India face stern Super Eight test against Australia

Posted by on May 6th, 2010 and filed under International, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Bridgetown (Barbados), May 6 (IANS) A confident India face a stern test when they square up against Australia in their first Super Eight clash in the World Twenty20 here Friday.

Unlike the slow surface at Guyana, the Kensington Oval is known for its bounce and carry, especially with the new ball, and the Indian batsmen will have to gear up against a sharp Australian three-pronged pace attack of Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait.

The Australian pacers were brutal against Bangladesh to successfully defend a modest total Wednesday but Indian vice captain Gautam Gambhir, who has recovered from a stomach problem, said their bowlers are equally capable and can tear apart any opposition.

‘We cannot plan for what the opposition has strategised for us, we will go with our own strengths,’ Gambhir said. ‘We have a good quality bowlers who can dismiss the opposition. We also have a set of spinners who are really good.

‘I personally think that a quality spinner is an asset and the quality will show irrespective of the surface.

‘Our bowlers have performed well. Zaheer (Khan), Harbhajan (Singh) and Ashish (Nehra) have done really well. They look to dismiss the opposition. That is the only way how you can restrict the teams. By getting wickets it gives us the momentum and sets up the match for us.’

The Indian batting had looked good in the two league matches against Afghanistan and South Africa with Suresh Raina leading the way by smashing the tournament’s first hundred. The Indians have looked cohesive on the field and it may be recalled that it is Australia they had beaten in the semifinals enroute their title win in the inaugural edition in South Africa.

Australia’s performance in the first two editions has not been good but Gambhir cautioned against taking them lightly.

‘Australia haven’t done well in the Twenty20s,’ Gambhir said. ‘The first time they lost in the semis and in the next edition they did not qualify for the Super Eight. So, you can expect Australia to come back really strong.’

Australian captain Michael Clarke said conditions here will suit their pace attack.

‘I think these conditions are really going to help our fast bowlers, there was a lot of pace and bounce in that wicket,’ Clarke said.

‘Our fast bowlers will bowl as much short stuff as they like. We (the batsmen) cop it in the nets so we’ll definitely see it in the game. We’ve got some pace up our sleeve and I’m sure in these conditions we’ll be able to use it.’

But Clarke is not taking India’s spinners lightly, especially Harbhajan, who has a knack of lifting his performance against Australia. ‘Harbhajan is one of the best in the world, so we’re going to have to work out a plan against him and back ourselves at that.’

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