The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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It wasn't an easy win, says Gilchrist
- Had I won the toss, this Test would have been in India's pocket: Sourav

Bangalore: Predictably, Adam Gilchrist and Sourav Ganguly presented contrasting looks at the end of the first Test. The stand-in Australian captain appeared to savour every moment; Sourav seemed to choke on such a heavy defeat ' 217 runs.

That mood was reflected in the customary Media conference. The following are excerpts from that as also a brief interaction The Telegraph had with both Sourav and Gilchrist:

On the result

Gilchrist: A 200-plus margin may look big, but it wasn't an easy win and we expect India to come back hard. The gap between the teams isn't, in my opinion, huge. (After a pause) As captain, I can emphasise we played good cricket.

Sourav: We didn't play well enough... However, we have the ability to lift our game and come back strong... Three Tests remain... That's a lot of cricket and let us not panic.

On their emotions

Gilchrist: It's thrilling... I know what it means to lose ' I experienced that in 2001 and, now, know what it means to win and gain a headstart.

Sourav: This disappointment must go away before I think of anything... No, I don't feel it's going to be difficult to lift the team's morale... The series is still very young.

On whether the toss made the No. 1 difference

Gilchrist: Look, winning the toss doesn't mean you will win the Test... Yes, the toss did help our gameplan, but that's it... I'm sure the Indians are going to agree they didn't bowl as well as they should have on the opening day.

Sourav: Absolutely... Had I won, this Test would have been in India's pocket.

On the Test actually getting into the second session of the final day

Gilchrist: Had anybody on the first morning said we would be winners early on the last afternoon, I would gladly have taken that... Remember, four wickets were needed and, in India, every wicket calls for hard work.

Sourav: It's heartening that the lower-order fought and fought hard...

On the umpiring

Gilchrist: I don't want to get into trouble with the Match Referee (Ranjan Madugalle), but I accept the Indians were at the receiving end more than us... Yet, three years ago, I don't recall reading anything about the dubious leg-before decisions (off hattrick-getter Harbhajan Singh) in Calcutta... We were... In any case, noise is such a factor in India and, yesterday, I remember telling Billy Bowden I wouldn't swap places for whatever... If anything, the noise makes it harder for the umpires... I guess one has to accept the decisions and move on... I don't see why such an issue ought to be made (of the umpiring)... But, yes, I understand the Indians' frustration... After watching the replays, I realised I shouldn't have appealed against Virender Sehwag (on the fourth afternoon) but, at that point, I was absolutely convinced he was out. Why must I now be made to feel bad about it'

Sourav: Everyone has seen the decisions and I wouldn't like to comment... One moves on.

On whether lessons learnt from any of the last two series were put to use this time

Gilchrist: This time (compared to 2001), we knew what to expect and, therefore, prepared better... We came to be more versatile... Actually, we learnt from the Indians' application in the series at home last season... The loss in the Adelaide Test came as a shock and we learnt quite a bit from those five days. How many teams lose after scoring 556'

Sourav: That 2001 series proved we have it in us to bounce back... We hope, then, to do a repeat.

On Shane Warne, who couldn't go beyond 531 on the final day

Gilchrist: If anybody thinks he's a support bowler, that's incorrect... Even here, he dismissed one of the most dangerous around in world cricket (V.V.S. Laxman) in both innings. I won't have a problem if Shane just gets Laxman in every outing.

Sourav: He's a great bowler, but we aren't only looking to tackling him... Our focus is on the entire attack.

On the top-order not injecting much confidence

Gilchrist: That's an area we have to improve...

Sourav: It's a matter of one innings... Things will then fall into place. What about Akash Chopra's future' He has, in the past, done well and I think we're going to back him.

[Talking about his run out on Saturday, Sourav remarked: 'I've been dismissed that way in two of my last three Test innings... Test cricket isn't for run outs...']

On Irfan Pathan, who scored an excellent 55 in the second innings

Gilchrist: He's intelligent and played Warne superbly... He may be young in age, but is high on cricket-intelligence. Of course, today, he and the tail didn't have anything to lose except the Test... They played freely.

Sourav: Wonderful... I see him as an allrounder.

On the chirping between the teams

Sourav: It happens... Bottomline, though, is that we respect each other.

Finally, on dedicating this memorable win

Gilchrist (Laughs): Haven't thought about it... Now that you've asked, I'll give that some thought.

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