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Coach unwilling to press panic button

cricket Updated: Oct 23, 2010 00:41 IST
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Australia have only 12 men left on a tour where they have won nothing at all, but, typically, they're not panicking.

With the recent exit of Mike Hussey and Doug Bollinger, who returned home as part of the player workload management plan, Australia have very little breathing space in case a couple of players fall ill or get injured. Hussey's departure means that Callum Ferguson, the 25-year-old right-hand batsman from South Australia, gets a place in the middle order.

With the skeletal playing group, there was a wave of rumour when skipper Michael Clarke was seen exiting a hospital in Visakhapatnam, where Australia played their last game. But coach Tim Nielsen explained there was little cause for concern. “It was just a precautionary look at his hand. That (wrist) was struck by Ishant Sharma in the first Test at Mohali,” said Nielsen. “It was a little bit tender at different times and then he batted for a long time in the first one-dayer. He is fine, we just wanted to make sure that nothing was wrong.”

Australia trained on Friday morning, and India in the afternoon, and almost as soon as the hosts left the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the rains began. If Sunday's ODI is washed out, Australia's tour could end up being one of their most forgettable, but Nielsen did not think that all was lost.

“We played just one ODI (Vizag), made 290 and got beaten. It was like the first Test at Mohali, you know it was just a matter of one ball and everybody would have then said how well we played,” said Nielsen. “We are not panicking at all. We know that we haven't got the results on the scoreboard that we would have liked. But we have been very competitive and when the likes of Ponting, Johnson, Haddin, Tait and Lee return, we become a very decent one-day side.”