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Fighting fire with fire

The Australians are an aggressive team. Our strategy from the start of the match was to be aggressive and force them on the back foot said Gambhir, reports Ashutosh Sharma.

cricket Updated: Oct 21, 2008 00:56 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times
Gambhir

If Sunday belonged to Amit Mishra, it was the turn of Gautam Gambhir to shine with the bat on Monday.

Gambhir, who notched up 104 from 138 balls, his second century in 18 Tests, said aggression was the key to the team's success in the second Test.

"The Australians are an aggressive team. Our strategy from the start of the match was to be aggressive and force them on the back foot. It has worked well for us. I think the way we batted in the first innings set the tone," said Gambhir.

With the Australians reeling at 141 for five, Gambhir thinks the team is in a position to force a result on Tuesday.

"I was happy to get the century as it helped the cause of the team. A 500-plus lead in the fourth innings is a really good target in Indian conditions. With Ishant and Harbhajan bowling so well, I think we have a good chance of wrapping up the match," the Delhi opener added.

Gautam, who scored 67 in the first innings, said he was careful in the second knock and wanted to convert the start into a big innings. "I knew I was getting good starts and it had started to play on my mind and I kept reminding myself to remain calm. Virender Sehwag's presence at the other end also helped," he said.

Gambhir, who has done well for in ODIs and Twenty20, said he wanted to prove himself in the longer version. It was this desire that helped him to stay focused.

"One always wants to do well in Test cricket as players are still measured by Test cricket records. I want to be a good Test cricketer rather than a good ODI and Twenty20 cricketer. This century will help me cement my place in the squad," he said.

Gambhir also praised the bowlers in helping India to a position where a 1-0 lead looks inevitable. "In the first innings, Amit Mishra came to the party while in the second both Ishant and Harbhajan did well. Bhajji especially put the Australians on the back foot when they were going great guns. Then Ishant provided us with crucial breakthroughs."