Don't judge Australia by warm-up - Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly has said he isn't reading too much into the Australians' performance in the warm-up match against the Board President's XI even though their batsmen, with the exception of Michael Hussey, failed to impress, and their spin options looked dire.
"You should never judge a team on the basis of a practice game," Ganguly said during a press conference at the end of which he announced his retirement. "Practice games are different, Test matches are different. As a team you try a whole lot of things in a practice match before you get into the Tests. This Australian side will be as formidable as they were."
Australia were in danger of following on in the first innings of the tour match, having been reduced to 218 for 9, before they were rescued by a century from Hussey. Jason Krejza, their lone spinner after a shoulder injury ended Bryce McGain's tour, got hit for 199 runs in 31 overs and took no wickets.
"Obviously you can say they lack a quality spinner but they have other people who can make up for it," Ganguly said. "When Australia had Warne, he was their strength. Every team plays on its strengths. So obviously their attack will be based on [Brett] Lee, [Mitchell] Johnson, [Stuart] Clark and another fast bowler."
Although Australia had Warne, fast bowlers were crucial to their success in 2004 when Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz took 43 wickets between them. Ricky Ponting said by deploying an in-out field he cut off boundaries in the Indians' favourite scoring areas and prevented singles as well. Stuart Clark said he thought they would succeed if they could implement the plan again.
Ganguly, however, said the different composition of the bowling attack will be a factor. "They [Australia] played differently last time. But they also had the bowlers to execute their plans. They had McGrath, Warne, and Gillespie, who was as good as anyone. You can have plans but it's about how you execute them."