Indians finished what was left of Srilanka's pride when they thrashed them in the final ODI. Having reduced their batting to mediocrity they left the lankan bowlers feeling humiliated by doing what they had done well throughout the series - taking them on. Dhoni was once again in the act showing his repertoire and flexibility in adapting to different situations. He perished trying to end in style but the job had been done. The lankans had been mauled to death by then. Indians have batted throughout this series with a shocking ruthlessness brushing aside the lankans as if they were dust. What one must gaurd against is this ruthlessness translating into a lack of respect for the opponent. With the south africans starting their one days a couple of days down the road, the indians will do well to put their head down and assess them rather than getting intoxicated by their hedonic victory. Having said that the indians were near perfect this series knowing what to do when and doing it right. The most pleasing aspect has been the way different players have put their hand up at different instances. Dhoni,dravid,tendulkar,yuvraj,pathan,raina have all delivered and one must not forget the little contributions by kaif and sehwag. When it came to bowling pathan, rp singh, sreesanth, agarkar and bajji have shone. That nearly completes a squad. This is what playing as a team means. Call it fear for spots, enthusiasm of a new leader, beginner's luck or a chance coincidence the truth is that the indians are on a huge roll right now. Grame smith will definitely be having troubled sleep wishing that his unbeaten record doesnt come to an end. Dhoni must especially be giving him the jitters. But again, a man waiting to explode is sehwag. He is due for something huge. And he relishes the south africans.
Dravid must feel contented and happy. A convincing victory for the team under his captaincy will only strengthen his hold. He has been quite shrewd and surprisingly aggresive in his captaincy throughout this series. Great job by him so far.
Moody tried to put up a brave face but the truth was that the lankans had been humiliated and their ranking torn to shreds. It will take all of the gap between now and the tests for their wounds to heal. They will come back strong and renewed for the tests. It will be interesting to see how this new look indian team performs in the tests.
As the squad was announced for the south african series, one got the feeling that ganguly has slowly been squeezed out of the indian team. The administrators seemed to have handled the issue quite cunnigly but it seems that greg had prevailed. I have myself screamed for ganguly's head in a few of my posts but i feel sad for him now. He needs to go out on a high not like this. I just hope that he gets his head down and notches up a few runs under his belt in domestic cricket. Then hopefully the selectors will look at him not as a captain but as a player in the indian team.
And as for predictions for the south african series, i think it will be much more competitive. The south africans are themselves on a roll and it will be an equal clash though indians will have a distinct home advantage. My prediction is 3-2 for the indians. If its better then indians are really special. It its worse then the sri lankan series had been just an aberration.