Summer of spite ends in Indian glory, says Australian media

March 4th, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by admin  

Brisbane, March 4 (IANS) “A summer of spite ends in Indian glory” screamed the Australian, while admitting India’s success had far greater significance than England’s win in a similar tri-series over Australia last year. “A fresh, young India beat Australia by nine runs in last night’s ultimately gripping second final at Brisbane’s Gabba,” said the paper, which went on to note, “India’s wild celebrations matched those of Australia after winning a dramatic second Test in Sydney and India after its historic third Test victory in Perth, although no players or support staff ran on to the ground with Indian flags.”

The comment mirrored how the media has viewed the just-concluded series, where both teams clashed on and off the field and many a controvesry surfaced over the past few weeks.

Last year, Australia went on to win a third successive World Cup, and for a second time without losing a match. However, from that side, Adam Gilchrist and Brad Hogg are retiring, Shaun Tait has walked away from cricket for the moment, and Matthew Hayden, Australia’s stalwart in the finals with 82 in Sydney and 55 last night, is 36.

“By contrast, India picked a young side, including some of the players who took it to victory in the Twenty20 World Cup in September. Every player last night except the legendary Tendulkar, 34, was aged 27 or under, with five 23 or under, although it was Tendulkar who set up the victory with a steadying 91 from 121 balls,” said the Australian.

In contrast, Australia has only three players under 30. Clarke and Mitchell Johnson are both 26 and Hopes 29.

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma, 19, has been the find of the summer but missed last night’s match with injury. However, another young fast bowler has come from nowhere in the finals. Praveen Kumar, 21, was playing just his fifth one-day international but claimed the wickets of Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting for single figures in both finals, finishing with 4-46 last night to be named man of the match.

In a telling comment, the Australian also noted, “Ponting in particular appears in dreadful shape after an unprecedented summer of controversy, making just one in each final. He made 191 runs in the 10 matches at an average of 19.1, which included an innings of 124.”

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