Monday, July 6, 2009

India round up glorious season

India are back and roaring. MS Dhoni's men did what most would not have thought possible after their disastrous campaign in the ICC World Twenty20 in England.
A 2-1 series win against the West Indies gave India their fifth successive ODI series win after the fourth game was washed out after only 7.1 overs.

No one would ever know what would have happened had rains not ruined Windies hopes of forcing a draw in the four match series. Had India lost, maybe the critics would have come down harder.

But the point is: India are coming back home victorious. For a team that has been on a long journey over the last year, fans should be happy and content.

India pulled off a convincing ODI series win against Sri Lanka in the Emerald Isles, followed that up with a Test series win over Australia at home before vanquishing England in Tests and ODI's. As if that was not enough, India got the better of the Lankans, again, in their own den.

New Zealand was always going to a tough bet but India were on the ball. They romped home in the ODI series, losing only one game while the Test series was just short of a cakewalk. The new age champions were blazing on all cylinders.

With the IPL and the ICC Wold T20, beginning to take center-stage in the cricketing arena, the stakes began to rise for India. The defending World T20 champions would take it home again more so after some of their key players pulled off some stunning performances in the IPL.

India win Windies series

However, England turned out to be a horror show and after an unceremonious exit from the Super Eights stage and Dhoni's arrogance turning off the Indian media contingent, it was suddenly a matter of survival for a team that had touched new heights already.

India stole the thunder in the first game against the Windies the moment Yuvraj Singh started his blitzkrieg against their spinners and showed what was to come. Although, it turned out to be a three-match series, Dhoni exhibited his ruthlessness.

An Indian captain under pressure is not new, never will be. But he had come in the news for all the wrong reasons. An ugly tiff with the media, the whole row over Virender Sehwag's injury, questionable tactics and his own poor form would have crippled any man. Not Dhoni.
He not only led the team to another series win, he led with the bat and stepped up in all three games.

The bowling may well give Dhoni some reason to worry. Ishant Sharma has not been at his best for some time now. RP Singh, who promised so much during the IPL, came unstuck in England and the West Indies.

Harbhajan Singh seems to have just lost his touch after a tiring season but he is a fighter and the likes of him are not tamed down for too long.

The rains in St Lucia marked the end of a gruelling season for a bunch of men, who have been on the road for almost everyday of the year, persevered and fought and won. This is a team that does not like to lose. Yes, they did go wrong in England, their captain was arrogant but here they come home again, wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

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