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

'We can come back': Ganguly

Dileep Premachandran in Bangalore

October 10, 2004

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Sourav Ganguly feels the heat © Getty Images
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Sourav Ganguly sat forlornly in a chair in the corner as Adam Gilchrist talked the media through Australia's emphatic 217-run victory, and afterwards offered some insight of his own into what was a below-par performance from the home side. With Sachin Tendulkar having missed this Test, and several frontline batsmen out form, Ganguly has much to ponder ahead of the Chennai Test which starts on October 14. He remained cautiously optimistic about the remaining three matches, but admitted that a much-improved display would be needed if India were to retain their grip on the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

On how this impacts the remaining three Tests
I think we can come back. There's a lot of cricket left to be played in this series. Some of the guys are not getting runs, but all it needs is one good knock to get them going. We've had too many starts not being converted into big innings. I think there's still a huge opportunity for us to come back and win.

On the tail-end resistance this morning
They played well. I consider Irfan [Pathan] an allrounder.

On Harbhajan Singh
He's done well against them before as well, I think he has something like 44 wickets in the last four games here, and the pitches at Chennai, Nagpur and Mumbai should suit him.

On the quality of umpiring
You've all seen it on TV. We understand that, and move forward.

On how his players tackled Shane Warne
We just played him normally. I think batsmen from the subcontinent usually play spin well. He's a great bowler, but we've played him well down the years. Anyway, we're not worried about one particular bowler, we're more concerned about how we deal with the Australian attack on the whole.

On the occasional cross word out in the middle
We have respect for each other, and you don't mind a few of the things that happen.

On Harbhajan's gesture in the direction of the media enclosure after his five-wicket haul on Saturday
He's still pretty young (smiles). At this level, he must realise that there will be criticism. It's part of life. He's a performer, and every time he doesn't do well, fingers will be raised.

On Tendulkar's availability for the second Test
We hope he's fit. His batting and bowling are a help on any sort of pitch, and a player of his calibre would be missed by any team.

On his run-out yesterday
I'm pretty disappointed that I've run myself out in the last two Tests, here and against Pakistan at Rawalpindi.

On Aakash Chopra's form with the bat
We'll back every cricketer in the team. He failed in this match, but that's gone now. He has to try and do his best in the next game.

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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 MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. 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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