Cricket: India hope to avoid a whitewash

Sehwag lauds Australia’s bowling attack as hosts look for a win in final Test.


Reuters January 23, 2012

ADELAIDE:


Stand-in India captain Virender Sehwag rates the current Australia pace attack as among the best he has faced in his career, ahead of the fourth and final Test between the two teams that starts today at the Adelaide Oval.


Australia’s pace attack –- Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc – have helped bowl India out for dismal scores in the previous three Tests to help the hosts take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series with crushing wins, which has made Sehwag wary of the challenge that his batsmen would be facing.

“They’re bowling in good areas and they’re not giving any easy boundaries,” said Sehwag. “They’re playing with your patience. I think that’s the best bowling attack I’ve ever seen. Generally, when I played the fast men I’d get a couple of balls I could hit for boundaries. But in this attack I hardly get any balls. So, I think, this is one of the best bowling attacks.”

The tourists’ world class but ageing batting line-up  – which features the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sehwag – have had a dismal series as not one of them has managed to notch up a century, something which greatly disappointed Sehwag.

“In 2008 and 2009, every batsmen scored runs, top-order and middle-order, but now everybody’s not performing. It is important that at least two or three batsmen get hundreds.”

‘There’s pride in team India’

Sehwag vowed that despite the tough time that his team has been facing, it will deliver an improved show at Adelaide.

“We lost the series but there’s a pride in team India and we’ll play for our pride and, for ourselves. I’ll have to show some patience against the Australian pace attack.”

Clarke looking for a whitewash

Meanwhile, Australia captain Michael Clarke is looking for a 4-0 whitewash and has said that anything less than that would be a disappointment.

“We are thinking of one thing – whitewash,” Clarke told The Herald Sun. “Anything less than a 4-0 defeat of this powerful Indian team will be a disappointment to all of us. There was great satisfaction with clinching the series. It was a fine achievement to beat the second-ranked team but we have to complete the job.”

Lyon in for Starc

Australia have left paceman Mitchell Starc out of their team and brought spinner Nathan Lyon back into the side.

“These conditions will suit India better than Perth so we have to be at our best,” said Clarke. “It’s as close to Indian conditions as you’ll get in Australia.”

Michael Clarke

“Anything less than a 4-0 defeat will be a  disappointment. It was a fine achievement to beat the second-ranked team but we have to complete the job.

Virender Sehwag

“We lost the series but there’s a pride in team India and we’ll play for our pride and, for ourselves. I’ll have to show some patience against the Australian pace attack.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2012.

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