India Stuns Australia

perth3.jpgThe steaming controversies, an outraged nation, and a team hunting for it’s 17th consecutive test victory. This was the atmosphere that marked the start of the 3rd test at Perth in Australia with the Australians soul-searching for the righteous game spirit, and wishing to stretch far their unbeaten test run while Indians were fighting for a bigger motive, to save their self-respect (as it seemed from the hype that caught the nation with surprise).

But fate had something else in store for them. Perth was witness to some of the greatest moments for Indian cricket. India’s win on Saturday is their first ever win on Perth and is probably going to give the Australians goose bumps for a while. After a series of disappointing matches floating amidst controversies, be it bad umpiring, racist charges on Bhajji, Team India seems to have found its momentum. This win is certainly going to boost India’s confidence for the next set of matches. It was a remarkable show of character by the Indians, who did not allow the bitter events of the Sydney Test affect them as they went about plotting Australia’s demolition.

The ground at Perth was assumed Australian’s forte, a place where they had dominated for a long while since heir loss to West Indies in 1997. After that there was no looking back and Australians emerged as a team with dedicated thinking, a killer-instinct and a team effort that could pull them out from any crisis. But the recent developments in the cricket series challenged the nerves of both the teams and made this test bigger and better.

The opening day of the match saw India soar to a total of 330 all-out with some elegant strokeplay from Sachin Tendulkar(71) and Rahul Dravid(93) against the threatening Australian bowling attack specially when you are a visitor to the homeground of the Kangroos amidst challenging bouncy tracks waiting to hunt down their next prey. But this good partnership got them on their way and a little contribution from the rest of the team players saw them through a respectable total or in other words a worth-defending foundation. In return, it was the day of R.P Singh on the other half when he dominated the ground by snatching 4 wickets from the hands of the Aussies who could just reach a total of 212, thanks to Gilchrist and Symonds who struck a half-century to help their side sail through what could have been a complete disaster.

Then, it was no looking back for the Indians since that lead of 108 runs in their first innings. But reeling under an initial fallback, India managed to put up a respectable target of 413 runs for the Australians making the spectators questioning the shattered Australian batting against the upcoming Indian bowlers. The initial breakthrough provided by Irfan Pathan at the close of the 3rd day of the match got the viewers shouting for a clean victory and made the Indian team more focused on the pre-final day of the 3rd test. The Indians finally went on to show the world the spirit with which this game ought to be played by the sportsmen.The Indians put a halt to the winning streak of the Australians.What’s more amazing about their victory is that Australia has remained unbeaten at this venue for the last 31 years!! West Indies was the last team to beat Australia at this venue in February 1977.

The victory has ended Australia’s 16 match winning trail. Set 413 to score a world record 17th successive Test victory, the Australians were dismissed for 340, enabling the spirited visitors to reduce the margin to 2-1 in the four-match series. Interestingly, it was also India who broke Australia’s previous record 16-Test winning streak when they notched a memorable victory in Kolkata in 2001.The Indian Cricket Team has emerged victorious.

Even though backed by demanding controversies, mind-boggling accusations, and raised eyebrows, the game finally managed to receive the respect, interest, love and cheer from the spectators that it deserves.

Ishant Arora