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English media all agog after tri-series victory

india Updated: Feb 12, 2007 14:47 IST
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The British press on Monday went gaga about England's upset tri-series win over Australia, hailing them as a genuine contender for the World Cup while its counterpart Down Under cast doubts over three-time World Champions' smooth run at cricket's quadrennial event.

The English dailies were awash with stories of their national team's remarkable and unexpected turn around to their Australian tour which began with a 5-0 Ashes drubbing and ended with three back to back wins over the world's number one team in the CB Series.

"From the horrors ... Less than three weeks ago, when they made 120 against New Zealand and 110 against Australia, an England team with little one-day pedigree have cobbled together purpose and spirit," 'The Guardian' wrote.

"They will go into the World Cup believing themselves dark horses and deserve their optimism," the paper said.

'The Daily Mail' was equally delighted, asking "Who could possibly say now that they have no chance in the World Cup" while flashing a headline: "Risen from the Ashes".

"No, this does not make up for the Ashes, but it is a damned good consolation prize ... It will be England, rather than the defending champions and favourites, who go to the West Indies for the World Cup in the better frame of mind."

'The Daily Telegraph' was more philosophical in its approach: "The beauty -- and the cruelty -- of cricket is that whole matches, series and even careers can change direction in the blink of the eye. Teams' fortunes can go up as well as down, as England have just discovered."

Britain's best-read daily newspaper 'The Sun' said England's winter in Australia was "the story of how a cricket team went from an embarrassing rabble into beating the world champions three times in a row."

"And England managed the transformation with a brilliant mixture of determination, skill, and a refusal to be humiliated any more."

The Australian media, obviously, was sombre in describing the sagging fortunes of the national side.

"The team that appeared impregnable a fortnight ago is now a side under siege, plummeting to its third consecutive defeat to England and its first limited-overs finals defeat on home soil in 14 years," 'The Sydney Morning Herald' said.

It said Symonds injury was a key factor in Australia's defeat: "Australia's losses to England have coincided with the long-term biceps injury to Andrew Symonds. Without his power and versatility, the Australian line-up suddenly appears unbalanced, unsettled and unsure of itself."

Australia, who won seven of their eight preliminary games in the triangular series, lost their last three matches against England to start World Cup campaign with dented confidence.

"Australia's World Cup campaign is unravelling in embarrassing fashion after England romped to victory in the tri-series finals," 'The Australian' said.

"It was a humiliating end to a summer of almost total domination by Australia, with the number one ranked one-day team in the world flogged when it mattered by a side ranked eighth," it wrote. 

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