Principal Correspondent

HYDERABAD: “It has been a rewarding experience and I was pleased at the hard look I got at the Indian conditions against two quality spinners,” said Mike Hussey who scored an unbeaten century for Australia against the Board President’s XI in the four-day match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Saturday.

“The strategy has been to be patient especially after (Pragyan) Ojha and Piyush (Chawla) picked up some early wickets. Overall, it has been a very important knock for me ahead of the Test series,” Hussey said.

Pats Clark

“Yes, I was not that hopeful of avoiding the follow-on with Stuart Clark at the other end. But, I think he really played with a lot of confidence and with character.” He did not believe that the spin duo of Ojha and Chawla was a second string attack and added that these two slow bowlers are good enough to play Test cricket. “They made scoring very difficult today,” he said. “We lost too many quick wickets in the morning but it need not necessarily reflect the ability of the top-order to come up with big scores in the coming Test series. It is only a question of getting their timing right and I do believe that Ricky (Ponting) really looked confident yesterday (on Friday),” Hussey said.

For his part, left-arm spinner Ojha felt that he would have been happier if he had taken one more wicket (he finished with a three-wicket haul). “The conditions were actually not ideal for the spinners. But I think Piyush really bowled well and I am happy with the early breakthroughs I provided,” he said.

“I think credit should be given to Hussey and Clark for really batting well in the end.” He also hinted that the gameplan right now is to post a big total. “The wicket looks likely to assist spin tomorrow,” he said.

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