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Australia seek inspiration from in-form batsmen

November 04, 2008 13:14 IST

Australia will hope to draw inspiration from their brave batting performance in the last Test when they bid to square the four-match series against India.

India lead 1-0 going into the final Test on Thursday after winning the second in Mohali by 320 runs but have been unsettled by the abrupt retirement of captain Anil Kumble. They are also waiting on an appeal against a ban on in-form batsman Gautam Gambhir.

Australia's top-four batsmen scored fifties and Michael Clarke hit a century in a total of 577 in reply to India's 613 for seven declared before the bowlers gave India a fright by reducing them to 93 for four in the last Test which was drawn.

It was a remarkable recovery by Australia whose shortcomings against reverse swing had been expoited during the second Test by Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting told reporters that the touring side might consider changes in the bowling attack after they took only 12 wickets in Delhi.

Australia, 2-1 winners over India at home this year, sealed their first series victory in India for 35 years in Nagpur in 2004 by winning the third Test by 342 runs.

But the world's top-ranked team are rebuilding after a number of high-profile retirements and are struggling particularly in the bowling department.

India, meanwhile, will look to wrap up the series as a fitting farewell to the country's most successful Test captain Sourav Ganguly who is playing in his last Test. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead the side.

It will also be Vangipurappu Laxman's 100th Test and the stylish middle-order batsman is in form after scoring 200 not out and 59 not out in Delhi.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, one short of 300 Test wickets, is expected to play after missing the last Test with a toe injury.

However, Gambhir's availability is uncertain after he was charged for elbowing Australian all-rounder Shane Watson during the third Test.

The Indian Board has lodged an appeal which will be heard by senior South African judge Albie Sachs by Friday, pending which he can continue to play.

Sanjay Rajan
Source:
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