The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Chin music will be hot for Sourav’

Brisbane: Barely two days before the first Test gets underway, Shane Warne on Tuesday sought to play the mind game by doubting Sourav Ganguly’s ability to handle short-pitched deliveries and warning the Indian skipper to be ready for the “chin music” planned by the Australians.

Warne was convinced that the Indian skipper was weak against short-pitched stuff and said he would need a lot of courage to withstand the australian thunderbolts.

“Short-pitched bowling is his major weakness... I’m not surprised he is already struggling on the tour. He will have to overcome a lot of chin music to have a successful series,” Warne said here.

Warne, who is currently serving a year-long ban for drug abuse, said the quick bowlers would try to intimidate Sourav and it would be interesting to see how the Indian captain handles it. “The first Test will be on a bouncy Gabba strip and Tugga (Steve Waugh) will have slips and gullies everywhere, because all of Sourav’s shots go through point or behind the wicket.”

The leg spinner, who is also the highest wicket-taker for Australia, felt that tear-away fast bowler Brett Lee would “be all over” Sourav before the end of the Test series.

Lee, who is out of the first Test due to injury, is expected to be fit for the second Test starting in Adelaide Oval from December 12.

Warne said Sourav would have to come up with some mechanism to deal with the short-pitched stuff and also give the confidence to his team that he can handle them.

“Sourav needs to show his team that no matter how hard it is against the short ball, you must hang in there and have a plan — either duck, hook or sway out of the way.”

The Indian skipper, who has scored 4,225 runs in 68 matches at an average of 41.42, has himself shown concern on the issue in the past but suggested that he has found ways to battle against a well-directed attack.

In fact, he also flew to Australia in September this year to get some batting lessons from former Australian skipper Greg Chappell.

The southpaw had said that the session with Chappell had helped him a lot and cited the century against the New Zealanders in the Ahmedabad Test as a proof of his ability to play the short-pitched stuff.

In the two tour games played by the Indians so far, Sourav has once been stuck on his helmet by a bouncer from Steve Magoffin during their drawn tie against the Queensland Academy of Sports.

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