McGrath meets Master Blaster in DLF cup today

Published: Saturday, September 16, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: The battle between comeback kings Sachin Tendulkar and Glenn McGrath will take centre stage today when Australia take on India in a DLF Cup one-day match in Kuala Lumpur.

The two veteran cricketers have both been out for an extended period, Tendulkar for shoulder surgery and McGrath to help his wife fight breast cancer. But both have returned with a bang.

McGrath found line and length and was his old economical self in his first match in nine months against the West Indies on Tuesday while Tendulkar smacked an unbeaten 141 against the Windies Thursday in his first game since March.

"McGrath is a great bowler. No one needs to tell the world that Glenn has got so many wickets and he's a terrific cricketer," said Tendulkar, the world's leading One-day run scorer.

"To play him will be a challenge, to play a world class bowler like him is not going to be easy, one has to be honest. But I don't like to look at it as battles between individuals. It is a match between India and Australia and the other 20 players will also be participating in this game.

We are looking forward to Australia, it should be an exciting game."

The Aussie bowlers took apart the West Indian batsmen in their opening tri-series game here but India will be a different ball game.

The showdown has added spice with Australian Greg Chappell coaching the Indians. It will be the first time the two teams have played since he took over last year.

McGrath, for one, is relishing the challenge against Tendulkar. "I've always enjoyed bowling to the guys who are classed as the best in the world. Brian (Lara) and Sachin are two of those guys. I didn't get the chance to bowl to Brian the other night so I'm looking forward to Sachin," he said. "He came out yesterday with 140 odd. He worked the ball around to get himself in. He is a class player and I have to get it in the right areas for him. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Australia fielded an experimental team in their game against the West Indies, leaving out familiar faces like Mike Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee and Matthew Hayden to give some of their younger players a chance.

Captain Ricky Ponting wouldn't reveal his lineup for Saturday, but hinted that Hussey, Lee, and Symonds may miss out again despite the tougher opposition.

"India have always been a team we have respected," he said. "They've got lots of match winners in their team and on their day they are as good as anyone around and now Sachin is back at the top of their order and that helps the team balance out a bit. We got a good win the other night and I'd expect some improvements from our team in this second game. The way both teams are looking at the moment it should be a good one."

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