The Indian cricket team could not have given a better Holi gift to the nation than the 4-0 defeat of Australia, a whitewash, in the test series between the two countries with India winning the final test in Delhi on Sunday by six wickets. It is a great achievement, considering that this is the first time India has won four tests in a series in its long career in test cricket. It is an interesting statistic that MS Dhoni has become the first captain in test history to have lost every toss and yet have won all the matches in a series. This test series illustrates that cricket is a game of fluctuating fortunes with India having lost three series consecutively prior to this one. One of these test series was against Australia itself in Australia where India suffered an ignoble defeat having lost 0-4. India was routed by England as well in England and in India. The remarkable turnabout in defeating this Australian side is thus no mean feat. The defeat is a considerable one for Australia considering that it has been on the top for so long. Ever since the relative decline of the West Indies the Australians have had one of the best sides in test cricket.
The quality of their players has been reflected in the results of their games, with the team being ever ready for a fight back. Given their talent, it is not surprising that this is the first time that Australia have lost a series 4-0 since a defeat by South Africa in 1970. There is little to explain the Australian débâcle other than faulty preparation on their part for the low slow turners of India as well as the fact that the team was relatively inexperienced particularly when it came to the conditions in India. While their pacers did not perform up to the standard their spin department was relatively weak and the batting also did not hold up. India, on its part, had the happy experience of youngsters doing well straight away in the test series. This augers well for the future of Indian cricket with there being sufficient talent available to replace the great players in the side who have retired or are about to retire. It had been worrying for a while as the talent cupboard had beginning to seem empty. However, this series win should not make India complacent. It has to prepare well particularly for competition overseas where the conditions are different and sometimes more difficult.