I’m happy Dhoni is backing his players
For me, the worry is Virat Kohli. He had an ordinary series in the West Indies and two poor scores could dent the young man’s confidence. Sourav Ganguly writes.india Updated: Jan 03, 2012 00:12 IST
The all-important second Test starts at the SCG. The dates have been altered a bit for this traditional New Year’s Test and rightly so. New Year is such a big event in this part of the world; it’s a huge family gathering and it gets a bit tough on the players to play back-to-back Tests — on Boxing Day and New Year.
I landed in Sydney on January 1 after spending the New Year eve in Melbourne. I went straight to the SCG from the airport to see the Indians train. It was so pleasing to see the intensity in the nets. The loss in Melbourne has hurt them and they are ready to make this Test count.
There are some big names in the India squad, players who have had a lot of success overseas in the last 10 years and they will be keen to set the record right. India came from behind in South Africa and almost won the series, playing splendidly in Durban and Cape Town. I hope Duncan Fletcher and MS Dhoni remind them of that tour.
The SCG is normally a good batting wicket, but I am waiting to see how the strip behaves on Day One. Sydney has been very hot and humid and I won’t be surprised if the groundsman leaves a fair bit of moisture for the pitch to hold up.
The Aussie coach, Mickey Arthur, has shown great confidence in his quick bowlers and, to be honest, all three were in terrific form in the MCG Test. I don’t see India changing their line-up for the Test. Dhoni is a big backer of players and rightly so. There is talk of Gambhir not succeeding in these conditions, but I don’t agree. He recovered well in South Africa and has the mental strength to succeed here as well.
For me, the worry is Virat Kohli. He had an ordinary series in the West Indies and two poor scores could dent the young man’s confidence.
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(The writer is a former India captain)