Tough test against Oz awaits India
by Rohit Sakunia

Player:AM Nayar, A Mishra
Event:ICC Champions Trophy 2009/10

DateLine: 28th September 2009


India face defending champions Australia in a do-or-die match of the Champions Trophy.


India lost to Pakistan by 54 runs and that loss put forward all frailities in the batting and bowling departments of a side which entered the tournament ranked number one in ODI's. They now face extinction in case of a loss today.


The good thing about India would be that the world champions looked a bit rusty against a depleted West Indian attack.


That would hardly be comforting for a team whose bowling attack was mauled by Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik in their previous game. The Indian team entered the tournament as a weak bowling side but the absence due to injury of Yuvraj Singh has further aggravated the problem. Yuvi's absence now exposes a weak middle order more than anything.


The seamers especially looked totally out of sorts on a belter of a pitch at Centurion. The trio in total gave away 153 runs from their 27 overs. .


All this paves way for India to play a second spinner in the form of Amit Mishra. From whatever has been on show thus far, good spinners have done a brilliant job on the slowish track at Centurion.


Mishra also boasts of a impressive record against the Aussies. He has a fifer against them in Mohali where his good exploits helped India seal the match.


Another possibility might be playing Abhishek Nayar in the side. Nayar is a good hand with the bat and bowls quality medium pacers with exceptional line and length.


If these two are brought in, the two replacements seem like RP Singh and Virat Kohli. RP looked totally out of sorts against a reckless Malik and Virat did not do his chances any good by recklessly lofting a catch in the deep when the match looked in control of the Indians.


Australia's batting depth provides another reason for India to play five bowlers. The skipper is in good form and the vice-captain Michael Clarke is also expected to return to the side.


The bowling though would provide a little comfort to the Indian batting as Mitchell Johnson looks like carrying his poor form in the tournament and the two tweakers that the Aussies have in their line-up namely Nathan Hauritz and Cameron White shouldn't be of much threat to the Indian batting.


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