The Border-Gavaskar trophy makes for an interesting case in point. A little over a year ago, when the 2011-12 series was played in Australia, it was Team India that had suffered an embarrassing 0-4 whitewash. The Australians, at the time, were benefited by a more peaceful dressing room and also by pitches that afforded its pacers intimidating swing and bounce. India’s perfect 4-0 revenge then is as telling as their the team’s humiliation. Teams, whether India or Australia, often find it impossible to adapt to conditions abroad, and with there being no common standard for playable pitches, it seems only expected that the visiting team would find itself stumped by the host’s seam or spin. To prove its consistency, India would have to first ensure that its talent is also adaptable.
By defeating India, first at home and then elsewhere, Engl-and had seemed to find a solution to the consistency riddle. But now on the verge of losing a Test series against New Zealand, the English side’s invincibility is proving to be shortlived. Even South Africa was forced to fight hard for its 3-2 win against Pakistan in a recent one-day tournament. With hegemonies in cricket now a matter of the past, it is best if Shikhar Dhawan’s memorable 187 and R Ashwin’s 29 wickets give us cause for some hope, rather than raise great expectations.