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India hoping to capitalise on weak Australia bowling
October 25, 2003 17:58 IST
India are hoping to capitalise on a weakened Australia bowling attack as they aim to put their crushing World Cup final defeat behind them in the one-day triangular series match on Sunday.
The shiny wicket at the Roop Singh stadium promises a run-fest and India's stand-in captain Rahul Dravid said his batsmen are eager to target the Australians, who are without the services of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee, all nursing injuries.
"They played better than us at the 2003 World Cup," Dravid told reporters on Saturday. "That, however, was a long time back. We still know we have to play very well to beat the Australians, but these are different conditions."
Australia beat India by 125 runs in the World Cup final after skipper Ricky Ponting hammered an unbeaten 140 to help his team plunder 359 for two in Johannesburg.
"They are without some of their main bowlers, but we've seen over the last year or so that the loss of some key players doesn't seem to hurt them as much as some of the other teams," Dravid said. "We just can't afford to take them lightly."
But Ponting knows his team will have their work cut out in hot, humid conditions against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid.
"We're going to be tested, there's no doubt about that," Ponting said. "When you are without your best bowlers, you know it's not going to be a walk in the park. The rest of the guys know that and they're keyed up to make up for their absence."
Andy Bichel, who had a successful World Cup campaign, is leading the bowling attack with Nathan Bracken and Brad Williams as his supporting pacemen.
Australia have left out paceman Michael Kasprowicz, 31, Michael Clarke and Jimmy Maher for Sunday's match.
In the batting department, there are no worries for the visitors with opener Matthew Hayden fresh from a Test world record 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth.
"Hayden is playing as well as anybody in the world right now," Dravid acknowledged. "But every knock is different. If we bowl to him in the right places, there's no reason that he won't nick a few."
India will name their squad on Sunday morning but are expected to retain the same 11 that played in Madras in the abandoned game against New Zealand. Captain Sourav Ganguly is still ruled out with a groin injury.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds, Michael Bevan, Ian Harvey, Brad Hogg, Andy Bichel, Brad Williams, Nathan Bracken.
India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Vangipurappu Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh.