Quote Originally Posted by Hala
I can only think of the crowds that attended the Melbourne and Sydney tests down here last summer when we were playing India, once we knew there was going to be a real contenst. This current series has been hyped to high heavens, even in Australia in the midst or preparations for a federal election has been more focused on the cricket than on politics (well many of us have :P ). It just seems strange to see such a passionate people unable to fill a 40,000 capacity ground when playing the world champions and after what happened in 2001.

If India wants to build a strong test match tradition it needs to cut its ODI schedule in half and focus more on the tests. I wonder if you ask Tendulkar and the other stars of the Indian team which format they enjoy more what they would say. ODIs are a dime and a dozen now days that many have become meaningless, for example over here, when we lost to England in the Champions Throphy, it barely rated a mention because it was such a meaningless match for us (though for English fans it was undoutably a remarkable achievement).
Which for mine is something of a straw-clutch. If Australia had won it would merely be "ah, we beat the poms again - 16 out of 16 now, no big deal there".
Yes, India play a bit too much ODI-cricket, but with a bit of luck this extraordinary South Africa tour - 2 Tests, no ODIs - and the sense displayed in realising that the ODI leg of the Australia tour had already been played (the TVS Cup last year) may be the start of turning things around.
There is - as of yet - no particular harm in India playing so many ODIs. In England the problem has long been (it was publically recognised 3 years ago now or so, still little has been done about it) the opposite.
But as stated ^^^ (viktor), Indian Test-crowds are not a problem when the team is winning. However, they've been doing quite a bit of that in recent Test-cricket - just that it's such a long time ago now (about 7 months IIRR) since that that their poor ODI form has been far more prevolant.
If India pick-up the pace later on this series, it will be very disappointing indeed if the crowds don't flock in.