Australia will miss Symonds and quality spinners: Sehwag

September 12th, 2008 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) India’s most prolific Test batsman this year Virender Sehwag feels that the absence of dashing all-rounder Andrew Symonds and experienced spinners in the Australian ranks will give hosts the edge in the upcoming four-Test cricket series.Still, Sehwag said, it would be tough to beat Australia as they have proven champions like Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke who all know how to adapt themselves to conditions and play in different situations.

“They (Australia) are the world champions and the number one Test team. They know Test cricket like the back of their palms. Their bowling attack is top class and we have to be at our best to beat them,” Sehwag said Friday on the sidelines of a promotional programme of Neo Sports, Indian cricket’s television rights holders.

“Yes, I have heard that Ponting, Hayden are recovering from injuries. But these things happen with every team. Knowing their fighting spirit, I am sure they will be at their full strength and ready to take on India before the start of the series,” he said.

Australia Friday named a 15-member squad Friday to defend the Border-Gavaskar trophy and Symonds, who has been put under rehabilitation after being punished for breaching team ethics, has been left out. The Australian team will be without any frontline tweakers on the spinner-friendly Indian wickets. The two spinners named in the squad, leg-spinner Bryan McGain and finger spinner Jason Krejza, are yet to play Test cricket.

“That will be an advantage for India,” feels Sehwag,”because wickets here are turners and Indians play spin well.

“So you need experienced and quality spinners to utilise the conditions. If they do not have good spinners, they will find it tough,” he said.

“Symonds is one of the key players in the Australian team and they will surely miss him. He is a sort of player who can change the game at any stage of the game. But it will be bad for cricket as he is a highly competitive cricketer and people love watching good competition,” he said.

Sehwag said he is happy with his own form and looking forward to the long season, starting with the series against Australia.

“This has been my best year. I have scored more than thousand runs and there are till two series to go. Australia is a side against whom you raise your game. I am looking forward to the challenge,” said Sehwag who is the only Indian to feature in the ICC Test XI this year.

Sehwag also hoped that the tension and controversies of the last series will not be there this time.

“I do not think there will be any tension between the two teams. Whatever happened last time ended there. We will play tough cricket and let our game speak instead of talking about it.”

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