The job's only half done, buoyant Indian captain warns Australia - by Kuldip Lal
CALCUTTA, March 16 (AFP) - India's captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday celebrated one of Test cricket's most astonishing victories by warning
rivals Australia he was not finished yet.
"There's more to come, the job's only half done," Ganguly said a day after his team ended Australia's record streak of 16 consecutive victories
with a series-levelling 171-run win in the second Test here.
"All this good work will mean nothing if we do not win the series. We have Australia in a corner and must not let slip the advantage."
The emotionally and physically drained rivals have just two days to recover before the third and final Test opens at the Chepauk in Madras on
The incredible result was only the third time in 1,535 Tests that a side won after being forced to follow-on -- in India's case by a huge margin of
England had done it twice before, also against Australia, way back in Sydney in 1894 and again at Leeds, Headingley in 1981.
Even the Indian team's most passionate followers had not forseen such a dramatic change in fortunes after Australia won the first Test in three
days and led by a seemingly invincible margin in the second.
Venkatsai Laxman triggered the comeback by compiling a record Indian score of 281 which, combined with Rahul Dravid's 180, saw the hosts
pile up 657-7 declared in the second knock.
Harbhajan Singh, a 20-year-old off-spinner in only his 10th Test, then sealed the amazing win with a match haul of 13 wickets, including six in the
last two sessions of the Test.
Australia, comfortably placed at 166-4 soon after tea, lost their last seven wickets for 46 runs before some 65,000 jubilant home fans.
"There were two lessons for everybody here -- you never give up and you never write anybody off," said Ganguly, pointing fingers at his growing
band of critics.
"It's shameful when you lose one Test and are taken apart by your own countrymen.
"There is no better way to answering your critics by winning after coming back from where we did."
To show he meant business, Ganguly convinced the selectors to disband the winning combination and axe two out-of-form bowlers, Venkatesh
Prasad and Venkatapathy Raju for the final Test.
They will be replaced by the spin duo of Sairaj Bahutule and Nilesh Kulkarni, who troubled the Australians during the three-day tour match
against Ranji Trophy chammpions Mumbai.
Pace spearhead Javagal Srinath, who missed the second Test with a broken finger, also returns to the squad pending a fitness Test in Madras on
Orissa seamer Debashish Mohanty, who bagged all 10 wickets in an innings during a first-class match recently, will stand-by in case Srinath is
not declared fit to play.
"I know it is said that you should not disturb a winning combination, but emotions have no part to play when you are trying to win a series,"
Australian captain Steve Waugh, who regards the Indian tour as the last frontier for his world-beating side, dismissed suggestions that the tourists
were under pressure going into the final Test.
"Of the 16 Tests we won, a few were under pressure," he said. "The simple fact is we were outplayed by an Indian team that played better
cricket than us.
"It's now our job to recover lost ground and win the series."
Waugh lamented the itinerary which gave the teams just two days between Tests.
"A three-day gap would have been better but we will adjust," he said.