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An erratic one-day team, or simply good hosts?

Strange, isn't it? An Indian cricket team, which has been so dominant during Test series at home in the recent past, somehow becomes so hospitable when it comes to the one-day series.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2002 00:29 IST

Strange, isn't it? An Indian cricket team, which has been so dominant during Test series at home in the recent past, somehow becomes so hospitable when it comes to the one-day series.

Not one limited-overs series played here since 1995-96 has been decided before the last game, and this, keeping in view the fact that most of the sides were beaten comprehensively in the preceding Test series.

Quite a coincidence, is it not? And quite a profitable one, we daresay for all concerned - the TV companies, the host association and also the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

So what can we attribute this to?

There can be several reasons - possibly the replacements in the visiting sides, who have come in only for the one-dayers, did not have to undergo the trauma of some trying Test matches; perhaps we do not play the shorter version of the game so well. Or maybe, we are just good hosts.

The current series against the West Indies is quite amazing. Six matches have been played, three going to each team. It all began in Jamshedpur, and the hosts went one-up. They then made it 2-0 in Nagpur before India hauled one back in Rajkot.

It became level pegging after Ahmedabad, before we went down again in Vadodara.

Jodhpur brought us back on level terms.

And what does that do? That makes the seventh match, to be played in the obscure outpost of Vijaywada on Sunday, a virtual final.

This is not the first time this has happened. We have played virtual finals against England way back in 1981-82, in Cuttack. In 1995-96, the decider against New Zealand was staged in Mumbai, while the Kiwis were again involved in a tie-breaker in 1999-2000, Delhi being the stage.

The famous series against Australia saw the fifth match being won by the visitors in Goa while against Zimbabwe in 2001-02, the five-match series was finally decided in Guwahati, in India's favour.

These coincidences envelope all the bilateral series, with an odd number of matches, played here during the time mentioned.

Every one-dayer, they say, is a new game, another glorious chapter in the uncertainties of the sport. That makes the predictability of the one-match victory margin rather out of place, does it not?

But who are we to question the vagaries of fortune? It is just a matter of luck, or at least we hope so. So go ahead, enjoy the game, and keep those money counters rattling!


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Virtual reality

When a series has gone down to the wire in India

Series Against Result

1981-82 England India won 2-1

1995-96New ZealandIndia won 3-2

1999-00New ZealandIndia won 3-2

2000-01AustraliaAustralia won 3-2

2001-02Zimbabwe India won 3-2

First Published: Nov 23, 2002 00:29 IST