Winning Test series not everything : Gilchrist

Published: Sunday, October 3, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Australian skipper Adam Gilchrist today said his team wants Tendulkar to figure in all four of the upcoming Test matches so that it could give a tag of legitimacy if the tourists are to win. "I reckon he (Tendulkar) will play the first Test. He's the best batsman that I think I have ever seen. So, if we are going to win in India, legitimately, it would be great to play the best team possible," Gilchrist told reporters at a promotional event of Castrol.

The dashing left-hander said he was aware of the task that lies ahead of the Australians since the Indians are always a redoubtable side at home.

"We've lot of respect for the Indian team. But then we've planned for these series and our preparations have come off pretty well. We've a very balanced squad. I think the series would be highly competitive," he said.

He said winning a Test series was certainly important but not be-all and end-all for their careers.

"It's a big series, no doubt. The stakes are high. We are not going to build it as a bigger series than ever before. It's not be-all-end-all of all our careers," he said.

When reminded that the Australians have not won a series in India for 35 years, Gilchirst choose to see the lighter side of it.

"Having not won in 35 years...obviously we've nothing to lose. So no expectations we are going to win", he said in a lighter vein.

Lauding Indian spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, Gilchrist said it's going to be a tough proposition facing the duo.

"Hopefully, we'd work out a plan to counter those bowlers and can get used to the scenario", he said.

Gilchrist said Australia has few tricks up their sleeves for V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid who are regarded as key Indian batsmen against the tourists.

"Obviously, we've spent a lot of time doing some homework on those sort of guys who have been successful."

On the kind of tracks that would be on offer, he said he does not expect Indian pitches and conditions to be surprising. "We have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the wickets. We have a lot of players who have played in India. I don't think the conditions are going to be surprising," he said.

On Ricky Ponting's absence for first two tests as Gilchrist said it was disappointing not to have him for the two Tests but added the tourists have the talent to "cover up".

The Western Australian cricketer also said there was no additional pressure on him because he is leading the side. "I have captained three tests before. I don't think there is any pressure on me," he added. To a query whether star legggie Shane Warne would be able to spin his magical web around the Indians after largely unsuccessful tours of India in 1997 and 2001, Gilchrist said the leg spinner is shaping well.

"He's fully fit, fresh and is "ready to go" this time. On earlier tours, he had come after a shoulder surgery and finger injury," he observed

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