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Aussies hoping Gambhir won't play in Nagpur

cricket Updated: Nov 04, 2008 15:59 IST

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Australian batsman Michael Hussey on Tuesday doffed his hat at in-form Gautam Gambhir and had no hesitation in admitting that the visitors would be happy if the banned left-hander is not allowed to play the fourth and final Test match starting in Nagpur on Thursday.

Gambhir was handed a one Test ban for elbowing Shane Watson but the Indian opening batsman decided to appeal against the punishment.

According to International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations, Gambhir can play pending the hearing of his appeal by Justice Albie Sach but Hussey and his teammates are hoping that the left-hander would eventually miss the match.

"We're sort of hoping he'll miss the last Test but I think he'll still play pending his appeal," Hussey said.

"A process has been set in motion but if he is unable to play, it will certainly help us," he added.

Hussey likened Gambhir to Australia's retired opener Justin Langer and said the Delhi batsman hurt them most.

"He reminds me a lot of Justin Langer, small and punchy little character but knows his game very well, lets the ball come onto the bat, glides it through the offside well and works it off his pads. He's a very good player and probably someone who's exceeded our expectations about how well he's played," Hussey said of Gambhir, who is the leading run scorer in the series so far.

Hussey, however, felt that Gambhir was itching to pick up a fight with any of the Australian players to get into a fighting mindset.

"He looks around for it (chat) to be honest. It hasn't been a plan of ours to go at him and talk or whatever. But he does go around the field looking to engage certain players and looking to get involved and that sort of thing," Hussey said.