Nielson warns Indian veterans of gruelling test

Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: Australia's cricket coach, Tim Nielsen, has warned that India's "aging stars" will face a gruelling test when they take on the Kangaroos in four Tests in Australia at the end of the year.

Taking more than a passing interest in India's tour of England, Neilsen claims that he has seen enough to believe the Indians will face a major challenge in remaining fresh for the Australian summer after the Twenty20 tournament and the grudge matches against Pakistan.

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The Australian series, which follows two Tests against Sri Lanka, is likely to be a farewell tour for India's "Little Master", Sachin Tendulkar, who is 34 and first toured Australia 16 years ago.

The middle order that drew with England at The Oval on Monday, sealing a famous 1-0 win, also contained former captain Sourav Ganguly, 35, current skipper Rahul Dravid, 34, and V V S Laxman, who turns 33 in November.

"It's interesting. Apart from the two opening batsmen they seem to have gone back to a more experienced line-up," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nielsen, as saying.

"We will be relatively fresh compared with what they will be and that might be a positive for us. That will test these older players of theirs," he added.

India managed a draw with Australia four summers ago, and since then have blooded a promising new pair of openers - Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer - and a dashing MS Dhoni, a wicketkeeper-batsman in the Adam Gilchrist style.

As always, Australia will aim to exploit the local bounce against both Sri Lanka and India. Though Glenn McGrath has retired, Stuart Clark can muster the same awkward lift, and the prospect of unleashing pacers Brett Lee and Tait in tandem is intimidating.

"Two guys bowling at 150kmh plus, it's an exciting thing. Hopefully they are all fit, firing and ready to go. The selectors will have a look at what the best combination is. The great thing is, whether it be Johnson, Tait, Lee, Clark, Hilfenhaus, there is lots of talent around that is screaming out for the opportunity," Neilsen said.


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