India won easily. And they won the match by winning each session played over the five days. Andy Bull thinks that we now have four teams who can beat each other on a regular basis: Australia, India, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Bull is thinking of a watershed moment in India:
In the longer term I wonder if this series won't come to represent a
watershed in Indian cricket. While so much attention is focused on the
ageing geniuses in their middle order it is easy to overlook the
overwhelming amount of young talent that has come into the squad in
recent years. Having struggled for so many years to find quick bowlers,
the Indian selectors now seem to be able to whistle up new candidates
at will: RP Singh, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Irfan
Pathan, all of whom are aged 23 or under. In the leg-spinner Piyush
Chawla and the batsman Virat Kohli, India have two 19-year-olds who
have already proven themselves in international cricket.
impressive still is the record of India's Under-19 team, which, almost
unnoticed, have accrued a phenomenal string of results in recent years.
Since 2003, in fact, India's Under-19s have won 57 out of 64 one-day
matches and lost just one Test in 15.
The talents (if not necessarily Test techniques) of that generation are only going to be enhanced by the Indian Premier League,
where they will play under enormous pressure alongside the finest
players in world cricket. With India at the centre of cricket off the
field, it may only be a matter of time before the wealth of resources
and money begins to have a real influence on the success of the team on
The argument about the usefulness of the IPL is very interesting. And rather unconvincing.
Ponting is apparently in some difficulty with his own fast bowler, still the best fast bowler in the world by some distance. He says it's because of a worry about over-rates. Here's Jagadish on the Aussie over-rate problem:
One of the indicators that Australia were in trouble with the over rate yesterday was when Hussey bowled 8 overs, having bowled only 11 overs in his previous 27 tests. In fact, a few tests ago at Perth,
Ponting was forced to bowl Clarke and Symonds in tandem to do something
about the over rate during India's second innings. As a result, India
went from 182/6 after 45 overs (a lead of 300) when Symonds &
Clarke started bowling in tandem to 234/6 after 61 overs (a lead of
350+). It was to prove crucial in the context of the match. Despite the
attempts to speed things up, there was a monetary penalty imposed.
Zaheer Khan's role on the last day with the ball was very important. Can he perform without
all that fine-inducing adrenaline
And, finally, Ijaz Butt, the PCB's new chairman, probably needs to take some media lessons or something. He's been full of fascinating inside information, including a possible merger between the ICL and the IPL?!