Tuesday, December 19, 2006

India break South Africa jinx - WANDERES target: DURBAN

Headingley, Adelaide, Jamaica, Johannesburg.
India are still not the best of travellers in the cricket world, but these four memorable overseas victories in the last four years stand out like beacons of hope.

After winning the Test series in the West Indies in July for the first time since 1971 -- the first outside the subcontinent for 20 years, this maiden Test success comes after 14 long years. South Africa has been the unconquered final frontier; victory has eluded India on three earlier visits and nine different Test matches here.

Little was expected from India on what was always thought to be one of the toughest tours in world cricket and after the way they played in the one-day series, what little expectation there was quickly faded with the ignominy of the 4-0 whitewash.

When the story of this epoch-making Test is told to young cricketers and readers in eras yet to come, it is impossible not to tell, with it, the story of Sourav Ganguly, a man who will probably come to symbolize just what sheer bloody-minded cussedness, indefatigable self-belief and an iron will can do. And though things have been overshadowed by the presence of Ganguly and his now famous phoenix-like rise from the ashes of despair, this is also the story of another yet comeback man, Zaheer Khan, also, for a while, shunned this past year and shoved unceremoniously into the cold.

Given the emergence and energy of Sreesanth, who looks like he will go on to become, in the manner of some fast bowling legends, one of the colourful characters of the game (form and fitness being on his side), it is easy to overlook Zaheer's part in this win but the latter's role (with both bat and ball), cannot be emphasized enough. He has given India the early breaks and kept on the pressure from one end, a pressure that has surely helped while Sreesanth has done his manic, merry dance at the other.

The following table gives details of India's maiden victories in each Test playing country compiled in order of longest wait for the win:
CountryDate of 1st Test 1st Test win achievedTest No.YearDays
Pakistan 1-Jan-1955Multan,1-4-2004 21st4992
England 25-Jun-1932The Oval, 24-8-1971 22nd3961
Australia28-Nov-1947Melbourne, 4-1-1978 12th3038
West Indies21-Jan-1953Port-of-Spain, 10-3-1971 12th1849
South Africa13-Nov-1992Johannesburg,18-12-2006 10th14 35
Zimbabwe 18-Oct-1992Bulawayo,10-6-20013rd8236
Sri Lanka 30-Aug-1985Colombo,1-8-19935th7337
New Zealand15-Feb-1968Dunedin, 20-2-1968 1st06
Bangladesh 10-Nov-2000Dhaka, 13-11-2000 1st04

aahhh...enough of statistics n post-match analogies, its time for some hearts throbbing, some boot shaking, as we join the Indian Team partying at Wanderers.


1 comment:

nitesh said...

i have watched the video around 10-15 times and whenever i watch it i laugh out loud

go india go