India looking for consistent batting against Australia

February 16th, 2008 - 4:22 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Adelaide, Feb 16 (IANS) Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will look for more consistency from his teammates and has set the example from the front as India clash with world champions Australia in the Commonwealth Bank Triangular One-day Series here Sunday. Dhoni, who has scored 173 runs at 86.50 in four matches, has also performed well behind the wickets. His contribution - besides in-form Gautam Gambhir’s 197-run tally in four matches - has been one of the highlights of India’s campaign so far in the long, winding series that culminates with a best-of-three finals next month. He will be hoping others will follow his example.

Yuvraj Singh, who has been struggling for runs since landing with the team in Australia in mid-December, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag have so far not clicked in the ODIs.

Yuvraj, who was in sublime form in home series against Pakistan, became a mere shadow of himself as he has struggled to string a decent innings together so far on the pace assisting and bouncy pitches here.

The Punjab left-hander has accumulated just 11 runs in three innings, and his place in the XI could be in jeopardy when the team think-tank sits down to select the playing XI for the Adelaide Oval match.

Tendulkar and Sehwag have also failed to put together a half-century in four matches so far. While Tendulkar’s highest is 44, Sehwag’s has promised much but failed to build a big innings with a highest of 33.

Dhoni will need them to fire to see India regain the top position on the points table.

Australia are currently atop the table with 12 after all three teams have played four matches each. India, who had to share points after their first two matches were abandoned due to rains, are second with eight points and Sri Lanka have six.

India’s bowlers have performed well, compared to batsmen. Pacers Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth have troubled the opposing batsmen in all matches so far and also bagged wickets when required.

Australia, on the other hand, have no such worries. After losing by five wickets to India in Melbourne Feb 10, Ricky Ponting’s side has regained momentum and thrashed Sri Lanka by 63 runs in Perth Friday.

Not only are Australia sitting atop the points table, but they also have the best net run rate (+1.179), which might come into reckoning if all three teams finish with equal points at the end of the league phase. The net run rate would also be crucial if two teams art tied for the second place.

Each team plays the other four times and at the end of the league the best two teams qualify for the finals next month.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicket-keeper), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma and S. Sreesanth

Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain/wicket-keeper), Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds

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