Saturday, January 19, 2008


The Indians have done the impossible. They have done what no team from the sub continent has ever been able to do in the history of the game. The mighty Aussie “dobbers” have been muzzled in their own den, Perth, where no one, means no one, gave the Indians even the sliver of a chance. That fast bouncy wicket was to have been the graveyard of the Indians. But the Indians have buried the Aussies there with as emphatic a performance as you will ever see.

Sunil Gavaskar believes it is India’s greatest win in the last 40 years. The effervescent Navjot Sidhu thinks it is India’s greatest win ever. Coming as it does just after the infamous Sydney Test where the worst Australian behavior and lack of integrity not only cost India the match but created an unprecedented storm, the Indian victory shows much more than just cricketing skills. It is the strength of character, the fighting spirit and the refusal to be cowed down by incessant Australian sledging that stands out in this truly historic win.

Kumble, the old Lion with an indomitable spirit and integrity beyond question, needs to be applauded for showing great courage to drop Harbhajan Singh despite what happened at Sydney. But his real, understated but resolute courage and confidence which struck the first deadly blow to Australian arrogance, was his decision to bat first after winning the toss. India opting to bat first on the fastest pitch in the world against the mighty Australians? Even the great Gavaskar thought it was a wrong decision and could cost India the match, particularly with Shaun Tate the fast bowler back in the Australian team.

When Sehwag started thrashing the Aussie pacers, the ghost of the Perth pitch entered the Australians instead of the Indians! On this pitch the Indians were supposed to be rattled. But, to the gasping disbelief of all, the Australians were bowled out in just 50 overs in their impregnable garh. From then on, all that the Indians needed to do was holding their nerves and believing that the impossible was within their grasp. That is something they did as a bunch of champions who did not make the mistake of even entertaining the thought that the Australians, with a world record 16 wins under their belt, were invincible.

After the disaster at Sydney, I had attempted to partially explain the genetics behind the ‘stand-out’ behavior of the Australian cricketers. I found that research had been done globally on the effects that MAO A levels have on the behavior of not only humans but even the otherwise very docile mice! I had then written that the Indians would do well to realize that the abnormal aggression, abrasiveness and propensity to cheat that the poor Australians display routinely was to be blamed on MAO, and that this understanding might help the Kumble’s men develop better strategies to beat their opponents in the next match.

I do not know if Kumble and his team read my post, but they have clinically muzzled the “dobbers” and that too in Perth!

Another very illuminating aspect of the Indian victory is that it has again been largely achieved by the new lot of fearless, confident and proud members of the team who hail either from small towns or from those parts of large cities which are still largely untouched by the pervasive westernization afflicting and enfeebling ‘First Indians’ living metaphorically in the West. In an earlier post, Chak De India Second Best Means Nothing, I had also mentioned that, unlike ‘First Indians’, these Indians had not been psychologically defeated by the ‘Superior West’ even before they faced it on the battlefield.

That could be the one main reason behind the ability of these ‘Second Indians’, the real one out there, to take on the mighty Australians in a manner seldom displayed by their ‘soft’ predecessors. Having conquered the final frontier, they have announced to the world that the next great cricket rivalry, the mother of them all, more exciting and intense than the legendary Australia-England and India-Pakistan ones ever were, is going to be between Australia and India.

‘Second Indians’ are coming!