Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide January 22, 2008

Jaques promises all-out aggression



The return of Matthew Hayden will give Australia what they need at the top of the order, according to Phil Jaques © Getty Images
 

Phil Jaques will put his first taste of Test defeat to positive use, declaring that Australia will be "fiercely competitive" and "as aggressive as possible" in a bid to ram home the series win. Jaques said being the senior opener in Perth in just his fifth Test, with Chris Rogers making his debut, did not unduly burden him but he is boosted by Matthew Hayden's expected return in Adelaide on Thursday.

"We will approach it how we always approach it," Jaques said, "which is fiercely competitive and play the game the right way but play the game hard. We will be trying to be as aggressive as possible without crossing that line."

Hayden should come back from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the third Test and Jaques, for one, can't wait. "Matt coming back into the side will make a difference to our team and give us a whole lot of confidence," Jaques said. "He's a fine player, with a fine record.

"He's fantastic, a wealth of knowledge. My mindset didn't change too much not having Matt there, but having him there will give the side what we need at the top of the order."

He was confident Rogers would be a success in his future Test opportunities, but for the meantime it's set to be the Hayden and Jaques show with the latter having ensured his spot for a while with good scores against Sri Lanka and now India; Perth was a rare double failure. His partnership with Hayden is developing well, too.

"Every Test we get a little more understanding of the way the other plays," Jaques said. "We are starting to work out when we're having our low periods and our high periods. It's definitely good to have a regular player there that's for sure but it's good to have Chris as well. He did his best last week and I'm sure next time round he'll make a big score."

Having struggled against the seamers - and Irfan Pathan in particular, who bagged him twice - Jaques said there would be some adjustments. "We will be looking at revising some plans and going from there. Everyone's entitled to a bad game every now and then. [Pathan] bowled really tight lines, really nicely. He bowled me a couple of good balls. That happens in cricket, hopefully I can get him next time."

He also promised his foot movement would be better and that the approach would not to be too different if India selected two spinners or one. Speaking of spin, Jaques backed Brad Hogg to get the nod ahead of Shaun Tait's pace, which would deny Tait a home Test. "Usually we do play spinners here, it's one of those wickets that does spin. Personally I think Hogg might play but we will have to look at the wicket."

It will be all eyes on the pitch in the next day or so, as this will affect India's line-up also, with suggestions that they may play five bowlers, bringing back two spinners. The weather may also come into play, as showers are forecast for the first two days at least. But with Australia's top order promising to put up a fight, and India with the desire to level the series, where top-quality cricket is concerned the outlook is sunny.

Jenny Thompson is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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