Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Out-of-favour India opener Gautam Gambhir has admitted that Australia deserve a lot of credit for their performance in the ongoing four-Test series against India.
Many people felt that Australia wouldn’t be able to adapt to the tricky conditions in the subcontinent nation, but the Baggy Greens silenced their critics by crushing India by 333 runs in the first Test in Pune, which brought the hosts’ 19-match unbeaten streak in the longest format to an end.
India bounced back to win the second Test in Bangalore by 75 runs and were on track for victory in the third Test in Ranchi, but they were denied by Australian batsmen Peter Handscomb and Shaun Marsh as the duo batted the majority of the final day in order to hand their side a gritty draw.
With the draw in Ranchi, India and Australia are tied at 1-1 going into the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala on March 25.
“We should give credit to the Australian side which has played remarkably,” Gambhir said. “Most players like Harbhajan [Singh] and Sourav [Ganguly] predicted a whitewash for India, but they have proved themselves brilliantly and with everything on the line, Australia will be a tricky opponent.”
Gambhir, who last played international cricket in November 2016, also sees no problem in the on-field disputes between India captain Virat Kohli and his Australian counterpart Steve Smith.
In the second Test, Kohli confronted Smith when the latter appeared to look to the dressing room for guidance after being given out lbw.
With so much on the line in the series, Gambhir admitted that sledging was always going to rear its head at some point.
“It is fine to play hard and do whatever you can to upset the opposition till the time you don’t get personal,” he said. “These are not robots playing the game, and when you are playing for your country and there are so many expectations on your shoulder, emotions can take over sometimes.”