We have nothing to lose, says Dravid
Rahul Dravid says India must draw inspiration from past heroics against Australia if they’re to save the second Test at the SCG and keep the four-match series alive.
India are 2-114 heading into day four, requiring a further 354 runs just to make Australia bat again after the home side’s massive first innings of 4(dec)-659.
Unfortunately for India, their 38-year-old veteran nicknamed ‘The Wall’ is already out, but Dravid says all isn’t lost yet with Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman still to have their say in the 100th Test played at one of their most fruitful grounds.
Dravid said it’s important that his side take confidence from the fact they’ve produced some batting marathons of their own against Australia in the past.
In the second Test in Kolkata in 2001, India produced one of the great come-from-behind wins in history when they overcame a 274-run first-innings deficit to smash 657 in the second dig and beat Australia by 171 runs.
Laxman was the hero with a phenomenal 281, and the tall right-hander was instrumental again in the fourth Test at the SCG in 2004 when India racked up 7(dec)-705 in their first innings.
Although that match ended in a draw, India batted for 806 minutes and 187.3 overs, with Laxman posting 178, Tendulkar 248 and the pair combined for a 353-run partnership.
India need to grind out similar numbers if they’re to remain a chance of winning their first-ever series in Australia.
“There’s nothing to lose in the sense that we’re so far behind now,” said Dravid.
“We’ve just got to go out and play and not even think about drawing the game or anything like that, just go out there to play and bat as long as you can and who knows?
“I think the key for us is obviously to keep them on the field for long periods of time. If we can keep the Australian bowlers and fielders on the field for 100 overs then we can put them under pressure or see some of their bowlers become weary.”
Struggling opener Gautam Gambhir is not out 68 and Tendulkar unbeaten on 8 – with the stage set for the Little Master to be the hero for India and to finally bring up his 100th international century.
To do it in the 100th Test at the famous SCG, where he averages 178.25, and in India’s hour of need would be special.
Dravid said Tendulkar and Laxman – who averages 80.50 and has hit three centuries at the SCG – are more than capable of pulling off something special.
“Every situation is set up for (Sachin). For us and from a team’s perspective I hope it happens tomorrow. Obviously that means we would have scored a few runs then,” said Dravid.
“Who knows what can happen. We’ve got some quality players who can bat long periods of time but it’s hard to think about two days from now right away.
“We need some inspiration … things haven’t worked out but there’s still time to go.”© AAP 2013