The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Lanka spinners can trip Aussies’

Durban: Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh on Monday backed Sri Lanka to pull off a victory against Australia in the World Cup semi-final on Tuesday, saying the defending champions were susceptible against quality spin bowling.

“They are world champions but sometimes I get the feeling they play too many shots,” said Harbhajan, who destroyed the Australians with a 32-wicket haul from three Tests at home during the 2000-2001 series.

“Sri Lanka have some top spinners who have good variety and control — men like (skipper Sanath) Jayasuriya, (Muttiah) Muralidharan, Aravinda de Silva and even Russell Arnold.

“Since the pitch at Port Elizabeth has supported spinners, I don’t discount Sri Lanka’s chances against the Australians.”

The off-spinner, who is yet to come up with rich hauls in the World Cup so far, said that he was hardly getting any purchase from the tracks here.

“There is nothing much for the spinners on these tracks. But you have to take wickets for your side, no matter whether you are a fast bowler or a spinner or whether you are playing at home or away.”

The trick, Harbhajan said, was to vary the pace and keep a good line and length. “I am very happy with the way I am bowling in this tournament and hope to continue with the same form in the next two matches.”

Harbhajan does not have friends or relatives coming over to watch the final two games.

“It’s better they stay at home. The team is clicking and we are superstitious about our family joining us.”

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