| Ricky Ponting gets a traditional welcome at a city hotel on Friday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
Calcutta: Forget the past, don’t drool over what has happened during the league stage. That was John Buchanan’s message to the team as the invincible Australians landed in the city on Friday morning for the tri-series final on Tuesday.
“The final will be a new game and we are well prepared. We’ve got to put aside what has happened in the past and evolve new strategies,” the Aussie coach said at the team hotel.
The Aussies spent the whole day in their hotel rooms and will practice at the Eden Gardens on Saturday morning.
Despite India’s lacklustre showing in the ongoing tournament, Buchanan feels there is no difference in standard between the side, which finished runner-up in the World Cup earlier this year and the one now battling it out in the tri-series.
“There is no difference in the team make-up. I think the present squad has great potential,” he said.
“Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright have given lot of stress on consistent performance. The team only has to live up to expectations and then all their problems will be solved,” he added.
Buchanan feels that the current crop of fast bowlers who will be going to Australia this time around are better than the ones who toured on previous occasions. “I think the present lot of pacers are better than those who toured Australia earlier,” he said.
He thinks that though India will miss Jawagal Srinath — who retired from international cricket on Wednesday — during the tour, there are several talented pacers who can step into his shoes.
“There are a lot of good bowlers. Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra would be the backbone of the Indian attack. As back up, Ajit Agarkar, Lakshmipathy Balaji and Avishkar Salvi are exciting prospects,” he said.
The World Cup-winning coach said that the “immense talent in the team” has been the secret behind Australia’s success. “Add to it the determined and good leadership in both Test and one-dayers.”
Nathan Bracken, Brad Williams and Michael Clarke have been the gains from this tour, believes Buchanan. “They were new to the conditions but have adjusted very well.”
But will any of the second string bowlers on tour here find a place during the home series against India' “Who knows'” quipped Buchanan.
“But it’s a fact that, our main bowers like Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Glenn McGrath and Stuart MacGill, who missed the ongoing tournament due to injury, would get fit at some point of time after a two-month lay off.”