Captain Anil Kumble put up a brave front on the eve of the second Test saying he is banking on the past record of his team at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India trailing 0-1 in the four-match Test series need to win here to keep the hopes alive and it will need a lot from the batsmen to negotiate the lethal Australian bowling attack on an SCG track that should initially afford a good bounce.
“I got an opportunity to see the pitch and it looks a good surface. But pitch should not be a worrying factor for us. We need to take the pitch and conditions out of our equation,” the Indian captain said.
The Indian captain also hoped the New Year brings in a lot more positive things for his struggling side.
“In the first match of the series you always have a little nervousness and the wicket in Melbourne didn't help us too. The Australians also bowled well. In Sydney we have always done well. The last time we played here the outfield was fast and it suited us. The wicket here is also very good, balls generally come on to the bat and we are looking for a good contest. Everybody is determined to put up a good show here,” he said.
Kumble said his boys have put behind the disappointment of Melbourne Test and are looking forward to new challenges.
He also said that Sourav Ganguly, who was indisposed for the past couple of days, was fine and will play the match. “Sourav is ok. He was a bit under weather but he is now fine.” Recalling the team's impressive performances overseas in the recent past, Kumble said, “I don't see any reason why the team can't do well here.”
He added that partnerships would be the key. “It's very important to get partnerships. When we had that 60-70 run stand (between Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly) it was fine. When we have a partnership, it's important to go on and make a big score.”
The Indian captain refuted suggestions that after the thrashing they got in the Melbourne Test, the visitors needed to spend more time in the nets to be back in form.
Instead he advocated a switch off from the game for his embattled team.
“For some people it is said that if you are seen on the field, you are better prepared. For some, you feel you need a break and get away from it and to think about what went wrong,” he explained.
“It was important for us to switch off and remember all the positive things we have done in the past. One extra hit in the nets won't make you a better player. It's the same. If the mind is thinking positive, then the running between the wickets becomes better,” he said.