Aussies paid for assuming us pushovers: Lara

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kuala Lumpur: After guiding his team to a comfortable win over Australia, Brian Lara said the world champions paid dearly for assuming the West Indies as pushovers.

Lara made a magnificent 87 as West Indies defeated a depleted Australia by three wickets, who were sans their captain Rickey Ponting and strike bowler Glenn Mcgrath.

''This was one of the strongest Australian team that played in this series. They missed Ponting and McGrath as expected to beat us.

But that's their problem, they have so many good players that they don't know whom to pick and not,'' the southpaw said after the match.

''McGrath is a class act, so consistent. But he just plays a small part in game. If we concentrate and focus on our game, we can see him off. I hope that he plays on Sunday if they reach final and still win,'' said the West Indies skipper.

Lara said that though the bowlers were taken to task later on and his batsmen too floundered towards the end it was a good display from the Caribbean side.

''I thought we were able to restrict the Aussies and they got the maximum score of 272 because of the way we bowled in beginning taking four wickets. There was hiccup in batting towards end but we did well,'' said Lara.

Lara also said that taking on the Australian bowlers was not a conscious effort and he was just playing his natural game.

''I played each ball on its merit. We needed to accelerate at some point. But a good ball is a good ball and a bad ball is bad ball and you have to respect that. I didn't see any need to create shots. I am very comfortable with the way I am batting at the moment,'' said Lara.

Lara also said they didn't target any particular bowler including Clarke who conceded 87 runs in seven overs.

Lara also said he would like to give Collymore and Morton a chance in the next game against India.

Meanwhile, Chris Gayle who scored 79 runs and added vital partnership with Lara said he just wnted to be more patient today.

''I didn't try to give away my wicket and stick around and be more consistent. I have been doing a lot of batting at nets trying to be more patient. I am slow starter but if the ball is in the slot I definitely try to take advantage,'' said Gayle.

Australian stand-in skipper Michael Hussey said that giving away as many as 33 extras proved costly to his team.

''I think were able to put competitive score but we let them off hook with too many sundries and that cost us the game,'' said Hussey.

Hussey also said that making as many as seven changes in the team didn't affect its chances a lot.

Hussey, who scored a brilliant century on captaincy debut, said that he enjoyed his batting and captaincy today.

''I enjoyed the captaincy. I enjoyed in the middle on how to read the wicket, how to make the changes an how to retain the momentum of the game. I was also lucky that I had senior cricketers around me to bounce my idea off,'' he said.

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