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Win at Eden was special

It was great to see the guys put it across the Indians at Eden Gardens. It was a difficult pitch to bat on, but the two Michaels, Bevan and Clarke, once again saw to it that we had enough on the board for the bowlers to defend.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2003 23:39 IST
Brett Lee

It was great to see the guys put it across the Indians at Eden Gardens, a venue that has traditionally witnessed Indian victories.

It was a difficult pitch to bat on, but the two Michaels, Bevan and Clarke, once again saw to it that we had enough on the board for the bowlers to defend.

I am a big fan of the way Clarke plays. The confidence with which he batted, and later the way he bowled with a wet ball to get two crucial wickets gave Indians a glimpse of why he is considered one of the most exciting young players in Australia.

This performance could be a crucial one in his career since there is a No. 6 position in the batting line-up for the Test side. There are of course many other hats in the ring with Darren Lehmann, Simon Katich and Martin Love in contention, so it will be interesting to see which way the selectors go.

The defeat will hurt the Indians because they were in the box seat on a number of occasions, but were still unable to close out the issue.

Ninety-nine for one was a situation from which the hosts should have won, but once Sachin Tendulkar departed, no partnership flourished, and whenever the Indians looked in with a chance, the Australians always broke through. And when the batsmen departed, Ian Harvey came and cleaned up the tail with ease.

The Indians would have got some consolation from the fact that Tendulkar's fine form earned him the Man of the Series award.

In Australia, there is plenty of anticipation about watching Tendulkar bat, and it will be interesting to see whether he carries his good form from India to the fast and bouncy pitches in Australia.

I'm sure Tendulkar himself views the upcoming Australia tour as a big challenge, and would like to replicate his success during past tours this time as well.

I would be lying if I said that the Australians have not gained the upper hand psychologically with wins in two successive finals.

However, Test cricket is a different ball game, and victory in one form does not guarantee success in the other.

However, nerves at crucial moments are the same in both forms of the game, and it will hurt India that they did not hold their nerve at crucial moments during Tuesday's finals.

I am eager to be part of the first Test, and will try to prove my fitness by playing on the 29th against Tasmania. It will be touch and go for the first Test, but I'm trying my best to make it. Hopefully, I’ll be fit enough to play.

Right now Australia is in the grips of rugby fever, and I'm lucky to have got two tickets to the final.

I'm not too big on rugby, but it will be a big sporting event, and when it comes to cheering the Aussies, I am even willing to go and lend my support at a ping pong game.

First Published: Nov 19, 2003 23:28 IST