Pujara, bowlers pulled off historic series win
Jan.7 (CRICKETNMORE) - India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have all won the World Cup yet they have not won a bilateral Test series in Australia. India became the first team from the subcontinent to create history and it took 71 years for them to win a series Down Under.
Over the years, India and Pakistan have won Tests in Australia and looked good to win a series, too. Come to think of it, India came close to winning a Test on their first visit at the Sydney Cricket Ground where they clinched the series now. Rain robbed them then just as it prevented them from winning it 3-1.
On subsequent visits, particularly in the last four decades, Indian won Tests, squared series and in the new millennium came close to winning more than once. They drew series twice in the 80s and in the last 18 years, teams captained by Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and Mahendra Singh Dhoni should have taken the series, but could not for different reasons, not due to lack of talent or application.
A look at the teams will tell you that they had virtually the Who's Who of Indian cricket and some even of world cricket. On the last three tours the teams came with plenty of hope whereas this time with a lot of expectations. From now on no-one will deride an Indian team visiting Australia as tigers at home and rabbits overseas.
Things seem to have conspired to pave the way for India to win 2-1 this time round. Their bowlers this year performed in all conditions, starting with South Africa, then in England and now in Australia. South Africa and England managed to win at home, the luck of the coin playing a vital role.
Just as the Indians were at their best in Australia, the hosts had struggled to put up a matching side. The oft heard argument that the Australians missed their disgraced captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner, serving a one-year ban for ball-tampering in South Africa early last year, but frankly that's an excuse. Even if the two had played the side as a whole would not have stood up to the rampaging Indian attack, be it pace or spin.