India should prepare turning tracks, says Gambhir

Spin-friendly pitches will test the visitors, says opening batsman

Gautam Gambhir on Sunday stressed on the need to prepare turning tracks when teams visit India.

“We need to realise that when we go overseas every country prepares wickets to their own strengths. So once the other teams come home we need to prepare tracks to our advantage as well. So, there should not be a lot of talk when Australia or South Africa or England come home that we should not be preparing turner.

“I think we should be playing to our strengths, and if we can prepare rank turners, that's where other teams technique and their temperament will be tested,” Gambhir told reporters.

The Delhi left-hander said England and Australian bowlers received a lot of help on pitches that suited pace bowling. “We have seen in last three Tests matches and even in England, there was a lot of grass and that helped their seamers," he said.

“Once these people come to India we should not be hesitant in making turners, and that's where we would get to know whether they are mentally strong, and what happens to the kind of chit chat they do when we go overseas, and the talk they do about our techniques,” he said.

Gambhir said such turners would reveal how good players from England and Australia are against spin bowling. “That's where they will be tested, and we'll see how good they are against spin bowling. So we shouldn't be hesitant in preparing turners to our advantage, and that has been our strength and if we can do that people should support us rather than saying we should not be preparing turners. We should always be preparing something which is to our advantage."

On facing Peter Siddle, the Australian pacer who had made his debut against India in 2008/09, Gambhir said, "The only difference is the conditions. He made his debut in Mohali. He played really well in that Test series. He has bowled really well in this series — no doubt about that — he has been their main bowler who has always taken wickets whenever he has got into his spell. The important thing is, how he bowls well in the sub-continent. Here he has bowled well, but let's see what he does in other conditions."

However, Gambhir paid handsome tribute to Australian bowlers, and rated them higher than their English counterparts. "When you see the results both have been at par. England had a lot of lateral movement, but over here a lot of credit goes to the Australian bowlers. They had a very inexperienced attack. England has far more experience than the Australian fast bowlers. The way they have bowled in this series is tremendous.

“They have never let us off the hook, they have always kept us under pressure though they were playing with just three seamers and a spinner. They kept coming at us, which is important, because there are times in Test cricket where you can get easy runs, especially in middle sessions. A lot of credit has to go to them.”

Explaining the Australian bowlers’ hold on Indian batsmen, Gambhir said, "Even in the middle sessions they kept hitting those areas, and never let us score freely. Indians are known to score runs freely. Most of our middle order has been boundary hitters. They never let us score those boundaries. Never gave us balls where we can score freely, especially in that middle session.”

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