Australia faces daunting Indian batting line-up
Australia will face the full might of India's batting line-up in their one-day cricket match on Sunday.india Updated: Jan 31, 2004 14:33 IST
Australia will face the full might of India's batting line-up in their one-day cricket match here on Sunday, but it is the bowlers that have stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist just as worried.
Gilchrist, who will fill-in for rested captain Ricky Ponting, said there was no magical formula for handling what was rapidly becoming the world's most formidable batting line-up.
"It's been an issue all year, they've played so well," he said ahead of the triangular series match at the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground.
"I'm not going to say we've come out with a secret plan that we're certain is going to do the job.
"But we've continued to assess it and got our thoughts together about what way we want to try and execute our plans this time and we'll see how it comes out."
Gilchrist said India's tour of Australia had also unveiled the strength of its previously underrated bowling attack.
"What they've done on this tour is prove that they've got some quality bowlers," he said.
"(Anil) Kumble has come into his own on this tour where previously he hasn't done well overseas or certainly in Australia.
"(Ashish) Nehra, (Irfan) Pathan ... Ajit (Agarkar) have bowled wonderfully well all tour.
"Their bowling line-up has certainly proven that they've got a bit more fight than what's been shown before. They have been successful against everyone."
India have included fit-again batting maestros Sachin Tedulkar and Virender Sehwag in their squad, which already boasts the talents of VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh.
Gilchrist said there was no easy way to counter such a potent line-up but trial and error had taught the Australians they needed to be consistent.
"It's about the execution, not so much the end result -- whether Laxman gets another hundred or Dravid keeps getting runs or Tendulkar or any number of those guys," he said.
"We've been a bit patchy in our execution. Sometimes we've been good, sometimes we haven't been so good.
"They're such good players of high quality that they capitalise on those times that you're not doing it well."
Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said but his team was brimming with confidence gained on the tour.
"There are two very good sides competing. One side really has to play poorly for it to be a one-sided affair," he said.
Ganguly said India was focussed on winning the best of three finals series which starts next month following Sunday's game and a final match against Zimbabwe in Perth on Tuesday.
"We will try and win it. We will try and play our best cricket -- every game is an international game and you play to win," he said.
"I've always believed it is a difficult place in the world for the number two team."
Matches between the two teams had been very even, he said.
"When you play a side like Australia the game is not won in the 60th or 70th over, it's won in the 90th or 91st over," Ganguly said.
"That's what it's been. Two very good sides competing."
He said the tour had been long and tiring but the Indians had been boosted by their success and now believed they would be an impossible team to beat at home.
For India, only injured spinner Anil Kumble has been ruled out of the match on a wicket renowned for favouring pace.
Australia will be without Ponting, who has been rested for the match, while one-day batting specialist Michael Bevan has been ruled out for the remainder of the series with a broken rib.
His place will be taken by local player Michael Hussey who will be making his international one-day debut.
Attention will also focus on batsman Damien Martyn who has been under intense scrutiny of both his on and off-field behaviour.
Martyn, who has been in a form slump, allegedly made an obscene gesture to a televison crew following Thursday's washed-out match against Zimbabwe in Melbourne.
India: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Rohan Gavaskar, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Sanjay Bangar, Murali Kartik, Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Australia: Adam Gilchrist (captain), Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Andy Bichel, Brett Lee, Brad Hogg, Ian Harvey, Jason Gillespie, Brad Williams.