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India team balanced under home conditions; test lies abroad: Lalchand Rajput
The Indian team blanked the Australians, 4-0 after putting up a splendid display in all departments of the game - batting, bowling and fielding. There were smiles all over the faces of the Indian players as they lifted the Border- Gavaskar trophy, and the Australians, who are not much acquainted with losses, were a disappointed lot.

The Aussies were defeated by one of the most balanced Indian teams in the recent memory. “This Indian team is very balanced. But, we will only come to know about the balance of the team when they play abroad. But, yes, this Indian team is one of the best under Indian conditions,” said Lalchand Rajput, former Indian batsmen.

The former Indian cricketer was all praises for the present crop of Indian players. “It was brilliant performance by the youngsters. They proved their mettle and Jadeja also proved to be a good all-rounder. We were also looking for an opening pair and Murli Vijay has cemented his place as an Indian opener. Shikhar Dhawan also came up with a splendid debut as an opener. Pujara has looked good in number three. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has shown that he is a good swing bowler,” Rajput said calling them promising signs for Indian cricket.

These players have proved it under Indian conditions. Their real test would lie when they play in foreign conditions. Their next big Test series would come up against the Proteas in South Africa in November this year and early 2014 when they are set to travel to New Zealand, where the Indian team would be under the litmus test. Very rarely have this bunch of current players played under swing, seaming and bouncy conditions, barring few players.

While playing abroad, the demands of the team would be different and the role of a player under the team is subject to change. India has always been banking on spinners, as was witnessed in the recent Test series, where Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja proved to be two must successful players for the team. Rajput said, “We will require fast bowlers in those tours (away). We cannot play three spinners abroad. We need genuine swing and pace bowlers.”

The Indian team is under a transitional phase after some great players decided to retire, latest being VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. It may take time to find their replacements, but there are players in the present squad, who are grabbing the opportunity with both hands. “We did not play well against Australia and England in the away series. But now we have the right combination. New players have grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” said Rajput.

With India playing next home series only around mid-2014, it could be the right time to find out if the team has a right mix of players to play under all conditions – home and abroad. Or, will history repeat itself – ‘Indians are masters at home and rats abroad.'

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