India tour to Land Down Under, Australia
The bitter-bitter rivalry between India and Australia will forever remain! At once, when they fight against each other, they also play with each other. Forgetting the controversies, leaving behind the brutal scars, they also share glasses of alcohol now! To vouch for these words, the Agneepath series for 2011-12 has begun. Team India’s Men in Blue will face Team Australia’s Baggy Greens in 4 Tests and 2 T20s. The series has started from 26th December, 2011 and the teams will play their last T20 on 3rd February, 2012.
Down the memory lane:
When India met Australia in 2007-08, it was a big bummer for us. We lost the first test by 337 runs. And to add salt to the wounds, we lost the second match by 122 runs and with that, we lost the series too. However, we did win the 3rd test and were able to draw the 4th match all thanks to the great efforts put by our captain Anil Kumble and his team of Men in Blue.
Blame it on any reason, but team India was quite under-prepared for the tour. With practice match being washed out; our players did not get enough time to acclimatize to the Australian conditions.
Many of us thought that the 2007-08 series would be the last tour for the big names like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. But as it would been written, the trio is back to the Land Down Under for the “Agneepath” series. As I write this blog, India is playing the first against the home team. Unlike the jinx, India has played very good in the first test itself (might win it too!).
The Australian team too, has changed since the last test. Captain Ponting is now middle-order batsman and trying to revive his form in the Test. Clarke was a middle-order batsman then; and now the captain. Hussey continues to play as the middle-order batsman. Rest 8 members are new and the team is very young, both in terms of age and experience.
Team India on the other hand has same 6 players: Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni, VVS Laxman, Sehwag and I Sharma. The 4 new entrants are: Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin and Gauti.
Together these teams have put up a great show and entertaining first Test. When on one hand, there is threat that Test Cricket may die soon; this first Test is completely negating those allegations. Players have put up a great show and have attracted lot of young crowd too. On day 3, 247 runs were scored and 15 wickets were taken by both ends. If this doesn’t sound exciting, what else does?
Some more reasons to get up at 5 AM and slump in front of the TV: Cowan’s maiden 50, Warner’s huge knocks, Ponting trying to come-back in form, Zak’s come-back series, Kilfenhaus’ five-for, Sachin’s 100th100, U Yadav is the surprise element for India, repetition of a Very Very Special knock by Laxman and the most experienced Rahul Dravid’s elegant style!
This might be the last tour for Indian seniors. The youngsters have to learn a lot from them before the baton is passed on. Virat Kohli has to take the lessons from Laxman. He is doing well and promises to carry on the responsibility very well. Rohit almost duplicates Dravid in style and he will not deny the fact that, he is being compared with the legend of Indian Cricket. Ajinkya Rahane is yet to discover his form. But he is leaving no stone unturned. A hard-working player, he will soon be ready to open the innings with the likes of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. The bowlers are new and totally surprising. Umesh Yadav has out-lived everyone’s expectations. R Ashwin is making sure that we do not miss Bhajji so much. Zaheer Khan too has made the difference that he promised before catching the flight.
The series promises to be a real thriller and yes, we will be glued to it. Wishing team India all the very best! May you guys win it this time in style! Hip HIp Hurray!
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