The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Waugh hints at more short-pitched stuff

Adelaide: Jolted by India’s unexpected fightback on a pitch designed to suit the home team, Australian captain Steve Waugh on Wednesday said his side would revise its strategies to counter their resurgent rivals in the second Test beginning here on Friday.

Waugh said his champion side lacked the “intensity” in the first Test but promised to unleash a more “aggressive” bowling against the visitors this time.

“As a side we were probably not as intense as I would have liked in the first Test,” Waugh said. “We lost momentum, there were rain interruptions and moments when India got away. If we could pull those little moments back, we would have been a better force... It has been a long time when we have lost such a succession of wickets. “But now we will revise our plans and do something different in this Test match,” he said.

The ease with which the Indians handled the Australian pacemen is also causing worry to the skipper. “We probably missed Brad Williams’ aggression in Gabba. Conditions there would have suited his kind of bowling. The attack we had in Brisbane was not suited to bowling a lot of short-pitched stuff,” he said, hinting that Williams could get his Test cap on Friday.

Waugh said his decision not to over-use the short-pitched stuff at the Gabba was taken considering the kind of bowlers he had at his disposal.

“I said we should not over-use the short-pitched stuff because in order to do so, you had got to have the kind of pace of Brett Lee and Williams,” Waugh said, hinting that the visitors would be served a barrage of short-pitched stuff at the Adelaide Oval. “There was no way we could have done a lot of short-pitched bowling with the attack we had in Gabba.”

“It would have been far more difficult for India had they been on a wicket where the grass was a bit more greener and longer on day one and two. “Still credit to them. Their quick bowlers have three guys who can swing the ball. How many teams in the world have such an attack'”

Waugh stressed he did not want technology to take over the game after the furore over Steve Bucknor’s leg before wicket ruling on Sachin Tendulkar. “His was not the only decision. There were three or four decisions which could have gone the other way.

“When a high class batsman gets out, there is obviously a great deal written about it. At that point of time it looked really close.”

On his much-dissected mix-up with Damien Martyn, Waugh said, “it is still being written about. If it remains so, players are going to think next time on the field that this issue is going to be blown out of proportion. They would be kind of scared”.

“Sachin Tendulkar would be feeling some pressure. Adam Gilchrist would be feeling the same. No matter who you are, you are a little nervous if you had failed previously.

“You are always nervous when waiting for your turn to bat. But when at crease, it is cricket which takes over. I have three games to go and nothing to lose. So I would go out and enjoy myself.”

Curator satisfied

The Adelaide Oval curator Les Burdett said on Wednesday he has produced one of the best pitches of his 35-year career. Burdett said the flat, evenly grassed strip would offer plenty of runs on the first two days, then assist both spin and pace bowlers.

“I’ve seen some pretty good pitches out there, this one I’d rate right with the top of them,” Burdett said. (Agencies)

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