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India has the last laugh: Aussie media

Australian media has described the young side's feat as having "the last laugh after a bitter summer of explosive tensions".
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Melbourne
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2008 07:00 PM IST

Australian media again highlighted off spinner Harbhajan Singh as India claimed epoch-making tri-series victory at Brisbane and described the young side's feat as having "the last laugh after a bitter summer of explosive tensions".

Harbhajan, who had hit headlines throughout the long tour for being at the centre of off-field controversies, proved to be the nemesis of Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds, claiming him in both the tri-series finals while also cheaply removing another detractor Matthew Hayden at Sydney.

"As cricket became a contact sport, Australia were pitchforked out of the finals in straight sets by an Indian side which had the last laugh after a bitter summer of explosive tensions," said leading newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph'.

Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported the home side's plight under the title 'Australia sunk in straight sets' after Ricky Ponting's men lost to India by nine runs and 2-0 in the best-of-three finals.

"Instead of a fitting one-day farewell for retiring wicketkeeper (Adam) Gilchrist, it was controversial spinner Harbhajan Singh who laughed last and loudest, lapping up the triumph on the Gabba boundary in front of ecstatic expat fans," the paper said.

Heandline of the main article in another national daily 'The Australian' aptly summed up the tour as it said - 'A summer of spite ends in Indian glory'.

"A fresh, young India beat Australia by nine runs in last night's ultimately gripping second final at Brisbane's Gabba to wrap up the competition after winning by six wickets in Sydney on Sunday," the 'Australian' wrote.

"India's wild celebrations matched those of Australia after winning a dramatic second Test in Sydney and India after its historic third Test victory in Perth," it said.

'Herald Sun' narrated similar sentiments after the Indian triumph, saying 'Rough night as Indians reign'.

"Andrew Symonds shoulder-charged a streaker but it was his nemesis Harbhajan Singh and his Indian teammates who landed the knockout blow as Australia crashed out in straight sets in the tri-series finals at the Gabba last night," it said.

'Courier Mail' analysed the defeat in which it concluded that "the gap between Australia and the rest has closed to the point where the national selectors must be getting sweaty palms."

"The Indian team which trumped Australia last night contains just one player Sachin Tendulkar over 30. Australia, by contrast, had just three players James Hopes, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson under 30.

"Earlier this week, India stormed to victory in the under-19 World Cup. They are a nation on the rise. Australia are not tumbling into any sort of abyss but they are in slight decline.

"Given the quality of their retiring stars, it simply had to happen even given the continued excellence of Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke and the emergence of late-blooming James Hopes."

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