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Australia are over-defensive: Laxman

cricket Updated: Oct 30, 2008 21:28 IST

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Stylish middle order batsman VV S Laxman today said he wondered why Australia were over-defensive in the ongoing series considering that it was almost the same team which beat India 2-1 earlier this year.

"They are over-defensive since the start of the series. If you see their captain (Ricky) Ponting, he is talking only about India while Anil Kumble has been so encouraging as he is speaking about our boys, our batsmen and our bowlers," said Laxman, who posted an unbeaten 200 before India declared their first innings at 613 for 7.

"They've got resources. The team is not different in any way, except for (Adam) Gilchrist (who retired earlier this year) which beat us 2-1 in Australia earlier this year.

"I don't know why they should be defensive," he added.

Australia drew the first Test and lost the second Test by a huge 320-run margin at Mohali while in the on-going crucial third Test as well India are dictating the terms.

Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan had also described Ponting and Co. As defensive after the drawn first Test in Bangalore.

"They were very defensive. I have never seen an Australian team play such a defensive cricket," he had said.

Kumble's men are best ever Indian team, says Wadekar

New Delhi: With India dominating Australia in the ongoing series, former captain Ajit Wadekar feels that Anil Kumble and the Co. Made up India's best-ever Test team but lamented that it was peaking at a time when seniors were on the verge of retirement.

"We can now say the power is shifting to India. This is the best Indian team I have ever seen. They have a tremendous batting line-up and the spinners are also doing fine," said Wadekar, who visited the Ferozeshah Kotla on a special invitation by the Delhi and District Cricket Association here on Thursday.

"Everyone in the team is peaking at the right time. But the team is shaping at a time when some of the senior players are on the verge of retirement," he said.

The 67-year-old former chief selector said as Sourav Ganguly had already announced his retirement and other senior players were also in their twilight, it was time to blood youngsters in the team.

"The senior players have another two or three more years and Sourav Ganguly has already announced his retirement. So they (selectors) have to start picking up youngsters and blood them for Test cricket," he said.

Wadekar agreed Australia were not playing with a balanced team but found nothing new with the problems Ponting was facing after the retirements of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

"This happens in international cricket. It happened with West Indies also. If you look back, you will find that when Allan Border took over he faced a similar situation and then he started picking up the players.

Sachin a well-behaved

cricketer: Ranatunga

Colombo: Adam Gilchrist might have called Sachin Tendulkar a "bad sport" but for former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga the Indian batting maestro is one of the best well behaved cricketers he had played with.

"He (Tendulkar) was one of the nicest guys I played cricket with ... The thing I admired of him was the commitment for the game. I am very glad that he has left behind (the issue)," Ranatunga said.

"I have not seen anyone who is so committed to cricket."