I have come back stronger after rest
Weather is the greatest concern at Brisbane as India and Australia get ready for their second encounter in the VB Series. Unfortunately, the weatherman does not have very good news, but both teams are preparing for the game as usual. Like in most Test venues in Australia.Updated: Jan 18, 2004 01:39 IST
Weather is the greatest concern at Brisbane as India and Australia get ready for their second encounter in the VB Series. Unfortunately, the weatherman does not have very good news, but both teams are preparing for the game as usual. Like in most Test venues in Australia, clouds and sunshine can follow each other in quick succession, so it's no point speculating on what the weather gods plan on Sunday.
The plan to rotate bowlers a bit will continue, and in all probability, Jason Gillespie will be back in the side while one of the pacemen will get a day off. At present, we are treating the squad as a playing thirteen with substitutions taking place at regular intervals so that all of us last out through a fairly hectic tri-series. There is plenty of cricket to follow as well, and since we have a good pool of talent it makes sense to give everybody a breather regularly.
I think I have come back stronger after my two-match lay-off at the start of the tournament. I had just been through one of my toughest weeks in cricket during the Sydney Test, and Ricky Ponting and I had a chat about how a break for a week would help me recharge my batteries.
I had had plenty of cricket from mid-December till the Sydney Test, and looking back, though I would have loved to play at Melbourne against India, the rest did me a world of good. I felt a lot stronger during the game against Zimbabwe at Hobart, and was happy to return with figures of one for 29 in my 10 overs. I was happy with the pace I was able to generate, and the rhythm in my run-up was pretty good.
Looking ahead to the game at the Gabba, I always look forward to bowling at this venue. It always helps fast bowlers, more so when there has been some rain around the time of the match. Some grass and moisture will really liven things up, and it will be a good contest between the in-form Indian batsmen and our pace attack. The last one-dayer I played against India was the World Cup final. I have good memories of the way I bowled on that day at the Bull Ring, and hopefully I'll be able to replicate some of that form.
There has been a lot written about many Australian players, including me, after the Test series. I usually look at criticism from the press as constructive, and will strive to prove them wrong with my bowling. While there is plenty of scrutiny in the media over the form of some of the players, in my case it does not translate into pressure.
I have always felt that pressure is something only a player can put upon himself, and a pro must never get affected by what is said or written about him.
Two other blokes who were really under media scrutiny recently were Adam Gilchrist and Damien Martyn. Both are proven performers, but a few low scores resulted in many in the media questioning their form.
However, both players emerged with flying colours against Zimbabwe at Hobart, proving that performance alone can silence detractors. Hopefully I can do something similar in the coming games to contribute to the success of the team. I made a good beginning at Hobart, and things can only get better from here on.
First Published: Jan 18, 2004 01:39 IST