Thursday 21 February 2013 

Clarke Confident He Has Best Team For Chennai Test

Clarke Confident He Has Best Team For Chennai Test
Clarke Confident He Has Best Team For Chennai Test
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Australia captain Michael Clarke is unconcerned that the team he has selected for the opening Test against India only contains one specialist spinner on a pitch expected to take significant turn.

India are expected to play at least two spinners after the Indian board (BCCI) confirmed that off-spinner Harbhajan Singh will be making his 100th Test appearance.

bet365 make India 6/5 favourites to win the opening Test, Australia are 10/3 and the draw is 7/4.

"I think our team is different to India, but we feel it'' the best 11 to help us have success in these conditions," Clarke said in his pre-match press conference.

"We certainly have the option of spin there with Nathan Lyon, and a couple of part timers in Dave Warner and myself.  In regards to the fast bowlers and Moises (Henriques), I think their greatest strength over here is going to be once conditions go a little up and down there will be variable bounce, and also reverse swing. If they execute there skills as well as they can we can still take 20 wickets with that attack.

Clarke feels he knows what sort of bowling the team will face, and that the state of the pitch is not something he has been overly focussing on.

"I don't think it matters now, we know were going to face a lot of spin bowling and reverse swing bowling as well. We have to be at our best in any conditions thrown in front of us, it's the same for both teams. 

On the pitch, he added: "I didn't look at it yesterday, I looked at it about seven days ago. I don't think it would have changed much."

Clarke confirmed that Shane Watson will bat at four with Ed Cowan having done enough to retain his place at the top of the order.

"Shane Watson will bat at four, right now for our team we think it's best," he said. "I think Ed Cowan has played really well on this tour.  David Warner comes back into the team, his thumb is fine, so we'll keep the same top six we had in the Australian summer.

"We thought about all the players, unfortunately 17 doesn't go into 11. We feel like we have gone with the best eleven to win this Test match."

Chennai waits with excitement for the latest chapter of Indo-Australian cricket history to be made, with 25,000 fans expected to attend the opening day at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Australia last played a Test here in 2004. Clarke is the only survivor from the Australian side in a drawn match. For India, Virender Sehwag - who scored a century - and Harbhajan Singh are the only two from India's team that featured.

© Cricket World 2013

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Fixtures & Results

10th October: T20I, Rajkot
IND 202-4 beat AUS 201-7 by 6 wickets
13th October: 1st ODI, Pune
AUS 304-8 beat IND 232 by 72 runs
16th October: 2nd ODI, Jaipur
IND 362-1 beat AUS 359-5 by 9 wickets
19th October: 3rd ODI, Mohali
AUS 304-6 beat IND 303-9 by 4 wickets
23rd October: 4th ODI, Ranchi
AUS 295-8 v IND 27-0 - match abandoned, rain
26th October: 5th ODI, Cuttack
Match abandoned - waterlogged pitch
30th October: 6th ODI, Nagpur
IND 351-4 beat AUS 350-5 by 6 wickets