Melbourne: Fresh from a clean sweep against Pakistan and delighted that pace bowler Glenn McGrath has made a timely return to form, Australia are turning their attention to India. McGrath took four for 49 as Australia dismissed Wasim Akram's side for 276 in their second innings on Sunday to win by an innings and 20 runs and complete their first series whitewash against Pakistan for 27 years.
But, while the Australians were celebrating their masterly display, India started their tour badly, beaten yesterday by 10 wickets by Queensland in a four-day match in Brisbane. Australia start their three-test series against India in Adelaide on December 10. The clash between McGrath and Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar is eagerly awaited. But, Australian captain Steve Waugh is playing the duel down, stressing the threat from other Indian players.
The lanky McGrath had been below his best against Pakistan before producing a high-class piece of bowling in Perth to seal Australia's win. ''I think Glenn McGrath fancies his chances against Tendulkar,'' Waugh said after the win over Pakistan. ''Sachin will go all right out here I'm sure, I'll be very surprised if he doesn't score runs, but then again we've got to come up with a plan to work on him.
'' The Australian captain said that it was important that they did not focus solely on Tendulkar, pointing to batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly and leg spinner Anil Kumble as danger-men. ''I think Dravid will be just as big a danger in Australia as Tendulkar,'' said Waugh, who has set his sights on winning all six tests this season.
''I'm looking forward to playing India. It's going to be a great challenge for us, they haven't got a great record away from home but I've got a feeling that they're a bit more hard-nosed than they have been in the past touring Australia,'' he told reporters. ''If we relax and get too carried away with how we played against Pakistan we'll certainly be in trouble, but if we continue the same standard I can't see any reason why we can't be successful.''