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Big disappointments about ODI squad

india Updated: Jan 24, 2008 19:12 IST
Anil Kumble

Celebrations in international cricket these days don't last too long. There's far too little time between matches and you have to re-focus really quickly on the business of playing cricket and the next game.

We've had three days or so, so whatever we did in Perth has been put away as part of history now, and the focus is on Adelaide. However, we would like to take forward the confidence gained from that win, ahead of what will be a crucial Test for India.

One more thing happened in between; the one-day squad was announced. There are definitely huge disappointments here about the squad for the shorter version.

<b1>Having said that, the people who've missed out are thorough professionals and have played enough cricket to understand the importance of being completely focussed on this. It's important that we carry the same kind of hunger and sense of purpose that was there to get the right result in Perth coming into Adelaide.

If we level the series here, I think it's as good as winning it recovering from 2-0 down. We're looking to take inspiration from our last visit here.

We did exceptionally well that time. This time too, it looks a good batting surface, probably the best in Australia. I believe the forecast is not great but that's something that is not in our control and we can't worry about that.

Incidentally, I still haven't finalised the playing XI. There is a feeling that we should play five bowlers, with Irfan adding the balance with his batting but I'm not totally convinced about changing the order. We've done exceptionally well when we've stuck to our batting order.

But we'll definitely play positive cricket and go for a win. I'm also expecting the Aussies to come really hard at us after the loss at Perth, which would have really hurt them.

So, it's equally important that our young attack, which stood up so well in the last game, does the same here. It won't be easy. The conditions are very different here, far more challenging. And that's the beauty of Test cricket, every time you need to go out and challenge, be challenged. It's very different in one-day cricket -- which is why Test cricket is so much about character building and character itself.

Adelaide last time was where it all began, where we started believing that we could really get on to Australia's own turf and go eye to eye with them and survive, even win. So it would be great to leave Australia by levelling what has been a dramatic, quite fantastic series.

At a personal level, this will definitely be the last time I will be playing in a Test in Australia, so also for some of the others. Funnily enough, I had thought the same when I played in Sydney in 2004 — that that would be my last Test in Oz —but I'm pretty sure that come 2011, I won't be around here. But well, you never know!

There's another point I wanted to make. The senior group within the team, well, we've pretty much achieved whatever's there to achieve in terms of individual milestones and landmarks. From our viewpoint, it would be great for us, moving forward, to ensure that we make one more move towards achieving consistent team success in Test cricket.

We came into this series knowing fully well it could be a last one here for most of us. I think we've done well to be leaving behind something important for the next generation of cricketers — a belief that they can actually come here to Australia, compete with the Aussies on their terms, on their turf and win.

Instead of putting a message across to other teams, I think we can put a message across to our own teams. Keep believing.

Hawkeye/Chivach Sports