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Can Team India break the Bangalore jinx?

Last updated on: October 8, 2010 22:35 IST

'Australia will come back strong'


Bikash Mohapatra

One down, one more to go.

The last-ditch win at Mohali has given the team the impetus ahead of the second Test against Australia, beginning in Bangalore on Saturday.

It is the Australians who will be trying to play catch-up, and captain Ricky Ponting admitted "it won't be easy".

India captain M S Dhoni and his men, on the other hand, can be pardoned for being a bit complacent. They know they can't lose the series, or for that matter the possession of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

However, trust Dhoni to be serious about every match he plays.

"Australia will come back strong," he warned ahead of the second Test. "That's their culture. They don't give up easily.

"We have to respond to the challenge they pose," he added.

Image: MS Dhoni and Murali Vijay during a practice session
Photographs: Reuters

Injury woes for team India

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India will take to the field with a few changes to the squad that won the first Test.

While Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma have been ruled out -- making way for Abhinav Mukund and Jaidev Unadkat -- the chances of Mohali hero VVS Laxman playing seem remote.

"Laxman is better, he has recovered well," said Dhoni, adding, "We will take a call on Laxman later this evening, or maybe tomorrow morning."

He then inadvertently dropped a hint.

"One has to understand that five days in the field can be tough for any player who is recovering from an injury," he said, before adding that there are no other injury worries as far as team India is concerned.

"Except for Laxman, everyone else is available," he affirmed.

Image: VVS Laxman is doubtful for the Test

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India needs to improve fielding

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Despite the victory, the Indian team was found wanting in many areas at Mohali, particularly the fielding.

"As a team we have realized that even if we win a game, there are always areas where you need to rectify. Fielding has been a problem," admitted Dhoni, before suggesting what he felt are corrective measures.

"It really matters how you are doing in a practice session, because there you are trying to get as close to match conditions as possible," he said.

The captain was himself guilty of dropping a few catches and many attributed it to the fact that he came up to the wicket (owing to the fact that there was low bounce).

Dhoni, however, defended his decision with a witty one-liner.

"It is better to drop a catch than watching a catch drop in front of you," he said.

Image: Suresh Raina during a practice session

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India has not won a Test since 1995 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium

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Team India's recent record at the Chinnaswamy Stadium is forgettable, to say the least.

The home side has not won a Test here since beating New Zealand in October 1995. And in the seven Tests since, they have lost four and drawn the rest.

Moreover, Australia has beaten the hosts on two of the three occasions in the last 15 years. In fact, India is yet to get the better of Australia at this venue.

Dhoni, however, seemed unperturbed with the statistics.

"We'll try our best to win this Test," he said, before signing off.

Whether India manage to break their Bangalore jinx or not will be clear in the next five days.

Image: Sachin Tendulkar during a nets session

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