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Aussies can't bully us: Ganguly

cricket Updated: Dec 09, 2007 19:19 IST
PTI
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Sourav Ganguly does not really freeze at the prospect of facing on-field taunts when he travels Australia later this year and the former captain asserts the Indian squad is mature enough to handle such hostile reception Down Under.

Australia's recent tour of India earlier this year was both marked and marred by on-field aggression from both sides that often threatened to spill over the limits.

Ganguly believes Australia might like to continue the war of words but insists India would not be cowered. "That is not a worry for us," a nonchalant Ganguly was quoted as saying by the 'Sunday Telegraph'.

"What happened in India for me is in the past, but for Australia, maybe not. They will try to pressure us and they may say some things but we have many senior players who can handle that," said the left-hander, whose belligerent attitude as the captain had got him the goat of former Aussie skipper Steve Waugh and his teammates.

Ganguly said, thanks to the team composition, India stood a good chance of doing well in the leadership of Anil Kumble when they tour Down Under.

He pointed out that it was, most likely, going to be the last tour of Australia for a host of players like him, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Kumble and Murali Kartik and they would give their best to make it memorable.

"This is a motivation. A number of guys will not be back to Australia, so we want to play good cricket," he said.

India's most successful captain admitted the side had been a poor traveller in the past but asserted the squad just needed a good start in the first Test at Melbourne to get going.

"The challenge for us is handling the Australian conditions. We have not been so good away from home but we have been a lot more consistent in the past couple of years and that has given us confidence.

"It's important we start well. If we can win in Melbourne, that will give us some good momentum going into the New Year ... We cannot afford to let Australia dominate us."

His optimism stems partly from the fact that Australia would miss the service of leg-spinner Stuart MacGill because of a surgery. "Losing MacGill is a big blow for Australia, he's a world-class bowler," Ganguly said. "It is not easy to replace a bowler of his ability, but the Australians are a very good side," he added.

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