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6th ODI: Brown top holds out hope for India batsmen

India’s main challenge will be to check the Australia batsmen. India have three century-makers in their ranks, and Australia none. Yet, the fact that the Kangaroos hold the lead proves that the team with all-round ability has the edge.

cricket Updated: Oct 30, 2013 09:39 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times
ODI,india vs australia,george bailey

The short ball has been Australia’s best strategy so far. Mitchell Johnson & Co have used it to telling effect and the visitors find themselves a win away from wrapping up the series.

However, the sixth one-dayer at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) may dictate a change in bowling strategy.

There are a few worries in the India camp, but facing up to the pace test shouldn’t hold the same terror as the VCA wicket has a barren look.

India’s main challenge will be to check the Australia batsmen. India have three century-makers in their ranks, and Australia none. Yet, the fact that the Kangaroos hold the lead proves that the team with all-round ability has the edge.

Failed experiment

The hosts started as favourites for their batting strength and the cause of their struggle has been the failure of their star-studded line-up to play to the full potential.

It’s the middle order where MS Dhoni’s experiment with Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh has not paid off so far.

India’s No 4 and 5 batsmen have found the going tough against the extra speed of the Aussies, however Wednesday could be a different ball game. The dry and flat turf should lift their confidence.

The VCA is the kind of stage they usually revel in. Their issues against pace are old but that hasn’t restricted them from being successful in the limited-overs format.

Being short of runs means also means that they are hungry. It could be made out from how Yuvraj and Raina trained in the build-up to Game 6.

In the first training session on arrival, they were difficult to get out of the nets. Raina was in discomfort after taking a blow on his right foot but that didn’t stop him from more practice. On the eve of the game, though, they had a comparatively easier workout as part of the team plan to stay fresh for the game.

Under pressure

Yuvraj has scored seven and zero in two innings while Raina started the series with a knock of 39 at Pune, but is under scrutiny for the way he faced up to short bowling at Mohali.

The two are feeling the pressure because it leaves them with only two more outings. They are proven performers and if they get going, they can change the course of the game quickly.

Dhoni will take confidence from the fact that conditions have dictated the results so far. On wickets with a little bit of juice, the Australians have been on top and on the flat deck in Jaipur, the Indians emerged on top.

The brown square will be to the India batsmen’s liking, but George Bailey is equally confident of his men. “Our team is playing with a lot of confidence and that stems from starting the tour really well.”

First Published: Oct 30, 2013 00:24 IST