Chennai: Australia coach Mickey Arthur is doing everything he can to put the Indians under pressure before the four-Test series begins on Friday.
Arthur is of the opinion that the Indian spinners would not be in the best frame of mind after they were proved ineffective by the England batsmen and hence the Australians would adopt an aggressive strategy.
“There’s no point in us defending, we have to show intent… Because if we can show intent and put them under pressure, I think we could open some chinks in their armour… The Indian spinners have been under pressure. They didn’t win the series against England, so the Indian spinners are coming into this series with the weight of expectation on their shoulders,” Arthur said at a media conference, on Tuesday.
“If we get on top of them, they would be feeling the heat as much as our batsmen would. That’s got to be a very firm plan in our mind. If you’re going to just defend and not take the game on, you’re going to get into a rut and you’re going to get out sooner or later,” he added.
Talking about plans, Arthur also revealed that there wouldn’t be any special ploy to restrict Sachin Tendulkar. “We bowled well against him (Sachin) and we will continue to bowl well against him.
“It’s not a cliche, but if we can put their batters under pressure, if we can stop them scoring, we will create opportunities to take wickets… Whether it’s Sachin or Sehwag, that has to be our primary focus... He is still a class act and has a massive aura about him,” Arthur said
The coach also reminded that while touring India, there’s no time to relax. “You can never relax, because the game appears to be meandering along and, within an hour, it can change on its head. So if you don’t concentrate for the full five days, you could get caught short somewhere.
“It’s going to be incredibly tough and we know that. History tells you that it’s very tough to come here and win. Not many sides do that. But we’ve certainly come with a winning mindset.
“We’re certainly not contemplating anything other than a series win, which I think will take this team to another level,” he said.
There’s a lot of interest around opener David Warner’s fitness. Arthur clarified a point or two on the matter. “We just want to see how Davey Warner comes up over the next day or two. It’s critical that he trains well. I’m pretty sure and confident he’ll come through, but he hasn’t faced any quicks yet.
“He’s been doing a lot of batting against spin, which has been fantastic,” he said.
With Shane Watson back in the scheme of things, the Aussies appear to be a little confused in selecting the openers. Apart from Warner and Watson, there’s also Ed Cowan, who hasn’t done too badly in the warm-up matches.
“From what Arthur said on Tuesday, it appears that Cowan might get the nod ahead of Watson to partner Warner (if fit).
“Ed has come out of these practice games with his head held high. He’s had a good method against spin and he’s played exceptionally well. Opening with (Shane) Watson and Warner would be a tough call, but that’s something we have to only weigh up once Warner is fit, or not fit.
“I think Watto’s a class player, so wherever Watto fits in, I think he adds value. You want your most seasoned campaigners in the middle-order, because that’s the most difficult time to bat. We’ve got to look again and see what we think is going to be the best possible way of winning,” Arthur explained.
Arthur was also undecided on the all-rounder’s slot. “There’s probably one all-rounder position in our team that’s up for grabs. “We’ve got to choose between the all-rounder who can give us reverse swing and the all-rounder who can give us a little bit of handy off-spin,” he said.