India eye rare home series win

Updated on Mar 23, 2005 08:53 PM IST

India has not beaten Pak at home since Gavaskar's men humbled it in 1979-80.

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PTI | ByK Ramnath Shenoy (PTI), Bangalore

Brimming with confidence after a convincing 195-run win at Kolkata, a resurgent India go into the third cricket Test on Thursday, seeking to post their first series triumph against arch-rivals Pakistan on home turf in 25 years.

The thumping victory in the second Test has clearly boosted the morale of Sourav Ganguly's men, who are keen to keep up the momentum and deny the tourists any leeway to salvage the series.

"It's a good situation to be in. Boys have the hunger to win. We are looking for another good performance," said Indian coach John Wright as India is sitting pretty with 1-0 lead.

The visitors appeared a transformed side after the first Test with a remarkable rearguard action by their lower order to force a draw in a dramatic fashion on the final day.

But a batting collapse from a position of strength in the first innings of the second Test to let the game slip away and failing to rise up to the occasion in the second knock has led to the home team gaining upperhand and a position of domination going into the crucial encounter.

Pakistan, who are facing a must-win situation, would have to raise their game to stop the hosts from clinching the series, which would be the first since 1979 when Asif Iqbal's team was beaten 0-2 in a six-Test series by Sunil Gavaskar's men.

The hosts go into the match with Harbhajan Singh being reported for a suspect bowling action yet again and it remains to be seen whether the fresh controversy will have any effect on the off-spinner.

Pakistan, however, can take comfort from the fact that it was at this very venue that Pakistan had won a Test to clinch the series in 1986.

But there seems to be no comparison as the inexperienced team under captain Inzamam is fighting with their backs to wall against a gangling home team determined to maintain the pressure.

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