suffered overseas. For now, we must cheer the team on how well they played and the young players responded to the opportunities given.

Having said that, you can somewhat understand why this overseas factor keeps coming up in Indian cricket. With India as a nation growing in confidence and starting to make a mark abroad too, the Indian cricket fan of today is a lot more demanding than he used to be.

Earlier, a hundred in a losing cause from their favourite player was enough, then came the time when an India win more than individual glory was sought after. Now, just an India win is not enough, being worthy opponents overseas along with it is equally important for the fan.

So, let me address this thought --- Does this performance at home promise a better performance overseas from this team? This is the question in the mind of that evolved cricket fan. My answer to that is "I don't know."

How do you gauge a tennis player's chances of winning the Wimbledon after he has won at Roland Garros? Roland Garros and Wimbledon are like home and overseas cricket for an India cricket player or team.

Although the sport remains the same, these are two completely different challenges, two different ball games. Success in one does not guarantee success in the other.

But what I do know is that when the time comes for this team to go to South Africa, there will be more players in this team with self confidence, than that India team that was last overseas. And for that you have to thank this home series.

PMG

The writer is former India batsman


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