Men who made a difference

India has won the challenge that is considered the toughest in the world of cricket.

updated: March 05, 2008 10:26 IST
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India has won the challenge that is considered the toughest in the world of cricket. By winning the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia, the Indians have once again proved that they are the only ones who can put the world champions on the back foot.

The series will be remembered not just for the controversies and fascinating cricket, but also for opening a treasure trove of Indian talent and stellar performances by veterans like Sachin Tendulkar that made a remarkable difference to the show.

Sachin Tendulkar: The veteran's performance laid the foundation for India's spectacular show in both the finals. The master blaster maintained his good form with a solid 91-run knock in the second final of the CB Series at Gabba and a brilliant hundred, his 42nd ODI ton, in the first final at Sydney.

MS Dhoni: A few months back what seemed impossible has been turned to reality by Mahendra Singh Dhoni's young brigade. The captain has yet again proved his leadership skills leading the Men in Blue to a historic series victory Down Under.

Harbhajan Singh: He has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The off-spinner, however, returned to form with a bang in Sunday's final by claimimg the crucial wickets of Mathew Hayden and Andrew Symonds and again dismissing Symonds in the second final on Tuesday.

Gautam Gambhir: With 440 runs in 10 matches in the CB Series, left-hander Gautam Gambhir is in great form. His consistency time and again unnerved the home side.

Ishant Sharma: Ishant Sharma, the young Delhi lad has been the find of the tour. Though he could not play in Tuesday's match due to a finger injury, his fearless and brave spirit has strengthened India's bowling armoury.

Praveen Kumar: Praveen Kumar is yet another promising find for India in this series. His 4 for 46 in the second final at Brisbane got him the Man of the Match award. Earlier, his 4 for 31 against the Lankans put India on the road to the finals. His opening spell against Australia in the first final gave India the much-needed breakthrough in the match.

Rohit Sharma: The Indian selectors' decision to emphasise on a more youthful side seems to have struck gold. Mumbai lad Rohit Sharma is a batsman who certainly provides the much-needed support to India's middle-order.