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Indians need to learn the art of intimidating Aussies from Riaz

Source: PTI
March 22, 2015 12:42 IST
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‘Star-studded Australian battling line-up had no answers to Riaz’s fast and accurate bouncers’

Wahab Riaz of Pakistan reacts to Shane Watson

Wahab Riaz of Pakistan reacts to Shane Watson of Australia during the World Cup match at Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja believes Indian bowlers should take a cue from Wahab Riaz's hostile spell against Australia and exploit the Michael Clark-led side's weakness in the World Cup semi-finals clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

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Wahab's left-arm pace rattled the Australian batting order but a sitter being dropped off his bowling by Rahat Ali allowed the momentum to slip away as Australia managed a six-wicket win in the quarter-final clash.

"Wahab Riaz was excellent with the ball. The star-studded Australian battling line-up had no answers to his fast and accurate bouncers. Pakistan may have lost the game but Indian bowlers should take a cue from Riaz's performance and work on Australia's weakness, if they want to restrict them in the semi-finals." Rameez said.

Chasing 213 for a win at the Adelaide Oval, Australia were reduced to 59 for three but two dropped chances of Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell helped them reach their target in 33.5 overs.

As many hailed Riaz's bowling effort as the best in this edition of the World Cup, Rameez also joined the chorus of praising the left-armer.

Unfortunately for Pakistan, bowling was the only positive and Rameez was quick to highlight their shortcomings in other departments, especially fielding.

If Rahat Ali dropped a dolly at fine leg, which would have given Pakistan their fourth scalp with Watson on 4, then Sohail Khan dropped a running catch at third man to give Glenn Maxwell a life on 5.

Both the spills came during Wahab's excellent spell that will be remembered for long. Rameez rued the lack of athleticism in the Pakistan ranks.

‘Team lacks athleticism’

Australia's Steve Smith (left) runs as Pakistan's bowler Wahab Riaz screams

Australia's Steve Smith (left) runs as Pakistan's bowler Wahab Riaz screams after Smith's team mate Shane Watson was dropped in the outfield. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

"The team lacks athleticism and are simply not upto the standards required at the international stage. It was so disheartening to see easy chances put down after some great bowling at crucial stages of the game," said the cricketer-turned analyst.

Rameez also was not pleased with skipper Misbah's field placements at times.

"For some strange reasons, it has been Pakistani captain's Achilles heel when it comes to identifying your best fielders and placing them at the right positions and Misbah repeated the trend. You need your best men out there on boundary who have higher concentration."

India hungry to retain the title

MS Dhoni of India is congratulated by teammates

Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India is congratulated by teammates during India's quarter-final against Bangladesh. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The focus now shifts to the Australia-India clash as the co-hosts are up against an in-form side, which is hungry to retain the title.

India, who have been unbeaten in the tournament so far, will look to bowl out their opponents again, a feat they have managed to achieve in all the matches till now.

The two teams have met 10 times in the 50-over showpiece event and the balance heavily tilts towards Australia, who have a 7-3 advantage.

India, though, got past the Ricky Ponting-led side in the previous edition when Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team won the quarterfinal in Ahmedabad by five wickets.

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