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Congratulate the Indian team
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December 18, 2006

Proving yet again the glorious uncertainties of cricket, India pulled off a spectacular 123-run victory over South Africa in the first Test, to register its maiden win in that country.

A week ago no one would have believed India was capable of producing such an outcome, not after they were routed in the one-dayers 4-0. In terms of turnaround, this is as good as it gets.

What makes the victory special is that team effort, and not individual brilliance, was behind it. VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly [Images] with the bat; Sehwag, reviled recently for his thickening middle, pulling off great catches in both innings; Zaheer Khan [Images], a tardy outfielder during his previous avatar, effecting a crucial runout in the second innings.

The unsung heroes pegged SA back just when the home team seemed to have an edge: VRV Singh's cameo that pegged SA back and had the Indians buzzing as they took the field in the first innings; Zaheer Khan's defiance that stretched the lead to impossible limits in the second.

Young Sreesanth [Images] and Anil Kumble [Images] worked wonders with the ball, and the entire team played as one to first defend a not too great first innings score, whittle out SA for their lowest ever score in reply, and then put up a tough target on the board.

The most heart-warming feature was that the win came in conditions tailormade for the home side, with the Indian bowlers outperforming the home grown ones.

It's a historic win, all right, so congratulate the men in blue who achieved it!

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