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Don't uncork the champagne, please


So to put this in a different context, when India just give up a Test (involving throwing numerous wickets away with bad shots and no application, which is very different from losing despite your best efforts to two fantastic bowlers), and then win the next, it goes down as staying on square one, rather than making any real progress. Especially when the rather inconsistent team does this over and over again, and not just once.

One of the more painful parts of a turkey such as the one India offered for our perusal in the first Test is that it takes the sheen out of a following win.

In a post match show, even as Sanjay Manjrekar was uncharacteristically OD-ing on a ‘phenomenal comeback’, his fellow commentator Chris cairns had something interesting to say. He mentioned India's track record over the past few series', where they have constantly showed an ability to turn things around when in a corner, but added, "It is a pity that it first takes a fall for them to produce such a performance."

There are more than a few voices in the mainstream media gushing over this 'stunning comeback', and the general mollycoddling is likely to continue once the morning newspapers are out tomorrow. But I am not sure if wandering carelessly into a ditch that wasn't even in your path and then digging out of it counts as a fight back, as against being pushed into one by more powerful opponents but still managing to claw your way out.

When you have an aggressive champion team like Australia trying to beat the pulp out of you in their backyard, and are supported by a vociferous and unyielding local media, you are down in the series despite having done your best, and then you come back and win a Test in Perth, their toughest ground, that's a fight back.

It is very different from just folding up to a (no doubt, strong and very competent) Sri Lankan side thanks to some careless and disinterested cricket and losing more on account of your own faults, and then coming back to win the next Test.

It is not so much a fight back as much as it is just coming up to speed, just making up for previous mistakes.

It is especially so when you look at it from the perspective that post the Oz tour, India were straddling a 'World's number 2, on their way up to number 1' tag, and should have been winning consistently so that when the Aussies drop by in October, you have a platform set to beat them and claim the No.1 tag. The general inconsistency is not ‘top-of-the-table’ material at all.

Please also note that the batting, in four innings so far, has been more World No.5 pr 6 and less World no.2. Just take Sehwag and the 2nd innings of this test away to send it spiraling further down the rankings.

Despite this win, would you bet something significant on India putting up a strong show in the next Test, forget winning? On being in competition for at least 90% of the game, as you would expect champion sides to?

This is a point that could possibly have been made after the loss of the first Test, but it is likely to have gotten lost in the overall pall of gloom and outpouring of curses. So, I figured it would make more of an impact if brought up now, as a sour note in the overall victory celebrations.

For some reason I am feeling rather unpopular right now.

(Click here to know more about Sreeram)



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