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Clarke plans to attack Kumble
- Battle of one-upmanship intensifies as Boxing Day draws near

Melbourne: Fast approaching 600 Test wickets, captain Anil Kumble will be the lynchpin of Indian attack in the Test series Down Under but middle-order batsman Michael Clarke is backing himself to slog the veteran leg-spinner out of the park at the first opportunity.

The New South Wales youngster said he would use his quick footwork to negate Kumble’s accuracy.

“Kumble has been a great one for a long time. His line of attack implies that you have to be patient against him.

“But I will try to put the pressure back on him. I’ll have to move my feet and play my natural game,” Clarke said ahead of the four-Test series starting on Boxing Day at the MCG.

Much has been said about India’s inexperienced bowling but Clarke feels that left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan along with Kumble are part of a potent attack.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an inexperienced attack. Zaheer certainly has some experience and if they bowl well, they’ll get the opportunity to take wickets. The conditions will suit India here, with it being a little bit slower,” he said. But the right-hander had no doubt that the batsmen from both sides will hold the key to the series.

“The batting form of both the sides could set off a great Test series. If runs are on the board, the bowlers also gain in confidence,” Clarke said.

Both sides are packed with batting heavyweights and he admitted that the Indians would not be found wanting.

“I think they have some fantastic batsmen. They have lots of experience and knowledge and are playing pretty well, aggressively and positively. They’re full of confidence.”

The batsman, popularly called Pup, however warned that verbal volleys and aggressive behaviour from India may be counter-productive.

“It depends on what they mean by aggression. For us, it’s about playing positively. I don’t think the verbal aggression really affected us. We react pretty well, we actually sweat on it.

“Guys like (Andrew) Symonds, it really gees him up to do well, and that was the case with Steve Waugh when he played,” Clarke added.

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