File image of Brad Hogg(Getty)
File image of Brad Hogg(Getty)

‘We don't like to be challenged on our home soil’: Hogg says former India captain ‘instigated rivalry’ with Australia

  • Brad Hogg has named a former India captain whom he believes was responsible for igniting the element of fierce rivalry between India and Australia.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 10:01 AM IST

The rivalry between India and Australia has been brewing since the early 2000s. The Aussies were known for their aggressive brand of cricket and dominated the sport for more than a decade. On the other hand, the Indians were soft-spoken cricketers who tried to focus on the game. But things changed a little when Sourav Ganguly was made the captain of the Indian cricket team. India transformed under Ganguly and started giving back to the Aussies during matches.

Under Ganguly’s leadership, India managed to draw the Test series against Australia in 2003/04. India have continued to march on in recent years as for the first time the subcontinent giants won a Test series Down Under. During the ongoing Test series as well, India have managed to hold fort in Australia despite facing a number of injuries. India, under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane, managed to win the Melbourne Test while drawing the match in Sydney despite players like Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav missing through injuries.

Former Australia skipper Brad Hogg has credited Ganguly for being the one who instigated the rivalry with Australia.

"Sourav Ganguly was the one who instigated the rivalry. When Australia travelled to India, we always wanted to show our intent, we had our chest puffed out, yes, we were a bit verbal but Sourav Ganguly was probably one of the first captains from India to stay adapted to it and put us on the back foot. He tested Steve Waugh when he walked out little late for the coin toss, I don't think he was wearing his blazer at that particular time,” Hogg told in an exclusive interview with Sports Today.

In 2003/04, India won a Test match on Australia soil after 22 years, whereas in 2007/08, they narrowly lost the Test series 1-2. Barring the 2011/12 and 2014/15 tour, where India were outplayed 0-4 and 0-2, the team has improved, especially in Tests. They created history by beating Australia 2-1 for the first time in 71 years – in 2018/19 – and are currently in the middle of another remarkable series.

"That shows a little bit of banter and a little bit of courage and I think India has come to the fore and challenged Australia on their home soil and we don't like to be challenged on our home soil. When we are put under pressure we are vulnerable and we can react differently,” Hogg added.

“It just showed and proved on the 5th day of the Test match that when u take you mind off the job and you start talking to a opposition batsman, mentioning about seeing at the next game at Gabba, it means we have lost focus and that's what I love about Test cricket and India at the moment are beating us on our own game."

India will look to put on another display of excellence when they take on Australia in the fourth and final Test match in Brisbane. The series is currently tied 1-1.

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