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Australia’s domination reminiscent of 1983 West Indies

NAGPUR, India (Reuters) – The intensity shown by Australia in the current one-day series in India is drawing comparisons with the great West Indies side following their shock defeat in the 1983 World Cup final.

The common factor in the two series is that they immediately followed Word Cups, with 50-over champions and favourites Australia losing to surprise winners India in last month’s inaugural Twenty20 edition.

Clive Lloyd’s West Indies, chasing a third successive World Cup crown, slipped at the final hurdle against India in 1983 when they failed to reach a modest victory target. Stung by criticism and keen for revenge, they ruthlessly swept aside India 5-0 in the one-day series on their tour later that year.

Australia arrived in India keen to avenge their Twenty20 semi-final defeat. Ricky Ponting’s men are one win away from sealing the seven-match series which they lead 3-1 with two games left. The opening match was washed out and the sixth will be played on Sunday.

Barring a slip-up in the fourth game, Australia’s domination has been complete. They crushed the hosts by nine wickets in the fifth match in Baroda on Thursday after dismissing India for a paltry 148.

“It (defeat) hurts the big teams,” former India seamer Balwinder Sandhu, who played in the 1983 World Cup and the subsequent series against West Indies, told Reuters.

“Especially champion sides which have been on the top for long, it hurts them more.

“West Indies was the top team then and we beat them. They came back with a vengeance,” he added.

SWINGING DELIVERY

Sandhu, remembered best for the swinging delivery that knocked back Gordon Greenidge’s off-stump in the World Cup final, was not surprised by Australia’s ruthless displays.

“All champion teams think alike, the basic characteristics remain the same,” he said. “They are showing no mercy on us, that’s how the game should be played.”

The build-up to the series stemmed back to the Twenty20 semi-final, according to Australia skipper Ricky Ponting.

“We had a little bit of banter happening on the field that day and I think that spilled over to when we arrived here,” Ponting said, referring to verbal exchanges between the teams. 

“I don’t think we were the ones doing the talking at all at the start of the series.

“I am really satisfied with what we have done — 3-1 up in the series now and a couple of games to go. We are in a pretty good position.”

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