Former India skipper tells mid-day that Dhoni & Co have created ample opportunities, but need to capitalise on crucial moments to prosper in today’s Boxing Day Test at Melbourne
Kolkata: The scoreline after two Tests reads 2-0 in Australia’s favour and the hosts would be eager to inflict yet another whitewash against India.
Team India celebrate a wicket on Day Two of the second Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Dec 18. Pic/Getty Images.
However, when the Boxing Day Test starts today at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Indian team would be desperate to turn the tide and register their first win Down Under since 2008. Although India have performed better as compared to their last tour to Australia in 2011-12, which they lost 0-4, the Indians have failed to seize the crucial moments in the last two Tests.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly was confident of Team India bouncing back from the successive defeats. “I believe India can still beat the Aussies and win a Test Down Under. They are creating opportunities, but could not capitalise on them. Whenever our batsmen did well, the bowlers have failed,” Ganguly told mid-day just before leaving for Melbourne for a commentary stint.
Nature of pitches
“I feel India can win because the nature of the wickets at Melbourne and Sydney (fourth and final Test) will not be threatening. The Australian team have got too many inexperienced faces.
“India are playing with their full strength and this is the time to exploit it,” added Ganguly, who played his 100th Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2007.
Ganguly felt India would boost their winning chances if Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara build on the momentum created by Murali Vijay. “It is unfortunate that Rahane and Pujara, who are playing well, have not been able to convert their starts into big scores. I will not be surprised if these three players, along with Vijay, score heavily and produce a victory for us,” said Ganguly.
Ganguly felt India got complacent during the Gabba Test. “India played well on Day One of the Test. But a Test match is played between 15 sessions. You have to be on your toes for all five days. It is creditable the Australia chased a 400-plus score and then tried to create pressure on the Indian team. The hunger to win is evident from their extraordinary effort.
“The team members should be told to come out of their comfort zone. It’s a pity that the tempo that was created at Adelaide got lost at the Gabba,” said Ganguly.
Ganguly hoped the bowlers would be consistent in their line and length. “After bowling one or two good deliveries, they have been bowling short and wide or sometimes full tosses.
“How can you create pressure on the opposition team?” he asked.