KT edit: Indian Test cricket comes of age Down Under

Published: Mon 7 Jan 2019, 8:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Jan 2019, 10:10 PM

The thrill of a maiden Test series victory in Australia after 71 long years can rejuvenate a country's cricketing culture. Cricket has seen a generational and technological shift in those decades - with punters to boot (pun intended). The traditional whites paved way to colour in the more popular shorter versions of the game - it would be silly to pretend otherwise. These were but diversions as the purists maintained the game's ethos was steeped in the original Tests with players putting their heart into batting and soul into bowling. Throw in some spirited fielding during some dreary sessions that could peter out into draws. It's been frustrating for most part. That frustration is of the past now and the Indian cricket team can say with pride that the wait was worth it after their convincing show against the Aussies to claim the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under. The final Sydney Test of the four-match series that they came close to winning until rain played spoilsport would have been the veritable icing on the cake.
Often it has been said of the Indian Test team that they are lambs abroad and tigers at home. This series victory changes that view as other cricket playing nations begin to fear them as formidable Test team and not just as cricket's commercial powerhouse that rakes in the money from the shorter versions of the game. Critics said the team played spin better than the quicks on docile tracks at home; they lacked the temperament, the determination and the spunk to take the fight to the opposition, was the complaint of yore. Virat Kohli's men, with this performance, proved they have the staying power. Friendly pitches and conditions don't matter anymore. In Australia the speedsters fired when it was expected of them, the batsmen set up scores that their bowlers could have a go at and the fielders did the rest. Here was a fearless team that experimented with the playing eleven. Youngsters shouldered responsibility admirably, and the rest as they say is history. To those pundits who say this was the weakest Australian side with a stand-in captain, we say, too bad they lost.

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