Perth, Jan 10: Former Indian captain Anil Kumble's team silenced the critics after bouncing back and win the third Test at Perth during the 2007-08 season in Australia after being 0-2 down in the four match series.
[Scorecard: Third Test; India Vs Australia, Perth 2008]
Now, 4 years later, Dhoni and Co find themselves in a similar position as they face Aussies in Perth in a must win game to keep the series alive.
The question is can India pull it off this time around? Last season was quite different even though we had a similar team. The fabulous three aren't the same anymore as they have been struggling to score runs, while the rest of the batsmen seem to have forgotten how to score runs, as they have meakly surrendered themselves to the Aussies making the depleted side look dangerous.
Chethan Chauhan, the team manager of 2008 tour has said the team management had to instill belief in team that they could win the Perth Test, where India had never won before.
Infact the monkey-gate controversy and other controversies charged up the team for the Perth game. After that, the team was determined to crush the Aussies, said Chauhan.
Now, to infer from the past, Dhoni's men are in a similar situation, wherein the team needs to boost its morale and self confidence as they have to believe that they can beat Aussies at Perth and not worry about the green pitch which seems to be scary.
Chauhan has made another point, India decided to adopt an "aggressive strategy" during their tour in 2008. 'The startegy adopted was very simple, If Aussies abuse you, you abuse them. It was tit-for-tat' added the 64 year old.
Aggressive strategy is something that is missing in the current Indian team. If players adopt this strategy, a win is just round the corner. Though the situation is no different in 2012, as Zaheer-Haddin verbal spat, Ishant, Kohli 's finger gesture, Oz media targetting Indian players all these have created huge waves and Indian players too have been very aggressive in reacting to such comments. It would be refreshing to see the same team performing in a similar fashion in the third Test, which is scheduled to start from Friday.
He also stressed on Kumble's captaincy, as it made the biggest difference in winning the Perth Test, said Chauhan who had also opened the batting for India on the 1977-78 and 1980-81 tours Down Under.
"Kumble was a thinking captain and a great motivator. He used to constantly talk to his players. There was no communication gap. He urged to the entire playing XI to contribute in every match. He was a taskmaster and would speak his mind," he said.
"Dhoni has to speak to his players constantly. You have to guide the youngsters especially guys like Umesh Yadav. He has to lift the body language of the players. He cannot adopt a defensive strategy against the Australians. You cannot think of defending against great batsmen like Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting. You have to attack," he said.
Indians need to adapt to the conditions soon. After a three day break, guess Indian team is rejuvenated, looks refreshing as they were involved in a war of words, some changes are to be seen, but if they can bring about the same change in their performance in the third Test it would definitely boost the confidence of the players.
With a little bit of determination, confidence, a team with a great batting line-up like ours, can definitely crush the Aussies and stage a comeback in the series.