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  Australia in India 2001

"This was the greatest Test I have played in. To come back and win after being asked to follow on is what dreams are made of." Sourav Ganguly

"India played better than us over the last two days and deserved to win. We needed to bat out five hours and could not do it. We have no one else to blame but ourselves. The team will have to go back to the drawing board and see where we went wrong. The series is wide open."  Steve Waugh

"Why don't you ask him now? He will have something else to say." Indian Captain Saurav Ganguly said when asked to react on Waugh's pre-match comment that the Australians were targeting the Indian captain to wreck the home team's game plan.

"The Indians were fragile in the first Test. They were also fragile at the Eden. It was mainly the effort of one player (Laxman) who played a long innings and saved the game," Australian coach John Buchanan said after the fourth day's play at Eden Gardens.

"His (Laxman's) innings were truly wonderful and I hope it is just the first of many such knocks from Laxman," Sunil Gavaskar.

"His (Laxman) knock was absolutely fantastic and had a lot of character, guts and class. Definitely, it lifted me as such a knock puts a lot pressure on the bowlers. Laxman's knock was a big inspiration for me ," Rahul Dravid who returned to form and struck an unbeaten 155 on the fourth day of the second Test at Kolkata.

"They have done well. That's the bottom line. I don't expect anything in this game. It all depends on what you do in the middle. I can't go out and expect to win, if I can't force a win," Saurav Ganguly said after his teammates Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman put India back on the driving seat with their mammoth knocks on the 4th day of the second Test.

"My personal achievement is secondary. The team's cause comes first. If team management wants me to go for quick runs, I will do so," V V S Laxman after the close of fourth day's match at Eden Gardens.

"For a country that has been playing Test cricket for close to seven decades, 236 was a pretty poor highest individual score especially with players from other countries scoring highest individual scores nearer the triple century mark despite their countries getting Test status decades later. It is for this reason I had been virtually pleading for someone to go past it and carry on to many more individual milestones," Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar.

"After the game I heard a lot of people passing judgment on how it (the game) could have been handled, but I think most would not have had any answers to it. Anyway, this game is much easier from the stands and the air-conditioned boxes, so the less attention one pays to it the better. As a captain on the field, I think it was Gilchrist's innings that took the game away from us -- hats off to him," Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.

"The Indians have often being described as tigers at home and lambs abroad. Perhaps the time has now come to change that to pussycats at home as well as abroad, Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar wrote in a syndicated column after India lost its first Test in Mumbai.

"If Ajit is persisted with as an all-rounder, than I was a mainline batsman," Bishan Singh Bedi commenting on Ajit Agarkar, who recorded his seventh consecutive duck against the Aussies.

"It was pretty hard out there. There was a lot of noise when the Indians were batting, but we kept our cool in tough situations. We've learned our lesson from previous tours where we tended to rush a bit when the crowd cheered a stroke by their batsmen. This time we pulled back a bit, relaxed, took a deep breath and focussed on the next ball," Steve Waugh commenting on the key to success in India.

"Unless the basic flaws in Indian cricket are sorted out, home wins will dry out unless Bangladesh or Kenya are the visiting team," Gavaskar wrote in a syndicated column after India lost its first Test in Mumbai.

"We believe in ourselves and it is purely a team effort," Steve Waugh said on winning 16 Test matches on-a-trot.

"We will have to work on our overall cricket. There are two more matches to go...Hopefully we will come back in the series," Ganguly said after India succumbed to their fifth straight Test defeat to Australia. 

''The brilliant catch of Sachin Tendulkar by Ricky Ponting was the turning point of the match,'' a visibly happy Australian skipper Steve Waugh on winning, 16th consecutive Test match. 

"The wicket offered a pretty good bounce so we opted to bowl first.... the game was evenly balanced when we were 99-5 but Adam Gilchrist played a great innings," said Steve Waugh in praise for the young wicket-keeper/batsman.

"We don't want to bat for the second time. The Indians still need 115 runs to make us bat but we would try to get early wickets tomorrow and bowl them out as quickly as possible," Gilchrist, whose 197-run 6th wicket partnership with Mathew Hayden gave Australia a 173-run first innings lead.

"They may be the world champions with 15 wins in a row, but they have not won a series in India since 1970. The home advantage is very important and that is with us. Moreover off the 15 wins by the Aussies, 11 have been in Australia. I think they will have a tough time here," Ganguly said for Australia.

"Every country backs their own team, only we Indians think negatively about ourselves," Ganguly slams media and fans for favouring Australia.

"I don't read much so I can't comment on it. I can only say that our job is to go there and perform and we will do it in the best possible way." Ganguly when asked to comment on the way Australians were talking.

"Hirwani has good experience in Test cricket and at the same time none of us have played him and the selectors have done no harm by picking him as he could be a surprise packet." Steve Waugh commented at a practice session at the Brabourne Stadium.

"Why only Sachin (Tendulkar), I have chalked out different plans to bowl to all the top order batsmen in the Indian team. It is a challenge for any bowler to come good on Indian pitches and I am looking forward to that kind of challenge all the time." McGrath, when inquired if he has any specific plans to bowl to Tendulkar.

"I will concentrate hard on my batting and as a player I want to deliver more than what my skipper expects," Sachin Tendulkar

"There are a lot of battles in a series - like (Glenn) McGrath bowling to the openers or me bowling to Sachin. It's good, exciting cricket. Good fun for everyone," said Warne ahead of a three-day match against national champions Mumbai.

"We are geared up to play on any sort of pitches...We have thought of a plan and we can play according to it. There is no reason why we cannot win here," Steve Waugh at a press conference after the 15-member team arrived in Mumbai. 

"It will definitely be a tough series because the conditions are different and Australia has not won a series in India for the past 30-odd years,"  Australian vice-captain and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

"I find some of his comments a bit strange, saying we've only played weak sides to win our 15 Test matches in a row. He forgot they were one of those sides, so as a leader of a side, it's not a real good thing to say about your own side. " Steve Waugh reacting to Ganguly's statements.

"It's more important how we act as a team over there and enjoy the country and the culture rather than complaining about it as some teams have in the past. We've got the players so our attitude will be the key." Australian Skipper Steve Waugh.

"They've had it easy at home, but India will be a different proposition altogether," An unusually aggressive Ganguly after a week-long training camp for 25 probables.

"We can beat India on any kind of wicket. Be it a turner, fast track or a batting pitch." Steve Waugh

"I am not worried because I have confidence in my boys. Don't write us off because we could surprise many. How does Steve in Australia know what we are doing here," A Confident Ganguly

"We beat them in India twice in 1996 and 1998, so it is the Australians who will be wary of playing us," Saurav Ganguly.

We want to go over there, want to win the series 3-0 and we go confident enough to believe we can do it. It is just how well we harness the tremendous amount of raw material at our disposal." Australian coach John Buchanan

"The Australians are on a winning streak but it is going to be a different ball game in the coming series, as both teams have an even chance of winning," Saurav Ganguly.

"Tracks are going to play a very important role. And there is only one way, play on turning tracks," Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketer-turned-commentator stressing that India should play attacking cricket. 

"The Indians are 'hard nut to crack on their home pitch', hence the forthcoming series would be an exciting one. They are fantastic and can bowl well on any wicket"  Former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar 

"India can beat Australia. But first of all, they must believe from within that they can do it." Bishen Singh Bedi, former Indian captain and legendary left-arm spinner.

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