India need to clear cobwebs and play fearless cricket
For India, to pull one back, they will have to fight the mental battle. It's very easy to lose confidence when you lose six overseas games in a row, but the Indians must remember that it cannot get worse. Sourav Ganguly writes.india Updated: Jan 13, 2012 01:03 IST
The series-deciding Test start at the WACA today and a 'war of words' has already set the stage. Players from everywhere try to do well in Perth, as a hundred here enhances their reputation. Just like overseas player take a lot of pride in scoring runs in the subcontinent on turning tracks, batters coming from India value their runs on fast surface here.
India have not played too many Tests here in the last 20 years but they have plenty of good memories. They beat Australia in 2008 despite the home team fielding five pacers, and they will be taking a lot of confidence from that win. The bowling attack, other than Ishant Sharma, has changed quite a bit but the visitors still have the ability to get 20 wickets in these conditions.
On the eve of the Test, all eyes were on the wicket. The curator has made a lot of noise on how quick it's going to be. It was re-laid in 2009 and the word is that it has got back the pace of old.
When I saw the pitch yesterday, it was well covered with a green layer of grass. Perth is a pretty hot place and it will be interesting to see how much freshness the pitch has at the start of the game. It seems, the pitch will have a fair bit of seam movement early on but will probably not be at full pace on Day One. It will keep getting quicker as the match progresses.
For India, to pull one back, they will have to fight the mental battle. It's very easy to lose confidence when you lose six overseas games in a row, but the Indians must remember that it cannot get worse. They need to clear the cobwebs in the heads and play fearless cricket.
I have also liked the war of words going on between the teams. Brad Haddin and Zaheer Khan have been pretty vocal coming into the Test and it has charged up the atmosphere.
There has been talk of a rift in the team, which, to me, is not true. It's a common situation touring teams face from the Australian media. I'm sure this will work positively for the Indians.
The Sydney furore last time really got the Indians going and they pulled off a remarkable win at the WACA. So, hopefully, they can turn it around again.
(The writer is a former India captain.)
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