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Indians must take series defeat on the chin: Surti

Queensland-based former India all-rounder Rusi Surti talks about India's debacle in Australia

India's individual Test performances at the Adelaide Oval don't do justice to their poor record (one win as against Australia's five in nine Tests) at the South Australian venue. It all started in 1947-48 when Vijay Hazare became the first Indian to score two hundreds in a Test. Pity Dattu Phadkar's century at No 7 against the likes of Keith Miller and Ray Lindwall is not often celebrated.


BeenĀ there, done that: Former India all-rounder Rusi Surti at his home
in Dadar, Mumbai. Pic/Atul Kamble


The next India vs Australia Test in Adelaide came two decades later - the opening battle of a Test series which Australia won 4-0. Chandu Borde led the team in place of the injured Nawab of Pataudi and restricted Australia to 335 thanks to a six-wicket haul from medium pacer Abid Ali. India replied with 307 aided by a valuable fourth wicket stand of 121 between the stand-in skipper (69) and Rusi Surti (70), who followed it up with a 53 in the second dig.


Rusi Surti in his younger days

In between those two batting performances was a five for 74 and his victims were opposition skipper Bob Simpson, Ian Redpath, Ian Chappell, Barry Jarman and Allan Connolly. Surti rates the wicket of Chappell (bowled for 13) as his prize scalp.


David Warner after being struck by a ball from Umesh Yadav in Perth

"The 1967-68 tour of Australia was one of my best series," said Surti. In the 1969 edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack said this about the all-rounder: "Surti was such a capable player, one who applied himself wholeheartedly to the job in hand, that the Queensland Cricket Association were happy to engage him as a coach and to play in the inter-state competition in the following few seasons."

Queensland-based Surti (76) is on his annual holiday in Mumbai.Here's what he told MiD DAY:

What's the difference?
Too much has been made in the media about Sachin Tendulkar's 100th hundred. Even if he has not scored it, does it make him a lesser great?

Rift story should've been challenged
The story aboutĀ  a rift between skipper MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag was typical propaganda.
If I were a BCCI member I would have taken this charge very seriously and taken some action (on the media report in the Australian media).
That was a huge rumour and you can't do such things. Some serious action should have been taken.

They don't mess with me
No, I wouldn't have faced any (ridicule) if I was in Australia during this series. They (Aussies) don't mess with me. But yes, my friends and me have our share of banter.

There are technical flaws..
I am a qualified coach. I watch every ball on television from 5:30 am and the slow motion replays shows me that the bat of some batsmen is coming down at an angle. There are problems in the fielding aspect too. Often, there is no backing up from mid-on or mid-off and the running between wickets is not at its best.

Take defeat on the chin
On the whole, India must take this series loss on the chin. We didn't bowl well in the line of the stumps and we expected too much from Sachin.
Look, I am not taking too much notice of the criticism. It's a game of cricket at the end of the day.

Kohli is promising, but appears cocky
Virat Kohli looks promising but he must not be too cocky. Some of the players give me the impression that they are bigger than the game.

No support from lower order
Our batsmen many a time were not prepared to give support to the set batsmen. Zaheer Khan in the last Test at Perth just wandered away while Kohli was batting.

Series vs WI was the time to infuse youth
They (selectors) could have played newcomers in the home series against the West Indies. That was the time to blood young talent. Possibly, no one wants to give up their spot. It appears that six men have come on a tourist visa. It didn't matter if Sehwag was failing continuously.

Warner hit reminded me of Nari Contractor
When David Warner got hit on the head by Umesh Yadav in Perth, it reminded me of Nari Contractor's injury in Barbados in 1962. The ball hit Warner on the same spot. Fortunately, he had a helmet on. I sometimes tell Nari that, 'you invented the helmet.'

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