April - May 2004
India Sport Scene
Reflections from the Indian-Australian Cricketing Tour
It has been said that the Indian cricket team does not perform well when touring
abroad, but the last tour to the Australian continent against the worlds best
cricket team has finally quashed this bogey. India retained the Gavaskar trophy
with a blend of youth and experience. There is little doubt that Indian batsmen
possess marvelous skills and are tremendous to watch. However they miss the strike
bowlers that were evident at the SCG Test where Ajit Agarkar, and Anil Kumble
could not play due to injuries.
Under Ganguly the present Indian team has
improved their fitness but they still need to do more to achieve the
level of fitness that the Australian's have. The Australian does a lot
of physical training outside of cricket which helps them to be world
champions. The Indian cricket team need to do the same if wish to challenge
the Australian supremacy.
|The Australian tour has produced some useful
performances from the Indian youngsters. Irfan Pathan is one of them. The
left arm seamer who is only nineteen years old was thrown on the international
scene by the retirement of Srinath. This youngster bowled his heart out
taking many important scalps. He is a real find and needs to be nurtured
|He was modest about his achievements and when
asked said "that the Asia Cup under 19 tournament was the turning
point in his career. The match against Bangladesh where I took nine wickets
was great for me. My performance in the tournament rewarded me with the
man of the series award was fantastic. Although I felt that I was in the
reckoning for inclusion in the senior squad, the retirement of Srinath
prior to the Australian tour opened the door for me."
|"I have also had great help from John Wright's
valuable guidance, Zaheer Khan's useful tips, advice and coaching from
Bruce Reid and Wasim Akram. I felt very proud to be part of the Indian
team's historic victory at the Adelaide Test. In this test I managed to
take the wickets of Mathew Hayden, Steve Waugh, Damien Martin and Adam
Gilchrist. Mathew Hayden was my first test wicket for the senior team.
Although what pleased me most the wicket of Adam Gilchrist. He fell to
the ball that reverse swung and hit his wicket Gilchrist wicket was very
special to me. This was my best tour and I relished it. I consider myself
very lucky and very proud to be a part of the Indian team which boasts
of the likes of Sachin, Sarouv. Rahul, Laxman, Agarkar, Zaheer, Kumble
|Another player who made the most of the opportunity
granted to him by injury to another person is the pace man Balaji. He was
named to join the Indian team when injury ruled out to Avishkar Salvi.
This youngster also credited himself well when the opportunity was given
to him to play in the one day series.
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