Aussies have problems against swing bowling: Rohit Sharma
The face-off is still some days away, but India batsman Rohit Sharma has already spotted a chink in the Australian armoury, saying the hosts have problems against swing bowling and his team will look to capitalise on the weakness when the Test series starts in Melbourne on December 26.
"That they are having a batting camp is a good sign. Hopefully we know their weaknesses. We will keep that in mind going into the first Test. We will work out whatever we need to; we need to put pressure on them rather than take it on us," Sharma said.
Australia have suffered regular batting collapses in the recent past with scores like 47 (against South Africa) and 136 (against New Zealand) recorded in the last month-and-a-half. The worry has got to Cricket Australia and they have ordered a three-day batting camp, beginning at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.
"They had some problems against swing bowling. We are putting our thoughts together. There are still 10 days before we play our Test. It's a good time to see what they are doing and what not correctly. We can put pressure on them," he said.
Image: Rohit Sharma
There is competition for the number six batting spot within the Indian team, with both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma staking claim in the absence of Suresh Raina, who is out due to lack of form.
Kohli seems to have a head-start, but Sharma says he wants to be ready when it's a call-up time for him.
"There is competition between both of us, which is a good sign. But we don't want to put pressures on us. Whatever happens, happens for the best. My job is to score runs and then leave it for the selectors to decide," he said.
Besides runs, Sharma said he wants to be ready when he is given a call-up for Tests.
"There is always scope for improvement, there are some areas we are working on. I don't want to be seen as someone who wasn't prepared when he got the chance.
"Trevor [Penny] and Duncan [Fletcher] and few other senior players are helping me out. I know Test matches are completely different and I want to be completely ready when the moment comes," he added.
Image: Virat Kohli
Melbourne will be a great place to get Sachin's 100th ton
Rohit, meanwhile, said he hopes Sachin Tendulkar gets his much-awaited 100th international century in the first Test against Australia as the anticipation has now become unbearable.
"I think it's a great place for him to do it... the only thing we want to see, me and my team-mates, all over the country, all the Indians, we don't want to wait for too long. It's been a while and (we hope) he gets it in the first game itself," Sharma said.
Tendulkar's 100th international hundred has kept his fans in animated suspense for the last nine months after he hit his 99th century, against South Africa during the World Cup in Nagpur in March.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
'I hope Sachin gets the Bharat Ratna'
Now that the government back home has agreed to include sportsmen, if deserving, for the country's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, Sharma hoped the honour would come Tendulkar's way.
"It's great to know that government will now also consider sportspersons for this prestigious award. It's not easy to get it. I hope Sachin is the one to get it," he said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar