Aussies target old guard
Sehwag stokes ill-feeling ahead of first Test
Last Updated: October 8, 2008 2:06pm
Ponting: Indian target
Ricky Ponting says Australia's bowlers will look to exploit India's ageing batting line-up during their upcoming Test series.
Bangalore, Oct 9-14
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"I really think we can take them on in the field, almost a new-age type of Test cricket that can make a few of their guys look a bit old and a bit slow."
Ricky Ponting Quotes of the week
Ponting's Australia face four tough Tests in India, starting on Thursday in Bangalore, and the captain believes they can get at India's batsmen.
Home skipper Anil Kumble will turn 38 later this month and, with batting stars Sachin Tendulkar (35), Sourav Ganguly (36), Rahul Dravid (35) and VVS Laxman (33) all getting on, Ponting says the fresh Australian legs can be the difference.
As he prepares for the start of the match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Ponting believes the tourists' intentions will be to sap the strength out of the older Indians.
"That's what we're trying to achieve, put their older guys under immense pressure," Ponting said.
"I really think we can take them on in the field, almost a new-age type of Test cricket that can make a few of their guys look a bit old and a bit slow.
"I really think we can create pressure on them with our intensity in the field at different times and make them look past their use-by date.
"At the team meeting, we spoke of our running between wickets and drying up the runs by the Indian batsmen by our fielding. That could be the key.
"We know if we do that, and make little things stand out, their whole media over here will just jump on them, especially if they lose an early game."
India's batsmen do bring plenty of experience to the table, none more so than Tendulkar, who is 77 runs from overtaking retired West Indian Brian Lara as Test cricket's leading run scorer.
Some ill-feelings still linger from their controversial meeting Down Under in 2007-08, with Virender Sehwag this week hitting out at the Australians for claiming controversial catches during the Sydney Test.
"That's fairly insulting," Ponting said of Sehwag's comments. "In the first innings I didn't claim a catch because I wasn't 100 percent sure.
"It's amazing how they've picked out a lot of negatives from that game and don't seem to be speaking about the Perth Test (the third match of that series, which Australia lost), where we probably had the same things happen to us.
"Not one member of the Australian team has spoken about it. We go about our cricket in different ways."
In Bangalore, the Australians will choose between uncapped duo Cameron White and Jason Krejza to fill up the single spinner's place.
Vice-captain Michael Clarke has recovered from a stomach virus and all-rounder Shane Watson is fit after a chest infection and could start his first Test in three years.
Phil Jaques has not made the 12-man squad, therefore Simon Katich will open with Matthew Hayden, while India have left seamer Rudra Pratap Singh and batsman Subramaniam Badrinath out of their 13-man squad.
Australia squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Cameron White, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Jason Krejza
India squad: Anil Kumble (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Venkatsai Laxman, Mahendra Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel