Australian players didn't play enough balls on the field or show enough off it. They let down not only their countrymen but also fans in India who have grown up admiring the Australian Way: tough, spirited, and overflowing with self-confidence.
When a team is doing well, nothing succeeds like success. Nothing succeeds like failure too, as the Indians discovered in Australia and their rivals are discovering in India now. The emergence of a bunch of exciting players in one team has to be seen against the background of poor player management and the mental disintegration – ironically a phrase favoured by former captain Steve Waugh – of the other.
Australia have been a team in transition for a while now, and it has been fascinating watching them begin to get their act together under Clarke. From being in transition to disintegrating on a tour of India has been a startling change. The cliche 'can't bat, can't bowl, can't catch' has been extended with the addition of 'can't think'.
Other teams picked up on the tactic. Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, whose confidence outstripped his record, was happy to be a rattler-in-chief. But Dale Steyn didn't need to do it, nor did Graeme Smith, his captain. But other captains sometimes did even if they did not make a fetish of it.
Already by that tour in 1905, the tea interval had been through both acceptance and rejection. Two years earlier, there was an attempt to stop it altogether, but captains seemed to love it, especially fielding captains who noticed that a wicket tended to fall soon after the break. We don't know what umpires thought of this storm in a teacup, for they were not consulted.
Women jockeys compete with men, and as far back as in the 1930s, Babe Zaharias became the first woman golfer to play a PGA tournament. More recently, Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie have played on the PGA Tour. Professional basketball, professional hockey and the Indy 500 have all seen women competing with men. But these are rarities.
The decision to pick Cheteshwar Pujara for the one-dayers against England means that he is now expected to fill yet another pair of Dravid's shoes. It means that the No.3 slot is taken care of, and should be for a while. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's reluctance to bat in that position is understandable, even if he ought to come higher than his current batting position at No.6.
A walk down the memory lane reveals how Sachin Tendulkar, all of 16, impressed one and all on his maiden tour to Pakistan.
If India win in Nagpur, the old order will survive - and that means MS Dhoni will retain his job as skipper, and Sachin Tendulkar will have a few more weeks to make up his mind, meanwhile filling newsprint, the airwaves and cyberspace with lengthy, passionate and ultimately inconclusive debates.
Widely regarded as the most literary of India's cricket writers. A Bangalore University topper in economics and political science, Suresh began his career with Deccan Herald before moving to Indian Express, Chennai. He was still in his 20s when he became Sports Editor of The Pioneer and then Sports Editor of the undivided Indian Express in New Delhi. In 2000, responding to a call from the New Indian Express in Chennai he took over as Editor, and launched the New Sunday Express. After quitting in 2002, he launched a newspaper in Bangalore which became the state's highest-selling, and was bought over by the Times of India group.
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