`Pup’ Clarke warns Indians not to be foolishly aggressive

December 24th, 2007 - 3:29 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Dec.24 (ANI): Australian batsman and potential captain of the future, Michael Clarke has warned India’s cricketers to employ aggression at their peril.
Clarke said any attempt to un-nerve Australia with trash talk from Boxing Day could inspire the world champions to greater things at the MCG.
“I don’t think verbal aggression will affect any player in the Australian team, we’ve all copped it before. You would have seen in the one-dayers in India how when they showed verbal aggression to the Australian players, they reacted pretty well. (Our) guys love that, they sweat on that. Andrew Symonds; somebody says something to him, that gees him up and makes him better and I think there’s a lot of guys in the team like that, as Steve Waugh was when he played,” The Australian quoted Clarke, as saying.
The greatest intensity shown at Australian training came through a spirited session when Tait and Johnson bowled flat out to captain Ricky Ponting, as selector Merv Hughes looked on.
Selectors will assess the conditions and pitch before deciding whether to play wrist spinner Brad Hogg and three quicks, or a four-pronged pace attack.
The MCG wicket is expected to favour pace early on Boxing Day, but forecast hot weather afterwards should flatten the pitch over days two and three and then produce some turn towards over the last two days.
Showers over the past four days meant ground staff only today removed the covers, but forecast good weather on Christmas Day should dry out the wicket, which had a light covering of grass today after sweating under the covers.
Curator Tony Ware predicted the wicket would be quicker than those used in domestic matches this season - which have had their share of criticism - but could pose selectors’ a dilemma as it could favour both pace and spin.
“It will start to wear a little bit towards the end and a spinner is useful because you really can’t take advantage of that unless you have a spinner,” Ware said.
“But if the boys see a little bit of grass on it, they might think the four quicks are a chance to do some damage to India in the first session.”
Clarke said Hogg’s consistency throughout his one-day career and his troublesome wrong’un made him a dangerous prospect, despite India’s liking for spinners.
“If he continues to bowl the way he’s bowled since I’ve been playing one-day cricket, that will hold him in great stead whatever form of the game,” he said.
The Melbourne Cricket Club expects a first-day crowd of about 75,000, which would better the start of the 2005 Test against South Africa, although would not match last year’s sell-out. (ANI)

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