The Indian Fan’s Dilemma: Should We Believe?

I know they’re ahead. So ahead. Day 4 starts in about an hour, but India are already 300 runs in front, with Virender Sehwag looking ominous. But they are playing Australia, which no one should discount. Especially now, this Australian side reveals the psychology’s significance in cricket. Good teams, great players, even umpires all fall occassionaly fall prey to the trademark Australian pressure (do you remember that last over from the Sydney Test? Or even the awful batting display in the 1st Test?). Their fielders run in; they constantly chat; they appeal as if they already know the verdict. It’s a beautifully constructed stage the Australians strut on. 

And yet, this Test has also shown, if only tentatively, the gap that is opening between the Australian reputation and the team’s actual abilities. “Australia” — world champions for the last 15 years — is now much, much better than Australia, a team without Warne and McGrath and an unsure Matthew Hayden. But can they pull it off again, though? Can they simply frighten their way to victory once more? When Shane Watson blithely said they could chase anything down — didn’t you feel nervous? 

Oh, I can’t watch!

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