Strategy in place for India’s reverse swing
NEW DELHI: The huge loss at Mohali has left a bitter taste in the mouth of the Australians and the team is putting in a determined effort to level the series in the third Test starting at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here from October 29.
Speaking to the media after a gruelling three-and-a-half-hour training session on Sunday, veteran Australian opener Matthew Hayden said his team was practising very hard to bounce back.
“We really tried to concentrate on various disciplines within our game. We are extremely optimistic as well of the competition ahead,” he said.
Giving due credit to the Indians for the Mohali victory, Hayden said, “We are one-nil down in the series because India played very well in the last game. Australia played very well in the first game but didn’t get the result and so we are down in the series. “We are focussing on doing well in all departments of the game — batting, bowling and fielding. I think just having those disciplines in our mind is of vital importance to us going into the Test match, understanding we have got a fighting culture. We are really concentrating on this game, it’s the big game in the series where Australia can fight back.”
On his own form, Hayden asserted that despite not getting enough runs he was confident of a good show in the remaining games of the series.
“The expectation is very high in the Australian cricket team and expectation is high in international athletes as a whole. I expect to play very well in the two games left.
“I’ve put in a lot of work in a month in India but it has not quite paid off. But I’m very confident with the way I’m playing. It’s a little bit of the rub of the green I guess and a big score is round the corner. For me it’s a good opportunity really to spend some time in the middle. These next 13 days of cricket will shape the way we want to play the game. Today’s extended net was to replicate what I want to do in the next 13 days,” he said.
A good fight
Hayden, who has fallen to Zaheer Khan three times in the series so far, denied that the Indian seamer had established an upper hand on him. “I think when a bowler is successful against you, he knows he has got certain strategies that’s working for him. But of course I believe in my heart that I have been extremely successful against Zaheer and I believe he knows it well. So it’s a good fight.”
The towering left-hander, who will turn 37 on October 29, admitted that, of late, reverse swing had proved to be a good weapon for the Indians.
“Perhaps whenever we come to the shores of India, the talk is always about spin bowling, it has been so over a long period of time. But reverse swing is something Australian cricket has come across in the past. We know it’s a weapon in the modern game with the wicket playing good and hard. I think our strategy is good enough to combat India’s reverse swing.”
About the fitness of Stuart Clark, who missed the second Test due to an elbow injury, Hayden said, “Stuart had a good bowl today and I think it’s a matter of time and we’ll assess him tomorrow.”