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The naked and the dead

January 8, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

No, forget it - it was a series that, despite the very real silver lining of India's first ever win against South Africa away, was remarkable for shredding reputations, for stripping 'stars' naked, leaving them with no place to hide.

I hate post mortems, for one very good reason: they are so damn futile.

In real life, when someone dies an unnatural death (and few deaths in recent times have been more unnatural than that of the Indian Test team's aspirations in South Africa) and they do a post mortem, it is with the intent of finding out just how death occurred and through that, gaining clues to the identity of the perpetrator.

In cricket, especially in Indian cricket, it is with the intention of filling space between the end of one series and the beginning of the next. It provokes some debate and discussion among fans, but what has that to do with the price of tea in China - or the future actions of the BCCI? Zip.

Yet, such exercises needs must be done: more in the hope that this time, the breast-beating will be more than ritual; that this time, the mandatory talk of `comprehensive reviews' and `hard decisions' will be more than just talk.

So, here goes, a post mortem with a bit of a difference: a look, today, at the positives and, on Wednesday, at the negative side of the team's balance sheet.

Photographs: AFP/Getty Images
Text: Prem Panicker

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