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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

India will be wary of our quicks: Lehmann

Brian Murgatroyd | March 21, 2003 21:41 IST

India will have their first round hammering at the hands of Australia's fast bowlers at the forefront of their minds in Sunday's World Cup final, Australia batsman Darren Lehmann said on Friday.

Lehmann was part of the side who demolished India by nine wickets and on that occasion it was pace bowlers Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Glenn McGrath who did the damage.

Man-of-the-match Gillespie has subsequently gone home injured, but with Lee in impressive form, supported by McGrath and Andy Bichel, Lehmann said India were bound to have retained the memory of that earlier mauling.

"They will be wary of our quick bowlers," Lehmann told reporters. "And we will probably go hard at them again.

"In that sense it will be no different to that earlier game at Centurion Park where we bowled them out for 125.

"They have got to withstand that and hopefully they won't and it all comes down to us applying the pressure and putting them under immense pressure early on."

That early pressure will involve an attempt to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar, the batsman of the tournament and one of the best players in the world.

Australia dismissed him for 36 at Centurion Park and Lehmann said they would be working on ways to get him again on Sunday before he made a sizeable score.


"We will target some areas but he is a great batter, he has been for many years and he is probably the best player in the world," he said.

"For us, it is a case of hoping we bowl well to him and that he makes a mistake. If he does, we have got to capitalise."

However, Lehmann said Australia were not naive enough to think that India's chances in the match simply revolved around the performance of Tendulkar.

"It is not just him, and we will be trying to put pressure on all the Indian batsmen," he said. "They have got some class players so it is up to us to put the pressure on them and hopefully they will crack."

One factor that could favour Australia is the pitch at The Wanderers, which is expected to be fast and bouncy.

Lehmann said the pitch could benefit Australia in two ways as it would not only make their bowlers more of a handful but it could also give Australia's top order the conditions in which to flourish.

So far in the tournament only one member of Australia's top four has passed three figures, captain Ricky Ponting who made 114 against Sri Lanka in the Super Six game at Centurion Park.

"Hopefully that means they are saving up all their runs for the final so he could be a good thing," said Lehmann.

"The big thing is the wickets we have played on have not been great. We have played in Port Elizabeth three times and the pitch there was not up to scratch.

"Now we are back on a decent wicket with pace and bounce with the ball coming on to the bat which suits the way Australia plays I expect our top order to play well in this match."

For Lehmann, the World Cup final brings back happy memories as he hit the winning runs against Pakistan four years ago at Lord's.

However, although the thought of that moment brought a smile to his face, he said he was now in the business of the here and now, specifically Sunday's final.

"Naturally you think about the winning runs although I just think about the game.

"It is a great moment for me, a great moment in sport and great for the other players but it is done and dusted now.

"You can think about it when you retire and it would be nice to do it again if that were possible but the main objective is to win this World Cup."

If Lehmann can do that it would be a nice postscript to a traumatic few months during which he misseds two tests against England with a mystery illness and then got a five-match ban for a racist remark during a one-day international against Sri Lanka in January.

"That incident is in the past now," said Lehmann, who missed the first match of the World Cup against Pakistan.

"It is something I am not proud of and something I wish I could take back although I can't but I really hope it is washed away by all, the media and all people alike.

"It has been good for me getting through that, I have become a better person, I think, and you improve inwardly and outwardly.

"You don't wish going through those tough times on anyone, and I am no different, but to have the support of my team mates, my wife and family and my kids all helped.

"They were fantastic and it was good to have that support."

Lehmann played a minor role in Friday's training session as he rested his sore back. He said it was merely a precaution and he expected to be fit for Sunday's match.

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Number of User Comments: 5

Sub: too much of self praise

what does lehmann think about the australians.they are a bunch of poor performers.lehmann hasn't been with the runs from the start he should not be ...

Posted by murali

Sub: go sachin go

go sachin and kick some aussie butts. lehman you desperately deserve duck on very first ball (0)runs (1)ball.

Posted by mikir

Sub: Lehman: Wanna take up the Challenge against JS, AN, ZK?

No doubt lee is fast but so was shohaib. No doubt Glen's accurate but so was wasim. No doubt bichel bowls well but he's no ...

Posted by bhavesh lakhani

Sub: and the mouth doesn't shut.....

The aussies should keep their mouth shut else their foot will find a new place. See what has happened to the english and pak bowlers ...

Posted by geet

Sub: Aussies are the Best

Let's just face it...Everybody WANTS India to win but the FACT is Australia IS gonna win it...I know all the patrioitic Indian fans will like ...

Posted by Vj


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