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October 10, 2004
Adam Gilchrist led Australia magnificently as they took a 1-0 lead in this series with a comprehensive win in Bangalore. He spoke to the media after the match.
On the resilience of India's tail this morning
I wasn't particularly surprised that it took a while. If you'd said to me at the start of day one, that we'd wrap the game up after lunch on day five, I'd have taken that. Four wickets is four wickets in India. You've got to work hard no matter what, and today we reaped the benefits of some great work last night, and in the first innings when we batted. It's no surprise, we knew it would be a challenge.
On the margin of victory
I wouldn't say it's an easy Test win. It's a convincing win for sure, 200-plus runs, but in these conditions, those sort of margins of victory can come around more easier than elsewhere. That doesn't necessarily mean there's a huge gap between the teams, and it was certainly not a crushing win. I expect India to come back strongly. We've been here before, three years ago, but we've a different sort of confidence this time. I certainly didn't know what it was like to lose a Test back then [in 2001]. I know now. I know what it means to lose and I know what it means to win, and I think that personifies what the team thinks.
On the completeness of Australia's performance
That was a very, very complete game of cricket for us. It went as close to our match plan as we could have hoped. I'm sure we'll analyse our plans before Chennai, but I'm thrilled at how the guys went about their business. Our gameplan has certainly changed since 2001. There's no need to delve into match plans or theories, but we're a different team now, a bit more versatile.
On the importance of the toss
In my experience, you do not just win the toss and win the Test. Whatever you do first, whether it's bat or bowl, you must do it well. We won the toss here and batted well, and India will probably admit they didn't bowl quite as well first up, although Harbhajan turned it around in the second innings. We fully expected that, and next time, it will be helpful for gameplan. But whether you bat first or second, that's the crucial innings. You've got to set up your runs while the wicket is in a good state.
On Shane Warne's lack of penetration this morning
Let's face it, in reality, India did not have a lot to lose this morning, other than a Test match [chuckles] ... if that makes sense. I thought [Irfan] Pathan played Warne very well indeed. He's an intelligent cricketer with experience beyond his years. The others rode their luck and took him on. They were not expected to perform heroics, so their approach was relaxed.
Shane's figures are sure to be analysed and scrutinised, and people will claim he was ineffective. I beg to differ. I thought he played a fantastic role. We have an attack based around fast bowlers, so if people want to call him a support bowler then so be it. I wouldn't call him that. He got the most dangerous batsman that we've met in world cricket twice in two innings. If he takes just eight wickets in the series and they are all VVS Laxman, I'll take that.
On the umpiring
There have been a great deal of words written about the umpires, and lots of airtime on TV, but it goes without saying that some decisions will go against batsmen at some time, and on this occasion, India were on the receiving end more often than not. It's easy to say get on with it, take the good with the bad, but I don't remember reading on day two in Kolkata, that the crucial wicket of Harbhajan's hat-trick [Gilchrist himself] was a certain fairly dubious lbw decision. You've got to move on.
And what's more, there aren't many people in this room who've played in front of a crowd like that. The noise is extraordinary. When I went into bat, I had to say to Billy Bowden: "Mate, I wouldn't do your job for quids". You have no idea if a batsman has bat-padded, or got an inside-edge, or whatever. It's a very, very difficult job, made more difficult in these conditions. You have to accept it and move on, and not get too critical.
I understand the frustrations of the Indians in this game. But then, apart from two umpires, no-one's ever congratulated me for walking. And yet today, I was made to feel bad for appealing for Virender Sehwag's dismissal. As far as I knew, it was out. I've since seen there was some bat involved, but why should we be made to feel bad? Let's be consistent.
On the lessons learned from Australia's various matches against India
We've focussed a lot on three years ago, but let's not forget how India played in Australia last year. That Adelaide victory was a real shock, and it wasn't that we didn't rate India, but we scored 500 in the first innings and no team should lose from there. Somehow we did, and we've learnt a great deal from the Indians. There's a wonderful aura around these series, whether it's one-day cricket or Tests. This was another great battle, we're thrilled to have won and we'll celebrate tonight. But tomorrow it'll be all hands on deck for Chennai.
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