India v Australia, 2nd Test, Chennai, 3rd day

'We compounded the errors of the first day'

Dileep Premachandran at Chennai

October 16, 2004

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John Buchanan was subdued when he addressed the media at the end of the third day. He admitted that Australia had done themselves no favours with their first-innings batting or the lapses in the field during India's reply. However, he remained confident that his middle order could fight the good fight and set India a challenging target.

Adam Gilchrist's elevation to the No.3 spot was a move discussed in the build-up to the tour, says John Buchanan © AFP

On losing two late wickets
We would've loved to have gone in just two down. But we do have a lead of 9, and six wickets in hand. And there are three quality batsmen left - [Damien] Martyn, [Darren] Lehmann and [Michael] Clarke. It will be a good test for them. We'll be looking to establish a total that makes it difficult for India.

On what he considered a total that Australia could defend in the fourth innings
Eight, and we've got nine (laughs). No, it's very hard to set totals. Many recall that last time we played here when 160 was almost too many. We'd love to set them 250 or 300, but for that to happen, the batsmen need to do what [Mohammad] Kaif and [Parthiv] Patel did - get in and stay in. The objective is to get at least one decent partnership and have others play around that.

On his team have coped with the oppressive heat and humidity
We've had good recovery procedures. And we're certainly ahead of India in that we haven't had a player get crocked yet.

On employing a night-watchman
Stephen [Waugh] changed that, he wanted to demonstrate that the Australian team was different. Ricky [Ponting] has the same bent of mind, as does Adam [Gilchrist], but we will use night-watchmen if we need to. This evening, Jason survived with the aid of two glorious byes (smiles).

On Gilchrist coming in at No.3
Let's hope we can keep everyone guessing here in India. It was discussed in the build-up to the tour, and there was an option to move him up the order. It was a move supported by everyone, and he did really well, but unfortunately for us, he's no longer at the crease.

On whether the sameness of the pace attack might result in Brett Lee being given a go later in the series
This sameness you talk of brought us a stunning victory in Bangalore. During the break, we'll reassess the situation to see where we're at, and revisit the selection process. But I'm happy with the way the three quicks are going. They've been a foil of sorts and also penetrative, allowing Shane Warne his first five-wicket haul in India. Brett [Lee] is champing at the bit, like our other support players. But we'll only decide once we get to Nagpur.

On how the fielding let his side down
We made a number of errors yesterday. If we'd taken even 50% of those chances, I believe the two first-innings totals would have been comparable. We compounded the errors of the first day when we didn't bat as we should have done.

On whether the Indian tail's defiance surprised him
We bat all the way down, the Indian players know how to handle the bat so it wasn't a surprise at all. But whether they continue to be effective for the remainder of the series remains to be seen.

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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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