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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

India vs Australia: How Steve Smith’s side made Sourav Ganguly eat his words

Indian cricket team slumped to 333-run loss to Australian cricket team in the first Test in Pune. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly earlier said Virat Kohli’s men would win the series 4-0.

cricket Updated: Feb 26, 2017 10:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Australian cricket team players celebrate after defeating Indian cricket team in the first Test.
Australian cricket team players celebrate after defeating Indian cricket team in the first Test.(PTI)

Indian cricket team, pre-series favourites against Australian cricket team, was given a reality check by the Steven Smith-led side in first Test in Pune. Virat Kohli’s seemingly invincible side slumped to a massive 333-run loss to go down 1-0 in the four-game series.

Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe returned with match figures of 12 for 70 as India could score 105 and 107 in the first and second innings respectively.

Read | Virat Kohli says Pune loss to Australia a reality check that India needed

Several former cricket greats like Sourav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag had predicted a Indian domination in the four-game series. But the series has started on a different note.

Speaking on the debacle, former India captain Ganguly, who earlier said India would win 4-0, said: “Don’t think India expected that Australia would bring spinners of this quality. They (O’ Keefe and Nathan Lyon) pressured from both ends and that is why, I think, Indian batsmen capitulated. I think after 2001, this is the best spin attack Australia have brought to India.”

However, Ganguly added that Virat Kohli’s team will bounce back. “I am sure this team can bounce back because though young, they have a lot of potential,” he said.

Read | This was our worst batting performance and we need to accept that: Virat Kohli

“I can’t compare this team with the one in 2001 (that too bounced back against the Aussies under his captaincy).”

However, earlier the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ had said: “Yes, it will be very difficult (for Australia). I don’t predict in cricket, but I won’t be surprised if India win 4-0.”

Waugh’s answer

However, the margin that Ganguly predicted didn’t amuse former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who shared a competitive relationship with the former during his playing days.

“It will be foolish to write off Australia. I have known this Australian team and they can spring a few surprises. They have some match-winners in the team and I think Sourav is a bit optimistic ... anything can happen.

“May be he is right, but I will love to challenge Sourav on that part. Certainly, Australia won’t be going to India thinking that they will lose four nil.”

“Everyone’s form overseas has been dismal and there is no reason for that. Neutral umpires, decisions can be reviewed and there is no excuse for this. I really don’t know what the reasons to lose overseas are. May be, it is a mental thing,” said Waugh.