Yuvraj to play as India meet Aussies tomorrow

Published: Friday, September 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: After the rain god and Duckworth and Lewis hatched a conspiracy to deny them a win in yesterday's match against the West Indies, Team India will have to shrug off the frustration and put their best foot forward in their second outing against the mighty Australia in the DLF Cup here tomorrow.

With both the West Indies and Australia sitting on five-points each and India yet to open accounts, skipper Rahul Dravid has exhorted his boys to go all out against the world champions.

But as luck would have it, India were denied precious net practice today as rain gods poured heavily once again.

''We had our quota of rains of a couple of years in last two months or so. It is frustrating but we have no control over that,'' rued a dejected Dravid.

''Yesterday, the match was going good for us but it didn't turn our way. Today we had this excellent facility here but it rained and we couldn't practice,'' he added.

Dravid understands that the Australians are big challenge for him and not scoring points in this game to would effectively mean getting shut out of the tournament.

''To win against Australia, we have to be on top of our game.

They have maintained their status as top team of the world. If we play good cricket in all departments, we can be competitive. We have to be in the game right till the end and not dominate in parts. We look to be aggressive,'' said Dravid.

The captain also said batting order in the tam was not fixed because the side was aiming to be flexible. He also said sending Virender Sehwag down the order was an idea to make the middle order more powerful and creative.

''We are going to see how we can best utilise the 50 overs. In the middle overs, we need players with power and creativity who can play on slow wickets and exploit those conditions. Once field restrictions are off, we should be able to dominate the middle overs. Yuvraj (Singh) has done that, (MS) Dhoni has done that and if Sehwag also can do that our middle over will be very strong,'' Dravid explained.

He also hinted that Yuvraj would be getting a game tomorrow. ''Yuvraj has done well. is fully fit and should be there to play tomorrow,'' said Dravid. The Indian skipper emphasised to his team that the key to a good game against Australia would be the bowlers bowling with discipline. ''If we bowl in the right area, like Munaf did we can do well. We have worked out the kind of area we have to bowl. We have got our plans and we have worked the line and lengths that we should bowl.

And now it's on us to execute those plans,'' he said.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, on the other hand, said that pressure was on India as they were yet to score any point. But the Aussie skipper also said that India can be a dangerous side.

''India have always got lots of match winners in their team.

Sachin (Tendulkar) getting back in the order helps them. I also expect some improvement from my team in the second game,'' said Ponting.

Ponting also said that he would not experiment so much with his combination and the rested senior players would get a game.

''I don't know what the best eleven is but (Mike) Hussey, (Brett) Lee, maybe (Andrew) Symonds these are the few that might be playing,'' said Ponting.

Team India coach Greg Chappell would be in charge of the side first time against the Australians in this match and Ponting said that the legendary batsman might pass down some of his readings about the Australian team.

''Chappell is an Australian and is a coach doesn't make much difference. Both teams are playing well. But he knows a lot of our game and has a fair bit of knowledge to pass on to the Indians. All is up for a pretty good contest tomorrow,'' said Ponting.

Ponting also paid great regard to master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.

''He is a great player and I have always said the best I have played against. He has 75-odd international hundreds and that speak volumes about his talents,'' said Ponting.

Veteran Ausssie seamer Glenn McGrath also echoed his captain's sentiments.

''I always like to bowl to the best in the world. Brian (Lara) and Sachin obviously are two of the very best. I didn't get to bowl to Brian yesterday and am looking forward to bowling to Sachin. But Sachin is a class player. I have always enjoyed bowling to him. Have to get it to him in right areas otherwise he will be tough to bowl to. He got 140 odd last game, maybe he is due to fail this game,'' quipped McGrath.

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