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The Indian team’s win in Pakistan will without a doubt get laced with the romanticism of the kind reserved for any major achievement. Tradition and history may not mean much to the generation of compulsive consumers [of the IT technology and MTV channel kind], but it may still not be out of place to remind young generation that when India won its first Test Match – against England in 1952 in Madras – the whole nation beamed with pride even though there were no corporate sponsors to remind us how great a nation we had become.
In the near seven-decade history of India’s Test Cricket, the year 1971 will rank as one of the greatest. It was a year when Ajit Wadekar and his men won a series in the West Indies and then went on to beat England in England.
Who can forget B. S. Chandrashekar’s spell of 6 for 38 at The Oval that helped India win on the England soil for the first time ever,. In fact, to most of us, that achievement still ranks as one of the finest moments of Indian cricket and that team itself was one of the best India has ever had.
Move on to the eighties, the 1983 World Cup win & the demotion of England in England in 1986. That we have still to win a series outside the sub-continent after that makes the 2-0 victory of Kapil Dev’s team even more amazing and credible. Just imagine! The Indian side of the eighties had Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikanth as openers and had a batting lineup that figured the likes of Gr Vishwanath, Dilip Vengsarksr, Mohinder Amarnath, Md. Azharuddin, followed by the all-around skills of Kapil Dev, it was as formidable a batting line up as one can imagine and it that team had the support of Javagal Srinath and the spin quartet of Bedi, Prasanna, Chandra & Venkat, it would be safe to assure that India would have been Test Cricket’s world champions at that time of course, we still would have needed a Jhon Wright to be around.
In the nineties, India under Mohammad Azharuddin became the undisputed world Champions in home conditions but their record away from home was so abysmal that it led to the team being dubbed as ‘lions at home‘ lambs abroad.
History is being changed and reshaped by Saurav Ganguly’s unorthodox but very effective leadership and the great skills of his men. The last three years have seen the seeds of professionalism being sown in the team with. Wright playing a phenomenal role in helping this side acquire that cutting edge which teams of the past lacked
India now has a team that played wonderfully joyous cricket in the past couple of years. It did not lose a series away from home against England and most importantly, in Australia. And now, it has won in Pakistan, its first away series win since 1993.
It will always be debatable to say which Indian team has been the best ever, though one won can safely take the risk and say that if ever there was a team hard to beat, it has to be this one. Coupled with a batting line –up that must be surely giving nightmares to any opposition is the emergence of two outstanding swings bowlers L Balaji and Irfan Pathan. And then there is Anil Kumble who has now shown that if he has the back –up of runs and quality bowlers, he is a match winner even in alien conditions.
The team’s support system of Wright, Andrew Leipus and trainer Gregory kings (continuing with the training revolution started by Adrian Le Roux ) has knitted together a bunch of extremely talented players into a favourable professional set up.
Though they lack a genuine all-rounder; an accomplished wicketkeeper and they suffer from self-created problems of a settled opening pair, it may still be safe to say that not only is this the best Indian team ever, it has the making of the best team in the world.
Sponsors keep your spending options open. Australia beware!
On the basis of your reading of the passage answer the following questions:-
1. Why was 1971 remarkable in the cricketing history of India?
2. What glory did Kapil Dev’s team bring in the eighties?
3. What could have made the Indian cricket team world champions in the eighties
4. How was the Indian team dubbed as in the nineties?
5. How did Saurav Ganguli’s leadership help reshape the team?
6. However, what is it that the Indian team still lacks?
7. Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following:-
(i)Of quite good standard; deserving praise. [ para 4 ]
(ii)Impressive, powerful but difficult. [ para 4 ]
(iii) Inviting two opinions. [ para 8 ]
1. The year1971 was remarkable because in this year Ajit wadekar and his team won a series in West Indies and then went on to beat England in England.
2. Kapil Dev’s team won the world cup in 1983 and beat England in England. It was an amazing and creditable achievement.
3. India had formidable batting line-up in the eighties whit players like Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikanth etc. if it had the support of the ace players like Javagal Srinath, Bedi and Prasanna and some others, then it could be the world champions
4. It was dubbed as ‘lions at home, lambs abroad because their performance was great in the homeland but outside it was abysmal.
5. Saurav Ganguly leadership sowed the seed of professionalism in the team. the team has acquired the cutting edge which teams of the past lacked.
6. It lacks a genuine all-rounder, and accomplished wicketkeeper and suffers from problems of a settled opening pair
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