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Australia were outclassed
Sandeep Patil |
December 16, 2003 18:50 IST
Whenever India wins we have happy memories of that event. I am elated beyond measure today with the team's victory over Australia in the second Test at Adelaide. It was a fantastic victory!
I think the roots of this victory lay in a statement made by V V S Laxman.
Before the series, in an interview, Laxman said the Aussies are beatable. Very rarely do we see those statements come true. But if you have a look at that video again, you can see the confidence in Laxman's eyes. He backed himself to do the needful and his team mates backed him to the hilt.
Ganguly's 144 in the first Test set the tone for the series. He showed the others that it is possible to score big hundreds Down Under, and the others responded admirably. It was an excellent knock and Laxman was there supporting him once again.
There were so many turning points in this game [the second Test] that it is hard to pin-point any particular one.
When Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich were putting on a good partnership in the Aussie second innings, the match could have gone any way. Ajit Agarkar's high-quality bowling to remove them was vital. For that matter, Tendulkar's wickets of Damien Martyn and Steve Waugh were also important. What about Rahul Dravid and Laxman's partnership and Laxman's cameo in the second innings. It was a team effort to the hilt.
The pitch we played and won on at Melbourne in 1981 was one of the worst I ever played on. But Vishy (Gundappa Vishwanath) was a magician. He did what Dravid and Laxman accomplished for India today. The rest of us just helped him as much as possible. Then, in the fourth innings, Kapil Dev came up with a brilliant spell to claim 5 for 28.
The turning point of that match was without doubt Greg Chappel's dismissal. A delivery from Karsan Ghavri kept low, crashed into the stumps and the Australian skipper was heading back to the pavilion after getting a first-ball duck.
I can imagine the happiness of the Indian team right now. Adelaide has been one of my favourite grounds. I scored a century there against South Australia and then scored one in the second Test match in 1981 [174, Patil's career-best].
We have to make sure we maintain the winning habit. The series is by no means over. They will come back, without doubt, and we have to be prepared for that.
You have to show them what you are all about. We made it happen; we outclassed them. You have to counter attack to the best of your ability.
Even before we stepped in Australia there was all this hue and cry about us facing 'chin music'. All nonsense. If I could play the short-ball, then, to be honest... not modest, Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar, all better batsmen, can surely play as well.
Expectations are sky high. I am happy to see the team win.
The Aussies are without Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Shane Warne; now even Jason Gillespie is injured. It like the Indian team without Dravid and Tendulkar.
But then, that is also the greatest strength of this team. Three-four years back this team was only Tendulkar. Now everybody contributes; responsibilities are shared. It is just great to see us win.
Former India batsman and coach Sandeep Patil spoke to Ashish Magotra after the historic triumph at Adelaide on Tuesday.
Patil, who is now coach of the India 'A' team, also guided Kenya to the semi-finals in the 2003 World Cup.