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Friday, 18 October 2013

Hope there’s help for pacers: George Bailey


The contest between Australia and India has so far been dominated by the batsmen. The touring side raised a mountain of runs in the first two ODIs. While they were able to defend it the first time, India upstaged them in the second match. (Also Read: India vs Australia Star Sports 3rd ODI 2013: Preview)
With the seven-match series in balance at 1-1, the teams will face off for at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Saturday for the third game. On a wicket that is traditionally expected to have a little more juice in it for the bowlers as compared to the previous ones, the bowlers will be looking forward to playing a more integral role in the match.
Australian skipper, George Bailey certainly hopes so. “Looks like there’s a little bit more grass here, although I don’t know if it will stay or go in the next 24 hours. But there might be a little bit more life than the Jaipur wicket. The boundaries are a little bit bigger as well.
“A lot of our players have the experience of playing on different wickets here, so we will dig into that over the next few hours,” he said.
When asked if they would go with an extra pacer in Nathan Coulter-Nile, he said, “Personally, I would like to back the group (that played the last match). I don’t think after one game where the Indian batsmen got on top of our bowlers merits a change. We need to give a chance to everyone in the group to get on top of their batting line-up. But yeah, we’ll think about Nathan.
“He does have a little bit of extra pace and does get the new ball to shape as well.  To boot, he’s an outstanding fielder and a good striker of the ball near the end. So we could place him in the all-rounder category. I think all three guys we have on stand-by should be ready as it’s a long series,” the Aussie captain said.
It would have been hard for the bowlers to lift their morale after being at the receiving end of India’s record chase in Jaipur. The skipper said he had spoke to the boys and believes they will be ready for the new day. “We have spoken. Yes, I was surprised that they scored 362 in 43.3 overs. It was a phenomenal batting performance. Some of the hitting was phenomenal. We spoke about it afterwards like we do after every game. We dissect and look at everything what we did right and what we need to do differently.”
The Australians used the short-ball ploy well against the Indian batsmen in the first ODI, however, Shikhar Dhawan’s penchant to the pull shot rendered their plan ineffective in Jaipur. When asked if they will persist with the gameplan in the third game, Bailey left it to the conditions. “It’s a matter of summing up the conditions. If the wicket here has some pace and bounce and the boundaries are slightly longer around the squares, the bouncer is something we will explore. But all players are good if they know what to expect, so it’s a matter of not getting too predictable.”
While MS Dhoni is not a big fan of the revised ODI rules, Bailey was quite happy with the use of a new ball each from both ends. “I enjoy it actually. When it first came out, I thought scores would go through the roof. We have seen that bowlers have adapted pretty well. England is a good example of how we had to work pretty hard to get through the first 10-15 overs without losing too many wickets. Then if you can reach the back-end, the ball tends to be a bit harder for the batsmen to cash in.”
Talking about the batsmen-friendly tracks in India, Bailey said, “It’s hard to know what motivates bowlers on these wickets. I think I would like to see a little bit more help for the bowlers if they bend their backs and a little bit for the spinners. But that’s what makes touring India such a challenge. That’s what makes touring Australia such a challenge for India. It would be boring if every wicket was the same. That’s what cricket brings in,” he added.
Considering that the Australians have been piling on runs would that mean that they have had the measure of the Indian bowling, however, Bailey disagreed. “We have batted well but I would never go far as to say that we have got the measure of the bowlers. The wickets we have played on have been very good batting wickets. I think on those pitches it was very tough for the bowlers, they were great to bat on.”
The Australian batsmen hit spinner Ravichandran Ashwin all over the park. Asked if they had singled out the bowler, the Australia skipper said, “I don’t think we targeted him specifically. The guys, especially the right-handers, were comfortable facing him. It wasn’t a strategy to go after him. There wasn’t much turn in the wicket.”
“The key for us really is that we have had good opening partnerships that have given us a good platform. Not losing early wickets has helped the middle order so we have been able to play with a little bit of freedom.”
Speaking about his batsmen and Shane Watson coming in at No 3, he reasoned, “At the moment it’s working very well for us and I don’t think there’s any need to change it. We need his versatility at that position given how well he plays spin bowling. We saw that the other day when he walked in and faced the spinners, he put them on the back foot. It’s really important for us if he can bat at No. 3 and gets those quick runs in the middle-overs.”
SOURCE: bcci.tv


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