India's batsmen have to acclimatize to the conditions well during the two practice games  © Getty Images
India’s batsmen have to acclimatize to the conditions well during the two practice games © Getty Images

Nov 23, 2014

Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, has said that the first Test in Brisbane would be crucial for the team’s fortunes on their long sojourn Down Under. India will play a four-match Test series beginning on December 4 in Brisbane and that would then be followed by a tri-series involving the hosts and England. The ICC World Cup then begins at home. This means that India would be in Australia for a long time.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ganguly said, “What I am worried is the first Test. If they get through that they should be fine through to the World Cup.
It is a long tour and they will have to be mentally fresh. But then you don’t get to play cricket for your entire life, so enjoy it.”

When asked about the effect of Mitchell Johnson, Ganguly said that Australia have other bowlers who can also do well. “Johnson’s got that left-arm bowler’s angle into the right-handers. He will be a tough customer. But it’s not just Johnson. Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, you name it the fast bowlers keep turning up,” Ganguly said. He also feels that Australia will prepare green tracks so that their bowlers can get the better of the Indian batsmen.

Ganguly also said that playing only two warm-ups, each two-day affairs, is tough for the team. He said, “Just two two-day games before can sometimes be a bit tough. You need hits in the middle to get used to those conditions.  The pace is different, the movement is different, the seam movement.”

India begin their campaign with a two-day game against the Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide, which begins on November 24. The second practice game is at the same venue and it starts on November 28.