Cricket has taken a backseat in this series and instead of talking about what lies ahead, everyone is still harping on what’s already happened. It was no different on Monday when Adam Gilchrist took questions from the media.
Almost every question hurled at the Australia vice-captain was on the controversies springing from the Sydney Test. It seemed the vice-captain was prepared for that and promptly played it down. “It’s not something that figured prominently in our team meeting on Sunday,” said Gilchrist. “Everyone had a chance to talk about it and the issue was raised, but not to a great extent. Not many spoke about it. We are putting it behind and moving ahead.”
Asked on Kumble’s comment that only one team played the second Test in the right spirit, he said, “He’s a fine man and competitor, we have a lot of respect for him. You can see that he is trying to do a lot for his team. I don’t know how he felt three hours or three days after saying that. But everyone is entitled to his opinion and I don’t wish to say what he should or shouldn’t say.”
The wicketkeeper said his teammates were looking forward to a victory here, which would be 17th on the trot – a world record. “It was nice to get a break after Sydney and, after spending a few days at home, everyone is very excited about it (the record). Not that we are discussing it every now and then, but everyone has some fire in the belly. When we set the previous record, no one thought any other team would come close to it, but having come so far, we are pretty desperate to get it.”
An eye on the pitch
Both Gilchrist and curator Cameron Sutherland felt the pitch would offer substantial bounce. “There will be a lot of pace and carry, that’s what I was aiming for. It’s a hard surface (with some grass on it, although it’s not clear whether that would remain) which wouldn’t break and batting may get easier as the match goes on,” said Sutherland.
Sutherland reckoned the ball would bounce more than it did in the Australia-England Test in December 2006, which the hosts won by 206 runs.
Gilchrist reckoned the “extra bounce could shock” newcomers. “The bounce here had died down a bit in the past, but it is back. When the Indians play here, it may open a few scars because we had bowled them out quite comprehensively in a one-day match here (in 2003-04).”