Lack of preparation hurt India's chances Down Under: Arthur

SA coach Micky Arthur is certain both SA and India have managed to catch Australia on the wrong foot and believes England too can join in the fray.

updated: February 05, 2009 10:19 IST
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New Delhi:

South Africa coach Micky Arthur feels Australia's days of domination is over and believes India could have very well overpowered them at their own backyard last year but couldn't because they perhaps did not get enough time to acclimatise Down Under.

"I have been acutely aware that many Indians feel a little aggrieved that we were the first team to win in Australia for 17 years and not India a year earlier!" wrote in his column for a cricket website.

"That series will, unfortunately, be remembered for controversy and unhappiness rather than some fantastic cricket that was played - and yes, India finished the stronger of the two teams after a poor start," said Arthur as he gets ready to square off against Ricky Ponting's team in another two weeks' time.

"Perhaps there is a lesson in the way we both started our tours.

"India arrived four days before the first Test and lost. We arrived 10 days before the first Test and won," said the South Africa coach who guided his team to Test and ODI series victory over Australia.

But Arthur is certain both South Africa and India have managed to catch Australia on the wrong foot and believes England too can join in the fray during the Ashes series.

"I'm certain the Ashes will be closely contested and, with (Andrew) Flintoff fit, (Kevin) Pietersen motivated and (Steve) Harmison in for, you'd be tempted to make the home team slight favourites - at this stage!" Arthur said "Personally, I don't believe Australia will ever pull away from the rest of the cricket playing world and establish such dominance again.

"They revolutionised the way cricketers trained and were coached in the early 1990s and then enjoyed the unprecedented arrival of three or four 'once in a generation' players - at the same time!

"But the game has changed forever now and, with three different formats and an international schedule packed to bursting point, I can't see any country being as dominant as Australia were. Although that should not, and will not prevent any of us from striving to achieve world domination!" he added.

Admitting that the cricket playing resources India have can't be matched by any other team, Arthur said it was immensely satisfying to see his team come through as the best in the series Down Under.

"No other country will ever have the cricket playing resources of India, but it was deeply satisfying and exciting for the future to see confirmation that South Africa, at the moment, are far more than just a very good XI. We have strength in depth in most areas."