India, Australia gear up for enthralling first tri-series final

March 1st, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by admin  

Harbhajan Singh

Sydney, Mar 1 (ANI): India and Australia are all geared up for their clash in the first of three finals at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday to make the last edition of the CB Series an enthralling affair.

During current series, both teams have been involved in plenty of controversial moments on and off the field.

In the four previous clashes against India in the tournament, Australia has managed to win twice, in Adelaide and in Sydney, lost in Melbourne, while their first clash ended in a washout.

Luckily for India they have had a valuable four-day rest after their previous game in Hobart, where they scored an emphatic victory against the Sri Lanka.

After Australia’s defeat on Friday, Ponting admitted that the result has robbed them of some momentum going into the final, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants to ensure that India capitalises on that.

“Australia look to dominate always, so it’s important to put them under pressure and they have been under pressure,” Dhoni said at the SCG. “So, I just hope we maintain that pressure,” he added.

Both captains will prefer to bat first, knowing the flat nature of the SCG wicket. Australia had piled 317, the highest total in the tournament so far, and India, after a top-order collapse, scampered to within 17 runs of the target.

Australia have maintained an almost unchanged team throughout, and their only likely change to Friday’s team is the inclusion of Matthew Hayden - who was rested on Friday - for Brad Haddin, with James Hopes slipping down to No. 7.

For India, though, a few problems persist regarding team composition. Dhoni said there is still “confusion” about his final XI and the main “concern” remains the opening partner for Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar has opened with three different partners in the eight games - five times with Virender Sehwag, twice with Gautam Gambhir and once with Robin Uthappa.

India’s best start came in their second game, against Sri Lanka, when Tendulkar and Sehwag cracked a 68-run stand.

The success story for both teams has been their bowling attack. Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh have proved to be constant thorns for the opposition, while Brett Lee has been an outstanding spearhead for Australia. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |