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Huge psychological blow for India

india Updated: Jan 06, 2012 01:39 IST
Sourav Ganguly

Ishant-Sharma-L-reacts-after-bowling-to-Australia-s-captain-Michael-Clarke-R-during-the-second-test-cricket-match-at-the-Sydney-Cricket-Ground-Reuters

Australia have taken a massive lead in this Test and, though one should not predict results in sport, India will have to do something very special from here on. With a lead of 468 and still one innings to bat, the home team is in the box seat.

When you have one partnership of 288 runs in a game, the team is comfortably placed, but when you have two - and the second one even bigger - the team is in total control.

After Ponting's departure, Hussey and Clarke put up another massive stand in double-quick time. Clarke went on to get the highest score by an Australian captain in Australia, and what a magnificent knock! It could not have come at a better time. What stood out even more was the declaration. There was still a lot of time left in the match, and a massive opportunity to get past the highest score in Test cricket, by Brian Lara.

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It was all set for him to attain a feat, which could have propelled him into a special league of batsman. But he did what a lot of captains would do - put the game ahead of personal landmarks. Australia's huge lead could be a huge psychological blow to a lot of teams. As a batting unit, if you look at the scoreboard, you will feel that it could be only one side winning from here unless one produces a monumental effort with the bat.

The Indians on the other side have got nothing to lose from here. They need to go out fearless. Sometimes, as a batting unit, when you have had an ordinary series, such situations might just help, provided you believe that you can get runs and turn this into a positive scenario. There are still two Tests left and India can win them to make it level even if they go down here. But to do that, they will have to score more than 400 runs in the first innings.

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The writer is a former India captain