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Need to show courage

There is a huge hype about the series and it has become more significant with Steve Waugh announcing his retirement before the start, writes Sourav Ganguly.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2003 01:25 IST

The first Test starts at the Gabba on Wednesday in the beautiful city of Brisbane. There is a huge hype about the series and it has become more significant with Steve Waugh announcing his retirement before the start.

Waugh has had tremendous influence on Australian cricket over the last four-five years. He has taken his team to great heights and Ricky Ponting will have big shoes to fill.

The sale of tickets has gone up and there is going to be a standing ovation at every ground when Steve walks out to bat.

The Aussies have a fairly new attack in the series. They are without McGrath, Lee and Warne. McGrath and Warne have taken nearly 900 Test wickets between them and will be missed by their team. This will also provide the new guys an opportunity to prove their worth. But it will not be easy to replace the big boys. They did well in the series in India but it had more to do with us not playing well.

For any team it is a big experience to tour Australia. Not only from the cricketing point of view but also from the way the media puts pressure on you. But I feel every side knows about it now and just laughs about it and goes about its business. It is a better idea not to read the sports pages in the newspapers.

We have been joined by Bruce Reid on the tour to help our left-arm fast bowlers. He was a quality bowler and I think he will be of great help for the young boys. A fast bowling coach was required in our team and I hope it becomes a full-time affair. Reid can provide the bowlers with ideas during the game and help them think properly.

Our sessions with Sandy Gordon went well. He is a good influence and lifts the morale of the boys - he played a key role during the World Cup.

We played two warm-up games before this Test, and I must say it takes a little time for the teams from the sub-continent to get used to the bounce here.

But yes, we have tried to do that. I have never read too much into the scores of the side games as a team tries a lot of things before the Test matches begin.

But then, it's time for us to get down to business and put into practice our gameplan and stick to it. We need to play disciplined cricket and show a bit of courage on this trip.