India-Australia rivalry has given great cricket: Taylor

February 29th, 2008 - 10:42 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Sydney, Feb 29 (IANS) Despite the unending barrage of heated words exchanged between India and Australia this series, former Australian Test legend Mark Taylor believes that the antagonism between the two camps has given the best summer of cricket he’s witnessed since retiring. So much so that Taylor is anticipating that Sunday’s first one-day final between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will rival the atmosphere the great West Indies teams generated.

“This to me has been the best summer of cricket I’ve witnessed as a commentator,” Taylor was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.

“Last year we had sell-out crowds three months before the Ashes series started, but really I didn’t think the cricket lived up to expectations. But this summer we are seeing great cricket.

“The best side in the world is still Australia, but all of a sudden we are seeing India emerge from the pack as genuine rivals,” he said.

“You’d have to go back to those West Indies days of the late ’80s and early ’90s where there was fierce competition and also a fair bit of animosity to match the same intense rivalry today,” he added.

Although the India camp Thursday refused to talk about the latest blow-up involving Aussie opener Matthew Hayden and Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, Taylor is predicting that the trash-talking and sledging will continue.

The former Australian skipper also said he doesn’t have a problem with the intense ill feeling that has been expressed between the tri-series finalists.

“Neither side wants to back down in this war of words,” Taylor said.

“I think that has made for damn good cricket and damn good competition. I think you’ll probably find it’s the same in the crowd. There’s no doubt the crowds have been divided when it comes to who they are supporting.”

Taylor believes that some great friendships between the two teams will be forged after this series, but there are also likely to be more enemies made.

“Those little things that start to annoy you now annoy you even more and eventually players start saying things like Hayden and Singh did,” he added.

“Because of all this verbal jousting that’s been going on, the players’ resolution has become more steeled.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |