~~Absence of Warne, McGrath won~~t affect Oz~~

Published: Saturday, December 22, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Melbourne: Australian Vice captain Adam Gilchrist has warned Team India to be well prepared for the upcoming challenge against Australia and their bowling, though without Glen McGrath and Shane Warne, will still possess the firepower to trouble the world's most star-studded batting line-up.

''They (India) have done well before without those two guys around, but I sense we've got a much more mature bowling group this year than what we did four years ago,'' Gilchrist said.

He said Aussie bowlers are now confident as they have played quite a number of matches without the two legends. ''We have no doubt that teams will feel a bit more confident without those guys in the line-up and that's the challenge for us.'' The resounding victory over Sri Lanka in last month's two-Test series has put a lot of confidence in the Australian bowlers.

''We expected that but the reality kicked in during those first two Tests (against Sri Lanka). I thought our bowling efforts didn't wane at all. The guys stepped up in the absence of those two legends.''

The hard hitting wicketkeeper batsman also added that the Indian batting will be a much tougher proposition to deal with. ''It (India) certainly presents a bigger challenge (this time) because we're playing against a more reputable batting line-up that will be confident against a team without those two players.'' ''There will be some hard slogs, but I think we've got the maturity there now to deal with it,'' he said.

India posed a formidable challenge in their last tour to Australia and it was the homeside which was lucky to scramble out a one-all draw in the four-Test series. Australia in that series was without McGrath and Warne, as Indian batsmen battered their bowlers.

During India's last tour to Australia, Andy Bichel, Nathan Bracken, Jason Gillespie, Brad Williams and Brett Lee were all given opportunities but they all struggled. Stuart MacGill was Australia's most successful bowler with 14 wickets at an average of almost 51 apiece.


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