We have bearded the lion in its den: Mankad

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 04, 2008 14:54 hrs

Mumbai: India's 2-0 sweep of the one-day triangular series finals against Australia at Brisbane today was hailed by former Test cricketers as a historic one and akin to bearding the lion in its own den.

"It was a historic victory and reminded me of the 1971 (Test series) victories over the West Indies and England (away from home). It was a great team effort," said former India captain Ajit Wadekar.

Wadekar also praised master batsman Sachin Tendulkar's efforts in both the matches (at Sydney on Sunday when he made 117 and today at the Gabba when he made 91) as crucial efforts, besides praising the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

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"Dhoni has led very well and the team is a nice blend of youth and experience. Sachin (Tendulkar) made a hell of a difference," he said.

The one-time stylish left-handed batsman also took a pot-shot at Ricky Ponting and his Australian team and advised them to desist from sledging and instead concentrate on the play in the middle. "The Aussies looked a bit aged, didn't they? They also concentrated too much on sledging and controversies instead of concentrating in the middle," he said.

Former Test batsman Ashok Mankad also praised the victory and said, "We have bearded the lion in its own den. It was a fantastic effort, winning it 2-0 against the World champions."

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"It was a great team effort and coming as it did after the under-19 team's victory (in the Junior World Cup in Malaysia), shows that the future of Indian cricket is bright," he said.

Former Test left-arm spinner Bapu Nadkarni said Super Sunday has been followed by Super Tuesday. "It was a Super Tuesday after Super Sunday (when India won the first finals and the under-19 team emerged triumphant). Like I said, they looked very confident during the first finals and continued in the same vein today," he said.

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"These boys have made history (by beating Australia Down Under for the first time in ODI series). It was a superlative effort and I hope it stays that way," he said.

Nadkarni took the opportunity to chide Yuvraj Singh for his wrong shot selection that cost him his wicket. "Yuvraj was looking good when he got out to a poor shot. There was no need as runs were coming as ones and twos with Sachin was batting very well at the other end. Then came the slump following Yuvraj's dismissal," Nadkarni noted.

The former slow bowler, considered to be a very difficult bowler to get away, did not feel that the Australian domination had ended with India's superb victory, but said the World Cup champions were now a scared lot. "The domination is not over yet, but they are scared of India now. We have made a big dent. They have to accept it," he said.

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