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Waugh undaunted by twin spin threat

December 11, 2003 16:16 IST

Australia skipper Steve Waugh is not worried about the prospect of India unleashing a twin-spin attack in the second cricket Test. He says his players have learnt to counter the traditional weapon of their rivals.

"Now our players are much better players of spin. The top order has really worked very hard against spin and we are much more confident now," Waugh said, ahead of the second Test in Adelaide, beginning on Friday.

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To establish his point, he cited the example of Harbhajan Singh, who had troubled the Aussies in the 2001 series in India.

"I think what has helped us is that we have a better game plan against him [Harbhajan] than we had a couple of years ago. Our guys have come to play against him quite a bit more and they are more aggressive now.

"Harbhajan certainly dominated us in the 2001 series and we did not have much of a plan to stop him. Now our guys are better players of spin."

Waugh said his team also has two spinners to take advantage of the track if it assists the tweakers.

"It [the Adelaide Oval pitch] looks a very good pitch for batting and at least for the first three days it is going to support the batters. After that if they go with two spinners even we have two tweakers in Stuart MacGill and Simon Katich."

But like the Indians, Australia too have their share of worries in the spin department with MacGill not being able to make much of an impact in the first Test in Brisbane.

"He [MacGill] is a good spinner -- a world class spinner -- and it is a great test for him to play against the Indians. I am not worried about his form. Adelaide helps the spinners more and he is not far from a big performance."

Admitting once again that the team lacked intensity in the Brisbane Test, Waugh said he is looking up to his fast bowlers to make early in-roads into the famed Indian batting line-up.

"We have to lift out intensity. You will see a much-improved performance from us in this Test match. It is always crucial to take early wickets and put pressure on the middle order batsmen and India's strength is obviously in the middle order.

"Somebody like VVS Laxman has an amazing eye. He is a great player when the ball is not moving much off the seam. We have some plans against him but he is certainly one of the most talented batsmen in world cricket."

Waugh, set to retire after the fourth and last match of the series, did not specify whether the team had plans in place for the other Indian batsmen as well but did promise that his bowlers would put up a "more aggressive" display.

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