Take lessons from Sachin

It was great to catch up with the vibrant Indian players, who are growing in strength and stature. The experience was different from what I had during my playing days. The pensive mood before the game and the happy atmosphere after the win give the dressing room various colours.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2004 13:04 IST

It was great to catch up with the vibrant Indian players, who are growing in strength and stature. The experience was different from what I had during my playing days. The pensive mood before the game and the happy atmosphere after the win give the dressing room various colours.

For the first time, I observed (from the outside) the players during the tense moments of the game. The concentration levels slowly build up on the eve of the match, as most of players prefer a quiet night, avoiding visitors and friends. At the breakfast table next morning, pleasantries are exchanged even as each player's mind is preoccupied with his own little gameplan.

Runs came in abundance as the Indians swung the willows well enough to score the highest total at the Gabba. For the last couple of years Sachin Tendulkar has played the sheet anchor role, letting others like Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly dominate. The same formula was used on Sunday as Sourav led the charge, while Sachin took time to settle down.

Although Sachin suffered a twisted ankle, he carried on. He has always shown this peculiar instinct to carry on with the innings, ignoring the pain. This is one quality the youngsters in the team should emulate.

Man of the match Laxman's desire for runs remains undiminished as he powered his way to his third one-day century. The Hyderabadi pierced the Australian field with his impeccable timing.

His most successful partner, Rahul Dravid, came in to give the required momentum and together they put up a healthy score on the board.

Brett Lee came into this game with the recent advice of none other than the guru of fast bowling, Dennis Lillee, but it had no effect. Lee, scrambling for line and length, was destroyed by the Indian batsmen.

The Australian innings started off with equal brutality. The man-mountain Mathew Hayden was all power once again, disdainfully attacking the Indian bowlers.

His hundred spelt danger for the tourists but young Pathan bowled with ferocious resolve and stoic determination to claim the important wicket of Hayden and the dangerous looking Clarke.

The turning points of the match were these two dismissals, which sealed the fate of the hosts. Balaji and Nehra chipped in well, the former's performance especially must have done a world of good to his confidence.

Debutant Rohan Gavaskar had everything to smile about in this match. With his quickish left-arm spinners with low trajectory, Rohan came up with a great return catch of Symonds. (Chivach Media)

First Published: Jan 20, 2004 13:04 IST