The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Good start pleases skipper
uce Reid’s words after the first day helped the boys, feels skipper Sourav

Brisbane: The Indian skipper was relieved that for a change his team was off to a good start in a Test series. “It has always been our failing. We lose the first Test and then it becomes difficult to come back in the series. Now we can carry the positives of this Test to the next game,” said Sourav Ganguly on Sunday.

Under Sourav’s captaincy, India lost the first Test of an overseas series in South Africa, England and Sri Lanka but the ongoing Test looks certain to end in a draw.

“As I had said before the Test, it was a challenge for all of us to find out how good we are with our games. What really pleases me is that most of our guys have had a good stay in the middle. Openers Akash Chopra and Virender Sehwag looked in good nick. Parthiv Patel’s contribution was significant too.

“One can’t miss V.V.S. Laxman who batted in glorious fashion and took us past a difficult stage,” said Sourav who scored a majestic 144. Sourav said the start was very important and the contrasting approach of the two openers helped. “Both have different approach to batting and they complement each other very well. As for Sehwag, I have always believed he is a special player.

“It was not a good start to the game for us after we won the toss. Bruce Reid had a word with the boys after the first day and obviously it helped because they bowled in the right areas the next day,” Sourav said.

“Although it’s a great start here, it’s a challenge for us to keep it up in the next three Tests. We are left with very little time here. We will try and put some quick runs on the board and just see what happens if we can get early wickets.”

Laxman, who scored a sparkling 75, felt MacGill is different from the more illustrious Shane Warne but both are formidable. “Warne was flatter and had greater variety. But MacGill is also a class act himself.”

The stylish batsman said even though he played a number of pulls, he was selective about the shot and picked one boundary as special among the 11 he struck. “It was the flick off Nathan Bracken which I picked from outside off stump and sent it racing to the mid-wicket boundary.” (PTI)

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