Momentum is with the Indians
For the moment though, Indians seem liberated from that yoke of domination, writes Ravi Shastri.india Updated: Sep 28, 2007 23:51 IST
So the sceptics raise their heads again. Twenty20 was different; a 50-over match needs a different mindset and skills; the pretenders will be put in place by the three-times world champions, so on and on.
Take a break, rabble-rousers; this seems like one of those real occasions when the indomitable Aussies can take a beating. India is like a shark that has tasted blood.
Two instances are instructive. Just before the 2007 World Cup, Australia were smashed in all the matches by New Zealand in an away series. Australia piled runs by hundreds and New Zealand always overcame it. This was just before Australia lost a rare triangular series at home, to England!
Australia of course lost little time in restoring order. They rode roughshod over everyone in the World Cup, best illustrated by their mastery over South Africa and Sri Lanka in the final two matches. This time around though, things are different. Australia lost thrice in the Twenty20 Cup and key personnel are missing.
India, on the other hand, have a problem of plenty. The seniors are as keen to restore faith in their ability, as the youngsters are to establish theirs. The other point is no less considerable. Australia exerted as much mental stranglehold as they did by way of aggression and skills on the field. For the moment though, Indians seem liberated from that yoke of domination.
The Indians are also now overtly aggressive. We saw evidence of it in England and the uninhibited version on display in South Africa, from Harbhajan, Yuvraj and Sreesanth, to name a few obvious ones.
I just hope the good work in the field by the youngsters in SA is carried forward in this forthcoming series. An Indian victory would have been impossible had those critical run-outs of Kemp and Nazir not effected in two critical games. You need to be at the top of your game against a team like Australia. The world champions would be loathe to let their dynasty wither in the coming weeks. It sure should be a helluva series.
And finally, let Dhoni take his time and focus on getting the right balance between youth and experience, even if it means cracking the whip.