Come what may, this India side won’t cow down | india | Hindustan Times
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Come what may, this India side won’t cow down

You've got to give it to India. In the last 30 years, they had won just three one-dayers in South Africa against the hosts. In the last four days, they've already have claimed two in a row.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2011 03:24 IST
Ravi Shastri

You've got to give it to India. In the last 30 years, they had won just three one-dayers in South Africa against the hosts. In the last four days, they've already have claimed two in a row.

Four regulars of the side are missing. Yet, they are on the brink of a historic series win.

This is against a side which blanked them 4-0 in the last series at home. A side which thrashed them in seven successive games in familiar conditions before the tide turned last Saturday.

One could argue that India barely crossed the finishing line in the last two games. The one-run win in Johannesburg was South Africa's gift.

The win on Tuesday night again didn't settle suspicions about their batting. Yet, this team is prepared to fight till the bitter end.

One suspects the Indians have started to get on the nerves of Graeme Smith and his men. The exultation which followed every Indian dismissal; the Tarzan-cry which accompanied every catch in the deep showed how the South Africans realize they have been dragged into the swamp by this India team.

How close they are to losing a rare one-day series to an opponent who is clubbed with them in the World Cup.

South Africa did the initial talking; it is now the Indians who could have the bragging rights.

Still, it shouldn't be missed that the Indians won because of their bowling and fielding in the last two games. They have struggled to raise 250 against the hosts. Yet, they have either defended or chased successfully. Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh have all contributed hugely in this ambush.

Yusuf Pathan's was a rousing return to the side. He celebrated his selection with style. He was kept under wraps till his World Cup seat was secured and was then unleashed with telling effect.

Pathan picked his bowlers to attack brilliantly. The Indians would be chirpy for number seven has been a cause for worry for long. It's also sent a message.

If India are to win a World Cup again, Pathan has to be part of the mix just like Sachin Tendulkar will be. TCM