Mahendra Singh Dhoni Fansite

Dhoni’s fearless young brigade reflects today’s India

Noted cricket writer Peter Roebuck believes the rise of the young Indian cricket team, which displayed fighting spirit against world champions Australia in the recent series, is nothing but an expression of contemporary India’s independent and fearless attitude. Roebuck, who shot to fame after the controversial Sydney Test when he called for the sacking of Ricky Ponting for leading a “pack of wild dogs”, said the rivalry between India and Australia would enhance the game of cricket.

“In past Indian cricket reflected its culture and it was the same for Australia. But Indian culture has changed dramatically in the last five years. India has grown stronger socially, economically and politically. Anil Kumble and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the by-product of that culture,” Roebuck said at the India Today conclave here Saturday.

“There are players like Irfan Pathan, Dhoni and Praveen Kumar, who have faced many moments in life which are harder than cricket. They have come from the backyards like Australian players.”

Roebuck said that the first major change in Indian cricket came with “Sunil Gavaskar, the voice of protest, ‘we will do the India way’

“Then came Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest player who changed the game in India. ‘I am comfortable with what I am’ Tendulkar said to the cricketing world.”

“And then came the Dhonis and Pathans. The Sydney Test was the expression of a democratic, passionate, committed and self-dependent India. It was a sense of true independence, not protest,” Roebuck said.

The Australia-based Englishman said the Aussies and the Indians have a lot of things in common.

“They are the two new forces of world cricket. They are rivals but also partners. They speak the same language. This is a healthy conflict which will only enhance cricket.”

Roebuck, though, said India would have to maintain their consistency of success at the higher level to become the next world champions.

“It is important that they do not get carried away in hysteria. The challenge ahead of India is to maintain the success.”

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