Aus dare India to sustain aggression
Just back from the ill-tempered one day series against Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men, Australia captain Ricky Ponting dared Team India to sustain their newly acquired aggression when they tour down under later this summer.
Ponting said the Indians played the just-concluded series in an aggressive manner quite uncharacteristic of them and it would be interesting to see if they could sustain it in Australia.
"They made it pretty clear right at the start of the series they were going to fight fire with fire but for us we know that's generally not the way they play their cricket," Ponting was quoted as saying by The Age.
"We've got a lot of cricket against them in the next few months so it will be interesting to see just how long that aggressive-natured cricket does last from them," he said.
After the home series against traditional rivals Pakistan, India arrive in Melbourne for four Test matches against the hosts, followed by a triangular one day series also involving Sri Lanka.
Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill parroted Ponting's line and warned pretending to be aggressive could backfire for India.
"If you believe in yourself and you're convinced the way you're playing is the right way to play then it doesn't really matter how you carry yourself," he said.
"It's always a danger if you're trying to become someone you're not because you've got to concentrate on a whole lot of things out on the field, not just bowling. I try and keep it as simple as I can because bowling to (Sachin) Tendulkar is hard enough," said the spinner.
And he believes it's easy to be aggressive at home turf with thousands of spectators throwing their weight behind a team but it's altogether a different proposition abroad.
"It's always easier when you've got a lot of support at home to ride your emotions. They only need to look around and know they've got a billion countrymen supporting them. I think you'll find it doesn't work for them if the you're pretending."
Ponting also had a word or two to say about S Sreesanth who had frequent run-ins with the Australians.
"He generally does have a bit more aggression about him, a bit more body language than some of their other players do," Ponting said.
"They're fairly passive sort of people, Indians, and he's probably one from left field," Ponting said.
The Australian captain also predicted that his side would have a clear edge over India in the forthcoming series.
"I think that's always been their greatest challenge when they come to Australia, bowling us out twice," he said.
"They'll bring a couple of spinners. Harbhajan (Singh) and (Murali) Kartik have been bowling really well and (Anil) Kumble will be in their Test squad" he said.