An eventful season of Test cricket at home has ended in grand style for India with the 4-0 shellacking of Australia. Of the 10 Tests played over eight months, India won 7, lost only two.
The fourth and final Test against Australia was played on a diabolical pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi but, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team must be hailed for their convincing performance throughout the series. The captain cannot be blamed for believing that this result, in a way, makes amends for India’s 0-4 loss in the Australian summer of 2011-12.
The Indian selectors need to be lauded for their bold moves — the sacking of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir; the inclusion of Murali Vijay over Mumbai’s Wasim Jaffer, who had a better domestic season than the Tamil Nadu opener and the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja, who earned the man-of-the-match award in Delhi yesterday. Overall, Sandeep Patil & Co have chosen well and the players in turn repaid that faith.
Dhoni made some brave moves when it came to the playing XI too. A home Test for the likes of Pragyan Ojha (Hyderabad) and Harbhajan Singh (Mohali) did not come in the way of team balance.
The action now shifts to the IPL. The pressure won’t be less intense, but the players, who have been part of the memorable home series against Australia can be expected to parade their skills better what with so much of confidence in their system.
Indian cricket is looking good. Yes, the end-of-the-year tour to South Africa will be a huge challenge, but if India prepare well just like they did for their last tour there in 2010-11, the results won’t be too bad.
May the Border-Gavaskar Trophy-winning celebrations match the rare 4-0 achievement!