What a ruthless performance ... !!
I have read and heard about that phrase before. But it was always used for the Aussies. Somehow, the best tests experienced by the Aussies in the last decade have been at the hands of the Indians. Every series is like a slug fest. I still wonder why the Border Gavaskar trophy isn't a 5 test series. Make way Ashes or India-Pakistan. India-Australia is THE series to look forward to.
It was such a wonderful experience by a team that has withstood the fire from a cricket frenzy nation to win the inaugural T-20 world Cup, the under-19 World Cup, drew 1-1 in Australia (the result of Sydney should not be counted), won the last tri-series on Australian soil by humiliating the Wallabies, drew 1-1 against South Africa and now overwhelmed the Aussies at Mohali. Whether this performance will be mimicked is a question worthy of a debate but lets just rejoice for the time being.
Teamwork was one of the forces of this win. Just try and glance at the numbers ...
Gambhir - 67 and 104
Sehwag - 35, 90 and 1 catch
Dravid - 39 and 1 catch
Sachin - 88 , 10* and one of the best catches that I have seen by a 35+ cricketer
Ganguly - 102 and 27
Dhoni - 92 and 68* (5 sixes) and 2 catches plus astute captaincy
Harbhajan - 5 wickets
Zaheer - 4 wickets - 3 of them bowled
Mishra - 7 wickets on debut - 6 of them were bowler's wickets in the sense that the mode of dismissal was lbw, bowled or assisted by the keeper...
Ishant - 4 wickets - all 4 bowler's wickets - including Ponting in both innings plus Hussey and Watson (all top order batsmen)
The worst performer was Laxman with 12 runs ... but even thats not too bad ... there are days when 12 is the 4th or 5th best score if not the best ;) ... yeah I am over exaggerating ... but when am I not ... ;)
The figures do not reveal the complete story.
It will take a lot of history searching to find another instance when Indian fast bowlers have flattened the stumps of the opposition (and a quality opposition like the Kangaroos). The dismissals of Ponting in both innings, Hayden (1st innings), Watson(2nd innings), Haddin(2nd innings) and Lee(2nd innings) will surely make every Indian sit up and take notice. Off the 20 wickets that fell, 17 were bowler's wickets. Phew ... !! The catch by Sachin to dismiss Katich was an absolute blinder. No wonder that the Indians were pumped after that and took 3 more top order wickets immediately.
Finally, for many a aficionado, India defeated Australia at the verbals. I have not seen an Aussie team tormented by the on field duels. Harbhajan, Zaheer, Ishant, Gambhir, Sehwag and Dhoni bombarded the Aussies with sledging. It was such a joy to see an Aussie team face the heat. Laying our hands on the Border-Gavaskar trophy would be the best start to the winter with the Poms coming up next in order to gain some momentum before THE ASHES. Looks like a mouth watering cricketing prospect in the next 6 months.
Cheers to India ... !!