Sydney: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels that the "intent" to succeed has been missing in Gautam Gambhir's game and another failure in the second innings here would mean that "voices calling for his axing will only get louder."
"Gautam Gambhir again struggled and if he does not get runs in the second innings, the voices calling for his axing will get louder. In Australia it's important to stay positive and bat with intent. That has been missing. He is a good player who just needs to get his head right," Ganguly wrote in his column Sydney Morning Herald.
"He (Gambhir) is a fighter to the core, a bit like a boxer in a ring, and he needs to get into that mindset bat as if his life depended on it, put his body on the line and he will be amazed how things turn around," Ganguly added.
Another Indian opener Virender Sehwag was at his destructive best in Australia in 2003-04 tour but has found himself struggling this time around. Ganguly feels that wickets falling at the other end has been "restricting his mind."
"For Virender Sehwag, it was a shot too many again and I think losing wickets at the other end is restricting his mind a bit. He is a better batsman with a clear head and if he worries about what happens at the other end he will struggle.
"The early departures of Gambhir and Rahul Dravid add a lot of pressure. Sehwag was at his best in Australia in 2003-04 when he had Aakash Chopra at the other end and looked a different player," Ganguly wrote in his column.
The former skipper also singled out Sachin Tendulkar for the same reason and said a major contribution is needed on his part if India are to fancy their chances in the series.
"Sachin Tendulkar again looked good. His rhythm, as in the last game, went away when so many wickets fell at the other end. He has to find a way to sort that out as the Aussie bowlers are in terrific form and a major contribution from him is important if India are to get back into the series," he said.