Adelaide: The Australian media today slammed the Indian cricket team for its "disgraceful lack of fight" in the 4-0 Test series whitewash by Australia and compared the gait of the visiting batting greats returning to the dressing room to "flag at half-mast".
"India`s lack of fight has been disgraceful but Australia`s bowling has been as remarkable as the batting of Michael Clarke and the revival of Ricky Ponting," a write-up in `Daily Telegraph` said .
"Who in their wildest dreams could have imagined this inconsistent team in such a state of transition would completely demolish one of the most credentialed batting line-ups ever assembled?" it asked.
"It was an utterly dominant performance from the home team, with the result never really in doubt. While Australia continued its steady march back up the world rankings, India took another serious hit and strengthened its reputation as a flaky easybeat on foreign soil," it said.
A write-up in `The Australian` caricatured the Indian batsmen returning to the pavillion after being dismissed to being similar to a flag at half mast.
"The visitors` four mighty batsmen, weighty with honours and worth 45,000 Test runs, slouched towards the exits of their careers, the victims of good bowling, if not perhaps in each case of particularly good balls. They moved off pensively - in Virender Sehwag`s case at a meditative limp, holding the bat at its toe, analogous to a flag at half-mast," the write-up said.
The write-up even pulled out a term used by Rahul Dravid himself during the Bradman Oration he delivered last month and said that it turned out to be the "self-mocking description" of the Indian batting greats.
"Rahul Dravid was widely and justly praised for his Bradman Oration last month. He has also proven prophetic. "Creaking terminators": his droll, self-mocking description of India`s top order has turned out to be almost unimproveable. At Adelaide Oval, they ground finally to a halt, and a remorseless Australian attack rolled right over the top of them," the newspaper said.
Under the headline `Whitewash: insipid India play Australia back into form`, `Sydney Morning Herald` said that the difference between the two teams was the confidence level of the players.
"There can be no doubt India`s insipid performance has made Australia look better than they are. Nonetheless, the most priceless quality in sport is confidence. Australia have it in abundance," the newspaper said.
"In cricket, everything is cause and effect. In their different ways, Australia and India arrived at the same explanation for this counter-intuitive whitewash: India did not score enough. Only once did they make more than 300, and that was on the way to an innings defeat in Sydney."
The newspaper said only Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman should not be blamed for India`s debacle and Virender Sehwag should also take the responsibility.
"The legends were not exclusively to blame. Sehwag, a kind of legend-elect, had another poor series. In press briefing, he wore an Indian cap, but with a conspicuously expensive pair of sunglasses covering the crest (mind you, Clarke wore a garish sponsor`s cap). India`s cricketers are millionaires and sometimes play that way," it said.
"No one tells millionaires what to do. In this series, Sehwag stubbornly refused to adapt his gunslinger`s game to ever more pinched circumstances. Yet Sehwag would not contemplate changes, nor countenance an Argus-style review -- indeed no retrospective other than what he said was each player`s duty to review his own game and, otherwise, to forget that this series was ever played."