Australia v India, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day

Too much finger-pointing and innuendo

Dileep Premachandran at the Gabba

December 8, 2003

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Martyn's run-out: Ganguly thought it was fair dinkum
© Getty Images

Steve Waugh was in belligerent mood when he came to answer questions at the end of an eventful first Test match against India. Much of his ire was directed against the local media which had skewered him in the wake of the first innings run-out involving Damien Martyn, though he also reserved praise for Sourav Ganguly and India, who made sure that what was expected to be a foregone conclusion finished up as a "50-50 Test match".

On who got more out of this Test: We both did. Our plan today was to take the four wickets, bat with some purpose, and then put them in for 20 overs. We batted really well on the first day, lost it a bit from there. But then, I though India batted pretty well.

On whether Australia had underestimated India: They have some very talented players. And we know we'll have to play quality cricket to win the series. This won't be a one-sided contest, it'll be a very competitive series. It's going to take exceptional performances to win it.

The positives for Australia: Today was a positive day for all of us. We wanted to finish strongly.

Sourav Ganguly's innings: He hit the ball very cleanly, made his runs very fast with a lot of boundaries. We've got to find a way to stop those boundaries. It was a gutsy knock considering the situation.

The Australian bowling: Jason [Gillespie] and MacGill bowled well, and Nathan Bracken did well in patches. Bicks [Andy Bichel] gave it everything. I have no complaints. You can't have a great day everyday.

On whether India's confidence have been boosted: Well, we had the tougher of the conditions when we batted. I'd have liked to have had a go at them when the pitch was green and seaming around. But like I said, I think both teams will go to Adelaide expecting a good contest.

The Marytn run-out/sacrifice: I thought some of what I read about that was way over the top. It was a mix-up, these things happen in cricket. If you read the papers the next day, you'd think I'd committed a criminal act. Both of us were at fault, there was a mix-up, simple as that. There as a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of innuendo, and that's not right. Let's have some fair dinkum.

On whether the emotional nature of his farewell tour could distract Australia ahead of the next three Tests: It's not about me playing three Tests. It's about Australia and India, and what should be three very competitive games.

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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