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Buchanan hopes to exploit Indians

John Buchanan is hoping to exploit the general weakness of Indians while playing the rising ball when the team tours Down Under this month, but said he is not underestimating any player.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2003 00:30 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Australian cricket coach John Buchanan is hoping to exploit the general weakness of Indians while playing the rising ball when the team tours Down Under this month, but said he is not underestimating any player.

"It is one of the areas that, hopefully, we can exploit," said Buchanan, referring to the traditionally fast and bouncy Australian pitches.

However, Buchanan, speaking after his team's two-hour practice session at the Palam Air Force Grounds, was quick to point out that India would not be playing any of the four Tests at Perth, which is considered to have the fastest pitch Down Under.

India will, nonetheless, play at Perth its last two matches of the VB tri-series one-day tournament, against Australia and Zimbabwe, the third team in the triangular.

Buchanan also added that by this he did not mean that he was underestimating the Indian players.

"Everybody is a danger player. As soon as you underestimate an individual or a team very soon you are sorted out by that individual or team," he said.

For the moment, though, Australia is sitting at the top of the points table in the TVS Cup one-day triangular series with 18 from four matches, as against India's eight and New Zealand's four.

India and New Zealand had, however, played only three matches before their Thursday's day-night match in Cuttack.

Australia has still to play two league matches, with the next one coming up against New Zealand at Guwahati Sunday.

With Australia having already booked a place in the November 18 final at Kolkata, Buchanan said he would like to try out the two players - pacer Michael Kasprowicz and wicketkeeper Jimmy Maher -at Guwahati.

Buchanan said Kasprowicz, who sprained a hip muscle before the Faridabad match against the Kiwis on October 29 but is almost fully fit to play, have not played a single match so far on the tour.

"Kasprowicz is probably 90 to 95 percent fit. He is in a little bit discomfort while batting, but bowling wise and fielding wise, he is going like a champion," he said.

Maher, on the other hand, could not get a chance as first-choice Adam Gilchrist is doing well.

Buchanan said Kasprowicz and Maher would play at Guwahati irrespective of the result of the India-New Zealand match Thursday.

"We would like to see them on the park. They might change the balance of the side a little bit," he said, adding that that final XI would be decided only after inspecting the pitch.

The lanky Buchanan said that the first four matches in nine days in different parts of India took its toll on the players, especially the bowlers.

"The four games, we thought, was a pretty tough time for us," he said, but added that he was happy with the result of the last three games after the defeat to India in the opener.

He, would, however like to see the team improve in all the departments of the game.

"Batting wise, top order needs to increase the number of partnerships, and the bowling has been pretty expensive in terms of wides and so on," he said.

"Fielding was probably the best in the first game. It has drifted a bit. We would like to improve in these areas, but we are very happy where we are (points wise)," he said.

Buchanan pointed out that "everybody was feeling a bit jaded by the fourth game" but that was "expected" in tough Indian conditions.

He said the bowlers would be freshened up after the five-day rest.

"I will be pretty confident that in the next couple of games they will control the variables much better than they have," he said of the wides conceded in earlier games.

"We would like to play the next two games better and better and then the final."

The Australians had an intense practice session Thursday after two off days.

Members of the Air Force team bowled and fielded at the nets that were neatly organised at the well-maintained field.

Despite being in Delhi, the Australians have no plans to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal - something that has been routine with the visiting cricket teams over the years.

First Published: Nov 06, 2003 19:34 IST