Dubai: Gautam Gambhir says India must forget the dreadful events on the third day of the opening Test when they face Australia in the second match beginning Saturday at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
According to former India Test batsman Gambhir, says the tourists should focus on their domination of the first two days of the pink-ball Test and only lost the match in the morning session on Day Three when Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins wreaked havoc as the visitors were bundled out for 36 — India’s lowest total in history of Test cricket — and then went on to lose the match by eight wickets at the Adelaide Oval last Saturday.
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“They need to remember that they actually dominated the first two days, they were ahead in the game throughout the first two days,” said Gambhir told Star Sports. “They will be hurt about the one session — but again they need to remember that there are three Test matches and at the same time they won’t have their best player Virat Kohli with them; their captain.”
The visitors will be without Virat Kohli and Mohammad Shami in the remaining three Tests.
Gambhir further said there will be a lot of pressure on stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who will lead the side in the remaining three Tests, to deliver.
“So there is a lot of onus on Ajinkya Rahane, plus Mohammad Shami will not be there. There will be a lot of onus on what combination they go with,” said Gambhir. Meanwhile, Australia head coach Justin Langer has praised his team’s Test captain Tim Paine for his performance and leadership, calling him their “most important player”. Langer, however, added that Adam Gilchrist remains the best-ever wicketkeeper-batsman for transforming the game of cricket.
Paine scored an unbeaten 73 against India in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, rescuing his side from a precarious situation of 111-7 in first innings and taking them to 191, just 53 runs short of India’s total of 244. Australia then bundled out India for 36 and cruised to victory.
“You think of Adam Gilchrist, I guess who transformed the game in a sense. That is why Gilchrist is an all-time great player because he transformed the game,” Langer told reporters on Thursday. “I have got enormous faith in Tim Paine, whether it is his wicketkeeping, batting and I have said publicly and privately last year that he is our most important player. Because he is our lead wicketkeeper, his leadership on and off the field is incredible and we saw how he can play. He batted very well in the first innings under pressure ... He is a great player, great leader and I love having him in our team.
“Paine has made some good contributions, had very important partnerships. During the Ashes and the summer last year. I don’t lose sleep over him.”