India lifted the Gavaskar-Border Trophy yesterday with a 2-0 win over Aussies. The whole nation was elated for the cricket team had achieved this feat after eight long years. The whole series was in fact played in a charged atmosphere, whether it was the former captain Saurav Ganguly's mid-series outburst, Test captain Anil Kumble's injury, general sledging, doubtful umpiring decisions or Match Referee Chris Broad's controversial decision on Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, the series had its more than fair share of controversies and media had a field day reporting events, that took place on and off the playing field.
However, the most profound outcome of this series is not the 2-0 score in India's favour, I think.
Well, before draggers are drawn out and pointed at me, let me clarify that I was equally elated at the Indian team's victory over Australia, which I feel was looooooooooong overdue and has finally come true, thanks to some deft captaincy by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (he ROCKS!!), before him Anil Kumble and coherent playing by all three departments of the team: batting, bowling and fielding. However, I am not sure that any other series, except one between India and Pakistan, brings out this much aggression in Indian players.
I have seen players of the like of Srinath, Kumble, Sachin, Azharuddin, Jadeja, smiling away the barbs thrown at them from the rival sides, be they Australians (during their glorious days) or Pakistanis. The scuffles were few and far between (like the (in)famous Javed Miandad-Kiran More or Aamir Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad spats).
It seems that Aussies have finally brought out the worst among the Indian players, especially the young lot, in terms of verbal duels (although, Harbhajan Singh was a picture of patience during the second innings of the last match, even when Shane Watson could not help keep that sniggering look off his face while Singh went on to score a half century). The kind of aggression, which was visible in spurts under previous captains, has finally come of age under young blood Dhoni. The Indian cricket team today is capable of paying back in the same coin to any of the rival teams when it comes to sledging, it seems.
This, in my opinion, is the true outcome of this series and with the next series, with England, about to begin, the young turks of Indian cricket, would be going into it with much more on their mind besides just cricket.
P.S. I know I have disturbed the hornet's nest with my comments because just like everything else, cricket is more than just a game for us Indians. So, please feel free to post your comments on this piece.
Waiting to hear from you........
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