Friday 28 September 2007 

Australia Keen To Regain Reputation Against India

Injury-hit Australia aim to prove their status as world champions when they play their first one-day international since April, stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist said on Friday.

Australia, who have not played a 50-over match since claiming the World Cup in the Caribbean, will face Twenty20 champions India on Saturday in the first of seven one dayers.

"We were probably caught short a little bit in the Twenty20," Gilchrist, whose team were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Twenty20, told a news conference.

"There is no excuse for us now. We've had plenty of time and we know the conditions well."

Wicketkeeper Gilchrist will lead the team on Saturday as regular skipper Ricky Ponting recovers from a hamstring injury.

Ponting trained on Friday and is expected to return later in the series but injuries will provide newcomers the opportunity to help avenge their Twenty20 semi-final loss to India.

"We've got six changes for our first one-day international since the World Cup final through retirements, injuries and babies being born," said Gilchrist.

"Over the years we've shown that we have great depth. We'll be able to put out a team tomorrow that will be able to win the game."

Pace spearhead Glenn McGrath retired after the World Cup while all-rounder Shane Watson, Mike Hussey and Shaun Tait are missing due to injuries.

Left-arm paceman Nathan Bracken is back home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child and is expected to return later in the series.

Denting Indian euphoria over their Twenty20 success is also on Australia's agenda.

Gilchrist said his men would be fired up following the comments made by some of the Indian players during their Twenty20 clash.

"We're giving a lot of focus on the fiery nature of a few of the Indian players," he said. "We expect that from all fast bowlers. It doesn't matter what they say, you got to back it up with good cricket.

"They did that in that semi and throughout the Twenty20," he said. "We've been doing that for well over a decade now.

"We don't play on emotion, but on skill level and it is on a par with anyone else in the world."

The tour will end on October 20th with a Twenty20 showdown.

© Reuters 2007.
By N.Ananthanarayanan