India on fighting spree

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India's victory at Perth could change the way the Indian team is perceived in the cricketing fraternity.

Updated: January 25, 2008 14:17 IST
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India's victory at Perth is as astounding as it is historic. It could change the way the Indian team is perceived in the cricketing fraternity. But for those who've been keeping a close eye on Indian cricket, the team has slowly but surely been learning the art of fighting back.

Very few Indian fans might have dreamed the Perth win after the nightmare in Sydney.

But it has been the fighting spirit typified by VVS Laxman and Irfan Pathan that India has rallied around at the WACA. That's contributed to the world's most populous nation now being regarded as Australia's biggest rival.

Ravi Shastri, who had played 80 Tests & 150 ODIs for India said, "Australia will be shaken by this performance by India. It's up to India to maintain this same intensity. They have done extremely well on this tour. They got caught out in Melbourne, they were very good in Sydney and they've been up exceptional at Perth."

Teamwork was on the 2007 England tour as well. After the weather gods were kind to India at Lords, it was India all the way at Trent Bridge winning by seven wickets and then almost making it 2-0 at the Oval.

It was Laxman once again who's 376 run stand with Rahul Dravid inspired India to come back after having been forced to follow on and halt a rampant Australia in their tracks at Eden Gardens in 2001.

The pair stepped on the gas in Adelaide three years later, another triple century stand in 40 years in Australia to script a historic test win, the first Indian victory on Australian soil in over 20 years.

History as we now know, was repeated about four years later down under and could just help begin the path to a glorious future.

"We used to never win Test matches abroad. Slowly, we're winning one Test, and then one series. Hopefully, one day will when India will be going for the 16th win and Australia will be happy to hold us and stop us from that 17th win," said Ajay Jadeja who played 15 Tests and 196 ODIs for India.

India's best turn around ever was arguably complete with this win in the world T20 finals. About six months earlier, the Indian team had been written off after a first round exit in the World Cup. The speed of the turn around comparable only to the pace of the game.

If there's any criticism of the Indian team, it's that they often let the advantage slip like they did against the Proteas in 06-07 after winning the first Test. That's one problem they'll have to fix but if India can win at Perth, then, we know, anything is possible.

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