Adam Gilchrist - Gilly's standpoint

Adam Gilchrist

Australia's skipper on that successful tour reveals the reasons behind the historic triumph

Friday, October 17, 2021
Defensive methods worked for Aussies in 2004

Bangalore was a nice, spiky opener for the series, with both India and Australia ending the Test on level footing. The Australians would be happy that that they answered a couple of questions, one about Ricky Ponting’s form and the other about their bowling attack. 

As far as Ricky is concerned, there was never any doubt about his ability to play in all conditions. However, this knock would have silenced all those who were commenting on his low scores in India. It was an innings where he came in early, looked in good touch and stamped his authority on the series. 

It was only a matter of time before Ricky did well in India, and I am sure he is looking forward to the rest of the series in a more positive manner. 

The other question was about the spin bowling. There were no surprises in this regard, because nobody expected Cameron White to be tearing through the Indians like Shane Warne on the fifth day. However, when Ricky says he is impressed with White I guess he did bowl well and I am sure the captain’s words will spur the youngster on. 

It’s a bit of a loss that Bryce MacGain did not recover from his injury for this series. I played against him last year and was impressed by his control and variety. 

Coming back to the current series, Zaheer stirred things up by saying that he had never seen an Aussie team play as defensively as they did at Bangalore. I guess he was referring to the fact that he and Bhajji were able to put together a match-altering partnership against the Aussie bowling. 

Perhaps he is giving himself and Harbhajan too little credit, because they did play very well to take their team with 80 runs of the Australia’s first innings score. Moreover, defensive or not, the Australians were able to get India’s first five wickets for less than 200.
I doubt whether we will see any tactical changes in Mohali, Zaheer’s observation notwithstanding. The Australian team used similar defensive methods in 2004 (they won 2-1) as well, we were defensive in our line and field placements.