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‘Ploy to attack bowlers failed’

Being defensive is a trait that doesn't come naturally to the Australians.

cricket Updated: Oct 20, 2008 23:36 IST
Ashutosh Sharma

Being defensive is a trait that doesn't come naturally to the Australians.

But with his team staring at defeat, Australia coach Tim Nielsen came out and defended the team and the tactics it adopted.

Nielsen thinks his team can bat the whole day to save the Test but with the Aussies struggling at 141 for five, seeing through the final day will be a Herculean task.

“Chasing a 500-plus target is not easy but I think we still have a chance to save the Test if we can bat sensibly tomorrow and take it session by session. The first one-and-half-hours will be crucial,” said Nielsen.

The way Australia started the chase, it looked as if the batsmen were out to commit hara-kiri. Matthew Hayden, who hasn't fired in the series, went after the bowlers from the first ball.

Defending the ploy, Nielsen said his team was trying to put pressure on the Indian bowlers.

“We thought if we attacked the bowlers right from the start we might force the Indians to change the tactics, but it didn't worked. We had a bad day,” said the rattled coach.

The visitors’ problems have been compounded by the fact that their bowlers have been ineffective on a track on which their counterparts have extracted enough purchase.

“Both Zaheer (Khan) and Ishant (Sharma) have bowled well and so have the spinners. They have been able to put consistent pressure on us for longer periods while we haven't been able to do the same. Zaheer has used the reverse swing very well,” said Nielsen.

Defending the tactic of using Michel Hussey as a bowler, Nielsen said the team wanted to take the pace off as the Indian batsmen were going great guns. “They were scoring at five an over, we had to do something and thought taking the pace off was the best thing to do.”