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Rediff.com  » Sports » How did India beard the lion in its den?

How did India beard the lion in its den?

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March 05, 2008 10:38 IST

India ended their troubled tour of Australia on a high note when they beat the hosts by nine runs on Tuesday to win the best-of-three Commonwealth Bank tri-series finals 2-0.

Sachin Tendulkar scored a superb 91 and paceman Praveen Kumar went on to capture four wickets as the tourists followed up Sunday's six-wicket win in Sydney with a thrilling victory at the Gabba in Brisbane.

The triumph was sweet for the Indians after having lost the Test series 2-1 and being embroiled in a long-running feud with their opponents all summer.

The tour began on a bitter note with India getting a thrashing in the opening Test at Melbourne. However, that remained the most non-controversial period in the whole tour. The subsequent period did a lot to deteriorate relations between the two sides.

The tour was almost cancelled after the Australians accused Harbhajan Singh of racially abusing Andrew Symonds during the second Test.

And some controversial umpiring decisions only added fuel to the fire. Harbhajan survived after the BCCI's intervention but Australia did manage to win the Test in dramatic fashion.

The rival captains agreed to a truce after the International Cricket Council called in a mediator to resolve their dispute but the tensions remained throughout the tour.

India's impressive win on a hostile WACA wicket in the third Test at Perth was perhaps the biggest moment till Tuesday's title win.

The fourth Test at Adelaide was drawn and, as a result, the hosts won the series 2-1.

The Indians suffered a humiliating defeat in the Twenty20 international and were on the verge of losing in the first one-dayer of the Commomwealth tri-series.

Then, came in a string of impressive performances that ended with India's triumph.

There were further controversies, involving Ishaant Sharma, Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh, but what mattered in the end was India won.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team has done what no other Indian team has before -- beating the Aussies in a series in Australia. How was it possible? Was it because of the young blood in the side, captaincy, or the team's determination to fight fire with fire?

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