India must do well in Australia: Ganguly

Whitewashed in the just-concluded tour of England, the Indian cricket team will have a chance to redeem itself with a good show in the four-Test series in Australia later this year, feels former captain Sourav Ganguly.

Updated: September 22, 2011 18:40 IST
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Kolkata: Whitewashed in the just-concluded tour of England, the Indian cricket team will have a chance to redeem itself with a good show in the four-Test series in Australia later this year, feels former captain Sourav Ganguly.

Ganguly, India's most successful Test skipper, said that after the disastrous away series against England, the team's preparation would be under scrutiny in the tour Down Under.

"For me, it's not the upcoming home series against England or the West Indies. It's the four-Test series tour of Australia which I am looking forward to," he said.

"India have to do well there. Our 11 years of preparation to perform well at overseas venues will go down if we don't do well there (Australia)," Ganguly said at a promotional event here on Thursday.

Ganguly's statement came close on the heels of India's disastrous England tour, where they lost the Test series 0-4 to meekly surrender their numero uno Test status to the Andrew Strauss-led home team.

The reigning One-Day International world champions did no better in the shorter versions of the game as they failed to win a single match in the rain-marred five-match ODI series.

Ganguly also emphasised on the need to prepare well before any away series and hailed the BCCI to make arrangements for three warm-up games before their tour opener in Australia.

"The preparation is very important to do well in an overseas tour. It's good that BCCI has arranged for two-three warm-up games before the actual series which starts in Melbourne," the left-handed batsman said.

Ganguly, however, seemed confident about India's chances in the upcoming ODI series and one-off T20 match against England at home.

"The condition here is different. India in India are a terrific side. Unless they play really bad cricket, I don't see them lose the series," he said.

The newly-elected chairman of BCCI's technical committee, Ganguly further said that the controversial Decision Review System needed to be fine tuned before being implemented fully.

Citing examples of Rahul Dravid's dubious dismissals by 'Hot Spot' technology in England and one Tillakaratne Dilshan's delivery against Australian opener Phil Hughes, Ganguly said, "I completely support BCCI's stand on DRS.

"It's not yet foolproof. There are a lot of issues attached to it. We need to upgrade the technology. We are aware that no technology is 100 per cent correct, but we have to make sure it's 90-95 per cent correct."

Dravid was controversially given out through the 'Hot Spot' image system on at least three occasions leading to big debates over DRS.

In the Sri Lanka-Australia series, Hughes was adjudged leg before wicket in the second innings off the bowling of Lankan captain while attempting a sweep. Hawk-Eye showed that the ball would have hit the stumps but replays suggested that the ball was turning sharply and would have probably missed the stumps completely.

Ganguly, who succeeded Sunil Gavaskar in BCCI's technical committee, said: "It's a great honour. It's a job we all have to do together to take the game forward. Hopefully, we all will work together to take cricket and cricketers forward."

The former India opener further said that he was not surprised to see ICC rejecting Sachin Tendulkar's suggestion to revamp the ODIs by splitting the format into four innings of 25 overs each.

"I am not at all surprised. Everybody knows that India are powerhouse in world cricket and the ICC has a tendency to keep anything on hold when it comes from India," Ganguly said. But at the same time he said 50-over cricket was hugely successful.

"One-day format has it's place as we have seen during the hugely successful World Cup." Asked about Tendulkar's landmark 100th international century which has eluded him for quite sometime now, Ganguly said it has nothing to do with mental factor.

"It's just a matter of time. If he was good enough for 99, he will be good for 100 as well."

Ganguly said India need to produce a bowling attack which who can do without injured pace spearhead Zaheer Khan.

"We need to live without Zaheer. I am sure he will make a comeback but we need to have bowlers who can take 20 wickets in Test cricket," he said.

Asked whether experienced spiner Harbhajan Singh had lacked the usual sting in England, Ganguly said: "He was injured. But remember that he has taken more than 400 Test wickets. He is still a match winner for India."

On the recurring injuries to the Indian cricketers, he said: "Injuries are a part and parcel of sportpersons' life. But when one makes a comeback from injury it is important to know that being gym-fit and acquiring match fitness are two different things."

Ganguly, who represents Pune Warriors in IPL, also announced that he would play for Bengal in the one-dayers and Twenty20 domestic competitions.

"I will play for Bengal in all the Twenty20 and one-day competitions. I will see how much Ranji cricket I can play for Bengal."

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