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'Aus series will test ageing Indians'

New Aussie coach Tim Nielsen says Indians will face the challenge to remain fresh for the tour straight after playing Pakistan.

cricket Updated: Aug 15, 2007 11:50 IST
'Ageing Indians face challenge of keeping fit to face Aussies'

New Australian coach Tim Nielsen has taken more than a passing interest in India's just ended Test series in England to particularly notice their ageing batsmen and said they faced a challenge to remain fresh for tour of Down Under straight after playing arch-rival Pakistan.

The series, beginning on December 26, is likely to be a farewell tour for 34-year-old Sachin Tendulkar, who toured Australia 16 years ago, Sourav Ganguly, 35, Rahul Dravid, 34, and VVS Laxman, who turns 33 in November.

"It's interesting. Apart from the two opening batsmen, they seem to have gone back to a more experienced line-up," Nielsen said.

"The challenge for them is, I suppose, they've got the Twenty20 world series then they've got the Test series against Pakistan and they come straight to Australia."

"We will be relatively fresh compared with what they will be and that might be a positive for us. That will test these older players of theirs," he was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

Nielsen also noticed that the Indians would be a formidable opponents if all big guns fire at once but said the hosts team had enough wherewithals to counter them.

"Two guys bowling at 150 km/hplus it's an exciting thing. Hopefully, they are all fit, firing and ready to go. The selectors will have a look at what the best combination is," Nielsen said.

"The great thing is, whether it be (Mitchell) Johnson, Tait, Lee, Clark, (Ben) Hilfenhaus, there is lots of talent around that is screaming out for the opportunity."