First things first – what a fantastic performance from India to secure a 2-0 test series win over Australia. To dominate the best team in the world as much as they did is nothing short of incredible and they can’t be praised enough for their achievements.
As much as this was a victory they would have thoroughly enjoyed, there is no rest for the wicked as they say. India need to pick themselves up again as they take part in the first of seven One Day Internationals against Kevin Pietersen’s England.
The biggest question for me ahead of this series and the following two test matches is – will India revel in the confidence of the Australia series or will they struggle to motivate themselves for the next challenge? In other words, will India’s test series victory over Australia help or hinder England?
There is no doubt that the Indian team will be emotionally rather drained after what was an epic series against the Australians. Some of their players may believe that the hard work of their summer is done – now it’s just England to take care of. The cricket odds will be heavily favouring a win for the home side, so perhaps they will underestimate the threat England possesses?
Motivation will also be an issue. Having just beaten the number one team in the world so convincingly – are they really going to be as fired up against a team ranked fifth in the world? Will there still be the same sense of determination?
England could very well be facing a team suffering a ‘post beating Australia’ hangover and they must capitalise on this. Starting in Rajkot tomorrow where Sachin Tendulkar will not be present as he is being rested for the first three ODI games. Another Australian series related advantage for England.
As much as there could be a sense of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ as far as India are concerned, they are also just as likely to use the momentum built up against Australia to really punish England.
They will field a very young side as they build for the 2011 World Cup and this will contain a number of talented and enthusiastic individuals. There is strong competition for places in the Indian team right now and every single one of their players will know that they need to perform to keep their place.
Something else the series over as Australia has done is renew the ‘feel good factor’ surrounding Indian cricket. The county is cricket mad at the best of times and now that the team in entering a new era by winning games – excitement and support is likely to be more significant than ever.
Perhaps we will learn exactly how things will pan out for India and England after tomorrow’s first game of the seven match series. If England emerge victorious, it could be a very tight series, although if India win – it could be a repeat of the 2006 series between the two teams when the hosts thrashed England 5-1.
By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about cricket betting