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Well - alls well that ends well. India finally crossed the final frontier by trashing "the Joeys'" in their own land. I guess the Indians matured a bit too fast and the Aussies could not digest that. Well, Pointing was right - a third final would not be required - India finshed it 2-0.
Well done India - you were thunder down under.
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Dear Deb,

It really feels great to see the Indian team - one full of youngsters take on the Aussies on their own turf and win. The 20 year old Ishant Sharma is certainly the find of this tour gone by as I he is the only other bowler in the same league as Brett. He really made Pointing his Bunny!
Symonds for all his talk and hype has been offered the second largest bid by the IPL to play in India!!! I really think the Indians are a forgiving lot and appreciate good cricket.

Lets see what happens from the 26th. when India take on the South Africans on home soild. Its going to be very difficult for the visitors keeping the pitches and grounds in India - which suit more our spinners and batsmen (who incidentally came good on Aussie soil!). On the Aussie front as a lot of experts have pointed out - most of the players are in their 30's whereas the Indians had an and have an average of 23/25. This is going to create a lot of problems for the Aussies unless they start getting new blood into the team and even if it means loosing a few matches build up a new team of match winners again but with a new youg set.

I do feel sorry for pointing though as he was really made to eat his words about finishing off the two finals in two matches and it would be Australia that would walk away with the laurels. Yes, it was only a two final thing but Ponting erred in the winner - India really trashed the hell of the Aussies!

Anyway - lets now look towards the future.

Say hi to trev and hope you have been receiving all the forwards I have been sending.

Lots of India,
Hi Robert,
I read your post on the forum and then saw your post here and decided to write to you at this spot. How are you? Its really been ages since we last kept in touch and considering we are both cricket fans!!!Smiler. On a serious note - I hope all is okay with you and you are doing fine.
Coming to the match, even as I type this SA is batting and have already scored 35 for no loss - with both the opening bowlers getting pretty badly hit. India has taken a decent enough lead and seeing the way the wicket is behaving the spinners will have a lot to say for the outcome. If India gets some early inroads today and then hit SA really hard today - they could go in for the kill. However, I personally dont think India will win the match and it will land up being a draw - with Sehwag being the man of the match. Its sad he missed out on the 400 but has joined The Don and Lara in an elite three of scoring triple hundreds in two matches. He then now hold the fastest one to get his 300 runs and finally in the last 10 tests he has got eleven centuries - all thats quite a feat!! Finally Dravid got his 10,000 joining the six who have already crossed - Tendulkar followed by Gavasker being the top two. Quite a few records broken!!
I am really happy to see India play the way they have begun playing. Their agresivenes certainly came to light after all the episodes down under and hope they continur this way and start getting up one more rung to become the best team as ranking goes.
Do write in Robert.
Take care and love from India,
Hi Ananth

What a shocker for India.76 all out is a one off and India will not recover in this test match.India did have an opportunity when SA lost a few wickets but Kallis and De Villiers took the match away.I think India are missing Zaheer Khan.Also as much as I like Kumble I do not think he is captain material.It will be a miracle if India recover.
Hi Robert.
Somehow I had a feeling that something was going to happen but skittling India out for 76 runs was an outstanding feat. Twenty overs was all it took the South Africans to get them all out and once they had done that, the match result was on the cards.

I think there was also some kind of mental block or unease in the Indian camp as RP Singh was getting hammered all over the place and then came along Irfan - who also got hit but did put up a good show(keeping in view the scores)and I feel it will be a matter of time before he turns into a good all rounder. The mental block I imagine was the absence of Sachin and Ishant(specially on this track).

Even the first test, if we really look at it - it was the South Africans who deserved to win and the only thing that held them back was the triple century and century by Sehwag and Dravid respectively. They (the Indians) should have really got a bigger margin as far as runs were considered as there was ample time but noone else put up a good show with the bat.

Kanpur again is a big question mark as Sachin is still out of the team and Ishant is still not totally fit. Zaheer too has his problem. Dravid is still very scratchy and Dhoni too has not done very much. However, Kanpur - the wicket is a turning track and it will help the spinners and I feel the team will once again field both Kumble and Harbajan and they may also include a thirs spinner - Piyush Chawla, who did show his potential with both the bat and the ball in Australia. Well its a question of Do or Die and if its die - its good bye Kumble and lets see who will don the matle of leadership.

What do you feel?


India have to go all out for the win and to do that they may have to sacrafice a batsman and play an extra spinner.Vital the India win the toss as I think SA are the sort of team who will be ruthless and bat for long periods.South Africa are a team on the up and India are unfortunate that they have played two teams of such quality in the past few months.Great experience for the Indian youngsters.A drawn series will feel like a victory for India from here on in.

Roll on Thursday
Take Care

Dear Robert,
I think my predictons on the thrid spinner was pretty much okay. Very honestly - I know this sounds bad to even mention it - but am glad to an extent that Kumble was made to sit out for whatever reason and Dhoni took over the mantle. He did a fantastic job yesterday with getting the S. Africans all out by then end of the first day. Remember I had told you about Piyush - trust me - he has been slated to be the next Tendulkar and thats a big thing to say off the cuff as to fill sachins boots is never going to be possible. I think he did a great job and keeping in view he was not even considered for the first selected team. His bowling against the aussies was fantastic and see no reason as to how they could have overlooked him. The batting line up too is pretty much upto the task and as you will always notice pressure always brings out the Indians on the top - they thrive on pressure!!!
The wise thing they did was send Powar and Patel - packing as I am sure if they were playing the South Africans would still have been batting and would have crossed the 350 barrier!!!! Ishant Sharma is a God blessed talent and if he is mantained well - he is one bowler on par with the likes of Brett lee and Shaoib - I remember the match he bowled almost twenty overs at a strech and not once did he slip below the 130/135 mark and in the initial stages was upto Bret's speed of 140/145.
Anyway - lets see what happens today. I hope the batsmen play their heart out and carry on from the good job the bowlers did for them.

Keep writing in my friend as its always great others viewpoints on what they feel about the match.

Lots of lov,
Hi Robert,
I think this was done pretty smoothly by the Indians. Bowling off the S Africans for 121 with still a couple of days to go - it was giving the match to India on a platter. The main thing ,however, is that India managed to level the series.
As I understand there is some trouble vrewing in the Indian camp with Kumble. I am not exactly sure as to what the entire thing is but it sure made headlines about him trying to leave the hotel at dawn to catch a flight back to Bangalore and then being told by the BCCI to go back. I guess you will read about it - however, when I get more news will let you know about the episode.
lots of love,

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