India team return to grand welcome

The Indian one-day team returned from the CB Series in Australia to a rousing reception at the Delhi airport, where they were greeted by hundreds of fans and received by officials of the Indian board and the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

After a hard-fought series, where they won the finals 2-0, the team reached Mumbai in the morning and took a chartered flight to Delhi for a function at Feroz Shah Kotla. They were joined there by two members of the World Cup-winning under-19 side – Virat Kohli, the captain and Pradeep Sangwan – who play for Delhi.

Tired Australia consider more breaks

Australia will consider giving players operating in both the Test and one-day teams more in-season rest so they can be fresh for the most important contests. For the second time in two years the home side lost the CB Series finals after dominating the preliminary rounds and Ricky Ponting said the not-so-changing face of the squad had contributed to the fatigue created by a hectic campaign.

Ponting spoke with Tim Nielsen, the coach, and Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, over the past week about the issue and subsequent result trend. “We’ve only got a changeover of one or two players between the Test and one-day teams,” Ponting said after the second final in Brisbane. “That’s really unusual for us.

Indian triumph against Aussies signals change in balance of power

The fireworks exploding behind the presentation stage after India beat Australia in the tri-series final were not the only ones to add spark to an overheated summer.

As India’s young team celebrated wildly, many observers wondered if they were witnessing a changing of the guard of world cricket, and whether India’s aggressive approach was a reflection of a country growing in self-belief.

The four-Test and one-day series, which ended on Tuesday, provided some of the most scintillating cricket ever seen in Australia. Yet the Indian tour will be remembered more for what happened off the field than on it.

Harbhajan hits out at crowd behaviour

Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has lashed out at Australian crowds after being cleared of allegations he made monkey gestures and spat toward fans in the tri-series final win against Australia.

Harbhajan was cleared after match referee Jeff Crowe was unable to find any video evidence to confirm the claims by spectators and photographers. The spinner was shielded from the media when India arrived in Brisbane on Monday to prepare for Tuesday’s second match in the tri-series finals, but The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Harbhajan was appalled by the abuse he got from the crowd.

Quiet end to Gilchrist’s long-lasting career

Adam Gilchrist’s final international batting performance was so short, the supporters who were a minute late returning from dinner missed it. Instead of going out with a bang, Gilchrist disappeared in three balls and the closest he got to an explosion was when he was crowded by photographers as he tried to exit the field.

Australia’s nine-run loss in the second CB Series final marked Gilchrist’s retirement at the age of 36. He contributed 2 before playing back and edging Praveen Kumar, finishing with 9619 runs in 287 one-day internationals. During a quiet game by his ultra-high standards, he did not add to his 472 dismissals.

Tendulkar and Praveen inspire India to series triumph

sachinIn the final installment of its 29-year existence, a series that has become a part of Australia’s summer culture came to a climactic end with a fitting humdinger at the Gabba.

Twenty-three years after India’s last significant limited-overs title in Australia, Sachin Tendulkar helped script another memorable chapter with an innings of skill and determination. There was to be no repeat of his twin centuries against Australia in 1998, but his 91 set up a total which, backed by Praveen Kumar’s subtle-swinging accuracy, proved nine runs too much for Australia.

Ponting demands better performance

pontingRicky Ponting gave his team a “kick in the backside” during a team meeting after the six-wicket loss in the first final and asked the players to pinpoint areas to improve for Tuesday’s sudden-death encounter at the Gabba.

Ponting expected the side to lift after their loss against Sri Lanka on Friday, but the batting was poor again as they struggled to 239 here at the SCG on Sunday. While Sachin Tendulkar was basking in his match-winning 117, Ponting was delivering a dressing-room lecture. “It was a bit of a kick in the backside,” he said. “It wasn’t all nice stuff.

Magnificent Tendulkar seals victory

sachinIn 38 previous ODI innings in Australia, Sachin Tendulkar had never scored a hundred; in 11 previous one-day internationals against Australia in Sydney, India had never won. Both those jinxes were wiped out in a memorable evening at the SCG, as Tendulkar scripted a magnificent unbeaten 117 and shared a 123-run fourth-wicket stand with Rohit Sharma to take India to an emphatic six-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the CB Series finals.

Skipper Dhoni keeps the focus on cricket

dhoniMahendra Singh Dhoni is proud that his young team has reached the finals of the tournament given the scepticism that greeted the squad’s announcement.

And, as at the World Twenty20 in South Africa last year, he has asked his players not to worry about the end result.

“Winning is important, but winning is not everything,” Dhoni said on the eve of the finals when asked if lifting the trophy would be a fitting answer to those who questioned his decision to back youth over experience.

India out for revenge against bitter rivals in tri-series finals

With the war of words between the sides, the stage is set for a thrilling conclusion to the last triangular one-day series when the finals get underway with a clash between arch rivals Australia and India here on Sunday (tomorrow).

It has been a bitter campaign between the sides, especially since the second Test in Sydney in early January, but the Indians can gain revenge for their 2-1 loss in the Test series by upsetting the home side in the best-of-three finals.