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Aussies hope for a reversal

The Australians have been rattled by the Indian brand of reverse swing. The proof, if at all it was required, came when the bowlers tried their best to get it going for them in the nets, reports Subhash Rajta.

cricket Updated: Oct 26, 2008 23:30 IST
Subhash Rajta

The Australians have been rattled by the Indian brand of reverse swing. The proof, if at all it was required, came when the bowlers tried their best to get it going for them in the nets.

From the time the practice session began, much of the effort was directed at 'maintaining' the ball and swinging it as prodigiously as the Indians. The bowlers, especially Stuart Clark bowled cross-seam, like the Indians did in Mohali, to scruff up the ball as early as possible, and rubbed it vigorously to get as much shine as possible on one side.

Overseeing the exercise was Troy Cooley, the man credited with lots of knowledge about the art. The trio of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Clark would throw the ball to him after every delivery, and he would return it after a close look and some advice.

The result of this effort towards decoding the art will unravel with time, but one thing is clear, the Aussies have been caught unawares by this weapon of the Indian pacemen and are doing whatever they can to counter it

Defending the frenzied effort, opener Matthew Hayden said it was justified, as reverse swing was a more potent danger than spin this time round.

"The talk and focus has always centered around spin for all the teams visiting India. This is for the first time we have come across reverse swing," he said.

"Anyway, it's a weapon in the modern game with the wicket playing good and hard. So, one needs to combat it and that's why there's some much emphasis on it," he said.

The endeavour to achieve the objective must have warmed the heart of the Aussie management.

Lee, who's looked off colour so far, bowled with a lot of heart and Clark, who's struggling with an injury, send down a good number of overs to soothe nerves in the Australian camp.

At their best, these bowlers are capable of bringing down the strongest batting order on its knees. And that too, without reverse swing.