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Old 10-24-2009, 03:06 PM
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Leg spinner Amit Mishra is the back-up for Harbhajan if included in the playing eleven.

The poor bowling performance in two ICC events has led to the sacking of bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad and it would be interesting to see how the team copes up with the change in their support staff.

In-form skipper Ponting and vice-captain Michael Hussey hold the key to the Australian batting , not to forget all-rounder Shane Watson who has come to India on the back of successive hundreds in the semi-final and final of the Champions Trophy.

Ponting is aware of the threats posed by the Indian slow bowlers especially in sub-continent conditions but is confident that his batsmen would be up for the challenge.

Australia would bank upon their strong pace attack, and especially on Brett Lee who powered New South Wales to the maiden Champions T20 League title on Friday.

Lee and left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson pack a lot of punch in their attack and were in the forefront when India were routed for 148 in the previous encounter between the two teams at this venue two years ago.

With the impressive Peter Siddle, the Victorian who also has got used to the Indian conditions by playing in the CLT20, and swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus present as the other options, Australia carry a huge pace armoury.

Spin looks to be their weak spot with neither off-spinner Nathan Hauritz nor rookie left-arm slow bowler Jon Holland expected to give the Indian batsmen cause for major worries.

But in the department of fielding the visitors hold a clear-cut edge over the hosts. Fielding coach Robin Singh has also been given the boot by the BCCI and this area may become decisive in the outcome of the high-octane contest.

The teams (from):

Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Hussey (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Nathan Hauritz, Jon Holland, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Peter Siddle, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Ashish Nehra, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Sudeep Tyagi, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja.

Umpires: Mark Benson and Shavik Tarapore. Third umpire: Amish Saheba. Match Referee: Chris Broad.
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