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Indians are amused by Australian ‘ploy’

Michael Clarke

Chennai: It’s highly unusual for any captain/team management to reveal the XI two days before a Test, but the Australians have done that here.

One school of thought is that captain Michael Clarke and coach Mickey Arthur sought to ‘confuse’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher. If that indeed was their plan (naming four quicks and only one spinner), then it didn’t quite work.

Rather, it “amused” the Indians.

“Nothing stops Australia from making changes... Their announcement means nothing, for what counts are the team sheets exchanged at the toss... We’ve been amused... We had a laugh,” a member of the India squad told The Telegraph on Thursday afternoon.

Clarke, for his part, made two points: (A) That the announcement allowed Moises Henriques, who will be making his debut, to call his family over, if he so required; (B) That the Chepauk wicket wouldn’t change in the time that remained before Friday’s start.

While the bit about the wicket seemed logical, Henriques’ family business wasn’t convincing. He could have been informed in a one-on-one and travel plans made quietly.

Asked if this would be the trend right through the four-Test series, Australia’s media manager Matt Cenin said: “Either way, I can’t answer... I’m not sure.”

A one-off or not, you won’t ever find Dhoni doing a Clarke. That’s for sure.