Mumbai: Gautam Gambhir is hoping against hope that India will be able to pull off a victory on Monday. The opener, who is batting on 53, feels a lead of around 120 would be enough to pin England down on this surface.
Gambhir is drawing inspiration from his debut Test eight years ago, when the hosts won by 13 runs. The India spinners ran through Australia’s batting to defend 106 in the fourth innings. That after India had fallen behind by 99 runs in the first innings.
“We have three wickets in hand,” Gambhir said at the end of the third day. “We have to be positive. If Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) and I can put on a partnership Monday, and if we can get 100-120 ahead, the game is on. If we can be 110 for seven, there is no reason why we don’t have a chance to bowl them out. The important thing is, we have to give the bowlers runs to defend.
“We can’t give them 50 runs and expect them to win us the game. We need decent runs on the board. If we have one good partnership, anything is possible. Even in my debut Test, here, we bowled Australia out for 93 in the fourth innings. Anything is possible. It’s a matter of getting runs on the board.
“We won’t come here on Monday for just the formality… Miracles have happened before. Things can change quickly. Anything is possible if we put runs on board.”
Gambhir felt the Indian spinners didn’t bowl at the right pace on this Wankhede pitch. “I personally felt that they bowled a little quicker in the air… If you have bite in the wicket, and if you bowl quicker in the air, some balls spin, some balls keep straight.
“I felt that at times we tried to bowl too fast, and at times we tried to bowl too slow. We were getting turn and bounce as well... I’m not saying their spinners bowled better than us... But I think it was just the speed that made the difference today,” Gambhir said.