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‘Pressure is on India’

The 'Final Frontier' might be a tad tougher to breach now. That's the inference one would draw after hearing Steve Waugh, the former Australian skipper, shower praises on the rapid strides Indian bowling in general, reports Subhash Rajta.

cricket Updated: Oct 28, 2008 00:49 IST
Subhash Rajta

The 'Final Frontier' might be a tad tougher to breach now. That's the inference one would draw after hearing Steve Waugh, the former Australian skipper, shower praises on the rapid strides Indian bowling in general -- and pace bowlers in particular -- has taken.

"I would say Indian bowling (fast bowling) has finally come of age. They now have an attack which can take 20 wickets in any condition. In the past, they depended too heavily on their spinners, but now they have quality pace bowlers," he said. "And I feel that's what sets this team apart from other squads," he said, implying the side was stronger in totality than those from the past.

The man known to have the nerves of steel seemed to be in awe of the superlative show by the Indians at Mohali. "It was an simply an outstanding performance by the Indians. With that performance, they have set very high standards, and they would be under pressure to match them in the next game. And that would certainly take pressure off the Australians," he said.

Obviously, the former Australian skipper hasn't lost his knack of playing mental games. Perhaps that's precisely why he was invited to the Australian nets. This Australian side clearly looks out of their comfort zone -- seeking help from wherever they could. Just a day before Bishen Singh Bedi, the former India spin maestro, made a guest appearance in their nets. Today, Waugh spent some time with them, calming down a few frayed nerves and possibly ironing out some flaws.

"I just told them to relax and back each other, no matter how much pressure they are under. Thinking too much too could complicate things," said Waugh, on being asked what he told his compatriots. The master strategist agrees that the Indians have put the visitors under tremendous pressure, but, at the same time, he saw no reason why the Australians can't bounce back.

"They are a quality side and they without any doubt they can comeback. The seniors though, would need to take some more responsibility," he said.

But all said and done, the Australian seemed far more impressed with the Indian side than his own.