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Practice match before Test would have helped India: Sourav

cricket Updated: Dec 18, 2010 13:40 IST

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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team should have at least played a practice match ahead of the first Test that's underway at the Centurion.

"It was an important toss to lose if you take the conditions under consideration. Also the fact that you entered straightaway into a Test match without playing a practice game made things even more difficult", Ganguly said.

"The pitch was a bit damp after rain and it was difficult conditions for batting," Ganguly said at the end of Bengal's Ranji Trophy match against the Railways at the Karnail Singh ground today.

Ganguly, who scored a gutsy half century in Johannesburg in India's only Test victory in South Africa during the 2006-07 tour feels that the Indians need to get their act quickly in order to make a comeback.

"They have already had their backs to the wall in this Test match. So the quicker they can apply themselves and make comeback, it's better for the team. Remember one thing, after Centurion, they would be next playing in Durban which is another fast deck," he said.

When asked whether Zaheer Khan's absence in the Test match is hurting team's bowling, he replied, "Zaheer is only human. He will get injured. But I look at it from a different perspective. If someone gets injured, it means that it's an opportunity for another player to make a mark.

"Even if Zaheer would have been there, Ishant and Sreesanth need to bowl well from the other end to keep the momentum going. Tomorrow, Harbhajan might get injured. Then one would expect Ravichandran Ashwin to do well just the like the young Tamil Nadu offie did against New Zealand in the recently concluded ODI series."

Incidentally, the pace trio of Sreesanth, Ishant and Jaydev Unadkat went wicketless on the second day as South Africa smashed their way to 366 for 2.