February 14, 2011

A for Attack

Australia's bowling line-up for the World Cup could get a wicket with every ball, but they could also go for plenty
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Shaun Tait, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Jason Krejza. Rarely has the word "attack" been more appropriate for a one-day bowling group. Australia have gambled on a wicket-taking line-up as they search for their fourth consecutive World Cup, but it's a strategy fraught with risk. As the former-fast-bowler-turned-commentator Damien Fleming said, "We could be bowling teams out for 50 or chasing 500".

To some extent, Australia have been steered down this path because of injuries to other bowlers. The economical Clint McKay and Ryan Harris would both have been hard to leave out but for foot and ankle problems respectively. Krejza came from outside the 30-man preliminary squad because Nathan Hauritz (shoulder), Xavier Doherty (back), and Steve O'Keefe (calf) were laid up.

But whatever the cause, it has left doubts as to whether their attack can also defend. When they triumphed in the Caribbean in 2007, Tait sizzled and lived up to his "Wild Thing" nickname, but he had the metronomic Glenn McGrath and Nathan Bracken to keep things tight at the other end. A serious knee problem has ended Bracken's career, and he believes Shane Watson is now the man for his old job.

"As we saw through the summer, if Brett Lee gets it right and gets early wickets, he can bowl very tightly," Bracken told ESPNcricinfo. "But they're probably going to look at someone like Shane Watson to play that sort of role. He's going to be the one who's going to have to shut down an end and put the pressure on that way. When the squad was first picked they had Nathan Hauritz for that sort of role."

That means enormous responsibility for Watson, who will also open the batting. John Hastings will do a similar job with the ball if he makes the starting XI, and Ricky Ponting will look to David Hussey's part-time offspin for some economical overs. But as for the fast men, as lethal as Johnson and Tait can be, control is not their forte, so Lee and Bollinger must avoid leaking runs.

It's an unfamiliar responsibility for Lee, who in a past life provided the super-quick yet unpredictable option that Tait now offers. At 34, this must surely be the swansong for Lee, who has spent much of the past two years injured but was desperate to play in this tournament, having missed the 2007 World Cup due to a dodgy ankle. Eleven wickets at 24 against England was a good comeback and although his economy rate was over five, Ponting was impressed.

"Brett's been able to turn himself into bit more of a defensive-minded bowler with his changes of pace and a bit more nous," Ponting said when the team landed in India. "He's a different bowler than he was three or four years ago. Shaun Tait, I just want to let him go, let him run in and bowl fast and take wickets. He's probably not his absolute best yet but he'll work his way up there."

The Tait factor is difficult to quantify. If any bowler at this tournament is to break 160kph, it will be Tait, but he has never played an international match on the subcontinent, and on the slower pitches he might not be at his most dangerous. He no longer plays first-class cricket, and even sending down his maximum allotment in a 50-over game is sometimes too much.

He will be used in spells of two or three overs, but along with the stumps that he will shatter, expect plenty of wides and balls flying to the boundary. And while he's catching his breath at fine leg, the wides could remain a problem if Johnson is bowling. Johnson's inconsistency makes him a hard man for a captain to use, but the expectation to swing the ball won't be as great in Asia, and his one-day record in India of 28 wickets at 23.60 is excellent.

"He and Bracken have probably been the most dominant one-day bowlers, even ahead of McGrath and Warne, over there," Fleming said. "The expectation seems to be that you're not going to swing the ball much over there, so you just run in and bowl fast, hit the deck hard. He uses his slower ball more over there, which is a beauty, and if he continues that record over there, he could have a real dominant series."

Part of Australia's challenge is working out what constitutes their best attack. Bollinger played all but one of the recent ODIs against England and along with Watson could be a more economical option, but he might be the man to miss out from the pace line-up if Johnson, Tait and Lee all play. That also depends on how Australia treat the spin role.

Steven Smith and Hussey could combine for 10 overs but a frontline tweaker is always a good idea on the subcontinent. That means playing Jason Krejza, who in his previous incarnation as an international bowler was seen as an aggressive offspinner who could take wickets but couldn't contain. It's a problem he has been working on and Fleming, who commentates on domestic cricket for Fox Sports, has seen a vast improvement.

"We've been watching him a lot and his economy rate has come down significantly, even in the Big Bash," Fleming said. "He bowled a couple of half-trackers the other night in Perth, but the Krejza we've seen, the criticism was that he leaked too many runs and he's certainly answered that at domestic level.

"The big test is against the subcontinent players, but he got 12 wickets in a Test there. He's the offspinner in Australia who, when he bowls his good delivery, you go 'Wow!' It flights, it drifts in and it turns a mile. With Hauritz and Doherty and Aaron Heal and those types, their variations are more subtle and they don't have that wow factor."

Wow factor is a common theme in this bowling group, and it could make for some fearsome performances.

"If everyone is right and everyone fires, you could see wickets tumbling left, right and centre," Bracken said. "Then all of a sudden the next time, if they don't, then the opposition could get away very quickly."

And if that happens, can wow become whoa? Reining in a runaway opponent like Virender Sehwag or AB de Villiers will be an enormous challenge, but Australia's World Cup hopes could depend on it.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • harshthakor on February 17, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Australia,may lack the class of the previous champion teams,but are still my favourites to clinch the title.No team posesses better temperament and tenacity.South Africa and India lack the same professionalism for the big occassion.Remember the Aussies are still the best one day team in the rankings and disposed of England 6-1 recently.Shane Watson,is one of the best cricketers who can change the dimension of a game with his blitzkreig,while Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson are match-winning bowlers on their day.The latter is also a useful allrounder,with devasating power in his strokes.If Ricky Ponting regains form they may well clinch the title.

  • on February 15, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Shaun Tait, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Jason Krejza. looking gr8 on paper, but in reality they cud not able to take single South african Wicket. only Shaun Tait, Brett Lee bowled well in their first spells,

  • on February 15, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    On paper Current Australian attack are still very Good but if they had an off day they can be taken apart by any confident batting line up,Brett lee.Johnson.Tait are express and wicket taking bowlers but has the knack of leaking to many runss where as their old counterpart Mcgrath,Gillespie,Brackan not only wicket taking bowler but also econimoical whom never allowed the opposition Batsman to get away where as sole spinner Jason Kreza is the soft target for anybatsman,Its required great skill and Excellent field placement for the aussies to contain the strong batting line up

  • Meety on February 15, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    @Amol_Ind_SA - mate Steyns stats are Tests this is ODIs. Lee is the GREATEST strike bowler ever in ODIs - fastest bowler to 300 ODI scalps, he's more likely to succed here than Steyn (as good as he is)! If you can't wait to see "...De Villiers hammer AUS bowlers..." I can't wait to see Sth Africa CHOKE!!!! LOL!!!! @AdityaMookerjee - mate not sure what you're on about but Siddle played 1st class cricket this week & Lee is the most proven pace bowler @ the W/Cup.

  • Rahulbose on February 15, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    This view of the Aussie bowling is based on team lineups on paper. In practice Aus bowling will not be that different than others. Watson or Hastings will provide the steady seam bowling option and Krejza will only get to bowl with defensive field sets. Only their new ball pair could be more attacking that other teams.

  • on February 15, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Australia as always are one of the top contenders for the title. You can never count them out. Their bowling in the warm up game was impressive and I think if they bowl like that they have a great chance of lifting the trophy again. I think Jason Krejza has a lot of potential if he can get his length right. Steven Smith is also very good.

    Their main issue, however, seems to be their batting against spin. They can get off to good starts but once Watson gets out, you have players who come in facing the spinners and they tend to struggle. They will really miss Mike Hussey. Also, I don't understand why Shaun Marsh wasn't picked. He was amazing in the first IPL and his recent form against England was awesome. I think that's a big mistake by the Aussie selectors. It's like India leaving out VVS Laxman in the 2003 world cup and picking Dinesh Mongia instead.

  • AdityaMookerjee on February 15, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    The bowling of Australia, may be ' wow', but they are the most underwhelming batting side, apart from the West Indies, in the top six teams of the world. I would have gone with Siddle, Bollinger, Tait, and Johnson. Siddle and Bollinger exhibit 'nous', more than Lee. Siddle, I believe, is injured. The one to ponder about is Johnson. How will he fare on the Indian subcontinent? One doesn't need a 'wow' spinner in India, if the spinner is an off spinner. A right arm off spin bowler in India, needs to keep it tight. The spin on Indian wickets is generally slow. With slow turn on Indian wickets, the batsman usually has to insure that he will not be beaten in the air, and he has to keep in mind simultaneously the turn, the pitch offers. This is quite a challenge, if one is new to India, not if one is an Indian batsman.

  • Amol_Gh on February 15, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    YEah, rightly said. I can't really wait to see Sehwag and De Villiers hammer AUS bowlers, especially Johnson and Kreja.

  • Amol_Gh on February 15, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Nampally: All your theory is based one weak factor: **IF** injury happens to Lee and Steyn. Good News: Lee was always injury prone and he breaks down frequently. Andit's possible with him. But I only hope he doesn't, so that it gives an opportunity to Sachin and Company to milk runs off him. Bad News: Steyn is not (injury prone). Any guys who takes 238 wickets in just 40-something tests proves how much he can hold on without breaking. Plus he has the stats to prove on IND pitches.

  • ygkd on February 15, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    If Jason Krejza gets too expensive, they can always use SPD Smith instead. Smith only goes for 5.23 rpo in ODIs and to show that's no fluke he goes for 5.25 in List A matches. Krejza's List A economy rate? A terrible 4.99 by comparison. Of course in ODIs/World cup warm-ups Krejza goes for a lot more, over 5.7 rpo. The catch? That's just two matches worth, making that statistic about as useful as Krejza's batting strike-rate which is higher than SPuDs.

  • harshthakor on February 17, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Australia,may lack the class of the previous champion teams,but are still my favourites to clinch the title.No team posesses better temperament and tenacity.South Africa and India lack the same professionalism for the big occassion.Remember the Aussies are still the best one day team in the rankings and disposed of England 6-1 recently.Shane Watson,is one of the best cricketers who can change the dimension of a game with his blitzkreig,while Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson are match-winning bowlers on their day.The latter is also a useful allrounder,with devasating power in his strokes.If Ricky Ponting regains form they may well clinch the title.

  • on February 15, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    Shaun Tait, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Jason Krejza. looking gr8 on paper, but in reality they cud not able to take single South african Wicket. only Shaun Tait, Brett Lee bowled well in their first spells,

  • on February 15, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    On paper Current Australian attack are still very Good but if they had an off day they can be taken apart by any confident batting line up,Brett lee.Johnson.Tait are express and wicket taking bowlers but has the knack of leaking to many runss where as their old counterpart Mcgrath,Gillespie,Brackan not only wicket taking bowler but also econimoical whom never allowed the opposition Batsman to get away where as sole spinner Jason Kreza is the soft target for anybatsman,Its required great skill and Excellent field placement for the aussies to contain the strong batting line up

  • Meety on February 15, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    @Amol_Ind_SA - mate Steyns stats are Tests this is ODIs. Lee is the GREATEST strike bowler ever in ODIs - fastest bowler to 300 ODI scalps, he's more likely to succed here than Steyn (as good as he is)! If you can't wait to see "...De Villiers hammer AUS bowlers..." I can't wait to see Sth Africa CHOKE!!!! LOL!!!! @AdityaMookerjee - mate not sure what you're on about but Siddle played 1st class cricket this week & Lee is the most proven pace bowler @ the W/Cup.

  • Rahulbose on February 15, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    This view of the Aussie bowling is based on team lineups on paper. In practice Aus bowling will not be that different than others. Watson or Hastings will provide the steady seam bowling option and Krejza will only get to bowl with defensive field sets. Only their new ball pair could be more attacking that other teams.

  • on February 15, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Australia as always are one of the top contenders for the title. You can never count them out. Their bowling in the warm up game was impressive and I think if they bowl like that they have a great chance of lifting the trophy again. I think Jason Krejza has a lot of potential if he can get his length right. Steven Smith is also very good.

    Their main issue, however, seems to be their batting against spin. They can get off to good starts but once Watson gets out, you have players who come in facing the spinners and they tend to struggle. They will really miss Mike Hussey. Also, I don't understand why Shaun Marsh wasn't picked. He was amazing in the first IPL and his recent form against England was awesome. I think that's a big mistake by the Aussie selectors. It's like India leaving out VVS Laxman in the 2003 world cup and picking Dinesh Mongia instead.

  • AdityaMookerjee on February 15, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    The bowling of Australia, may be ' wow', but they are the most underwhelming batting side, apart from the West Indies, in the top six teams of the world. I would have gone with Siddle, Bollinger, Tait, and Johnson. Siddle and Bollinger exhibit 'nous', more than Lee. Siddle, I believe, is injured. The one to ponder about is Johnson. How will he fare on the Indian subcontinent? One doesn't need a 'wow' spinner in India, if the spinner is an off spinner. A right arm off spin bowler in India, needs to keep it tight. The spin on Indian wickets is generally slow. With slow turn on Indian wickets, the batsman usually has to insure that he will not be beaten in the air, and he has to keep in mind simultaneously the turn, the pitch offers. This is quite a challenge, if one is new to India, not if one is an Indian batsman.

  • Amol_Gh on February 15, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    YEah, rightly said. I can't really wait to see Sehwag and De Villiers hammer AUS bowlers, especially Johnson and Kreja.

  • Amol_Gh on February 15, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Nampally: All your theory is based one weak factor: **IF** injury happens to Lee and Steyn. Good News: Lee was always injury prone and he breaks down frequently. Andit's possible with him. But I only hope he doesn't, so that it gives an opportunity to Sachin and Company to milk runs off him. Bad News: Steyn is not (injury prone). Any guys who takes 238 wickets in just 40-something tests proves how much he can hold on without breaking. Plus he has the stats to prove on IND pitches.

  • ygkd on February 15, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    If Jason Krejza gets too expensive, they can always use SPD Smith instead. Smith only goes for 5.23 rpo in ODIs and to show that's no fluke he goes for 5.25 in List A matches. Krejza's List A economy rate? A terrible 4.99 by comparison. Of course in ODIs/World cup warm-ups Krejza goes for a lot more, over 5.7 rpo. The catch? That's just two matches worth, making that statistic about as useful as Krejza's batting strike-rate which is higher than SPuDs.

  • on February 14, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    I am definitely worried about this attack in sub continental conditions. I mean, look at how Tait went last IPL, he got smashed. Still, the reality is that I think we have to go with this all out attack & hope it comes off, as it is the only real shot we have got at winning the tournament with such a fragile looking batting lineup. Who knows though, maybe Ponting & Clarke will have outstanding tournaments and all this pessimism will be for nought!

  • xylo on February 14, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    if johnson is picked ahead of a fit bollinger, ponting might as well forfeit the match!

  • Nampally on February 14, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    Ponting described Kraeja as the match winner as soon as the team arrived in India. Now after the first warm up game loss to India on a spinner friendly wicket, Kraeja has been described as second fiddle to Smith by Ponting. Aussies have 4 pace bowlers like the SA team. Both the teams depend mainly on Pace attack for their success. If one or 2 of these pace bowlers like Lee or Steyn are injured with hamstring muscle, then their chances dwindle fast - Never Mind a wicket every ball. It is the overall balance of the attack on Indian pitches that matter most. Also do not overrule some of the sub contient players have plenty of experience against pace bowlers on the home pitches. So it is not "everything is Fay- Dinkum". SL, India, Pakistan & even B/Desh can counter act so do not rule them out.

  • on February 14, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    I've noticed that whenever Aussie journalists or selectors try to justify Krejza's last minute inclusion, they always mention the 12 wickets he picked up in that debut test against the Indians. But they almost always fail to mention the almost 350 runs he leaked:)

  • on February 14, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    OZs gonna rock in dis tournament,...the fearsome quartet of lee+johnson+tait+bollinger is gonna blow opposiiton away.. like they did to india.. howevr... spin is a major wry.. batsmen need to play spinners a lot well...

  • Go_F.Alonso on February 14, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Now that Hauritz is out of contention, it leaves only one player I'd love to see succeed - Brett Lee. Hope this WC shows why Punter, Pup and Haddin should retire already and why Smith needs to go back to Shield cricket for a year or two. When injury-free, the line-up should always include Shaun Marsh, Dave Warner, Haury, Stuey Clark and maybe even Phil Hughes.

  • popcorn on February 14, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Brydon, you know full well that our spin stocks are poor. So Straegy demands that we play to our strengths.In the warm up game yesterday against India, the pace attack showed why we're the best in the world.We won the 2003 World Cup WITHOUT Shane Warne. The West Indies used 4 fast bowlers and won 2 World Cups and dominated a decade of cricket, why are you so pessimistic now? Our pace attack is lethal, and will skittle out the top order and middle order of EVERY side. Leaving the tailenders to play like tailenders.

  • NALINWIJ on February 14, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    The way India collapsed to 138 for 8 by Australian pacemen on a spin friendly pitch accurately describes the potency of Aussie attack. Australian capitulation to the spinners describes the most effective strategy in the subcontinent. This is similar to what happened to Australa in 1996 WC final. [SL spin quartet-Murali, Dharmasena, Aravinda,Jayasuriya].Australia has the best bowling combination if WC was not in the subcontinent . Picking Horses for courses is possible only if you have the right horses and Australia does not have the spinners to suffocate the opposition in the middle overs.

  • ParamIyer on February 14, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Right said! Terrific bowling line up but a shaky batting line up. Lots of pressure on Watson. If Ponting can find his touch and White and Clarke chip in, the batting line up becomes quite strong. Would miss M.Hussey though. Its a great chance for David Hussey. bet Aussie to reach the Semis...

  • on February 14, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    What choice does Australia have. But if yesterday"s practice match was any indication many teams could find the pace too hot to handle. Barring Sehawag none of the Indian batsmen looked comfortable.It is another thing that Australia dropped a few chances otherwise India should have finished close to 160 with both Paine and Watson guiltyof dropping absolute sitters.The larger worry was the batting which was found wanting on a turner. The good news and the bad news for Australia could well be that the remaining pitches will not have the bounce of Bengaluru. Neither should they turn so much. No one knows what is going to happen with the Aussies particularly with Tait, Krezja and even Johnson. But Lee is bowling well and if he is fit and leads the attack then Australia could be a force. Wicket or wide ?Ony time will tell. But you can be sure that there are not going to be too many dull moments when Australia is bowling sridhar

  • on February 14, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    At least it will be exciting to watch. Cheers & tears may be?

  • on February 14, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    BUT Aussies you cant win this one.................let this hope out of your minds..........................

  • on February 14, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    with this bowling line up it will be hard for any team to stop them.

  • nce8 on February 14, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    wish australia had warne, bracken, mcgrath and lee at their best!!!!

  • on February 14, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    You forgot John Hastings,Mr. Coverdale. Hastings was the best bowler against India in their practice match as he took kohli and dhoni's wicket and also hindered India's batting progress by bowling tight line and length. Watch out for him!

  • Meety on February 14, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Not sure whether to go with Krezja, & also not sure between Tait v Bollinger. Given D Husseys growing spin reputation I'm tempted to play him @ 8 in the batting line up & Smith @ 7 (or vice versa). If Pup & Bear are able to bowl, I would use all 4 in short spells - if they are going cheaply - I'd consider bowling for up to 15 overs as a hedge asainst one of the pacers going astray, mainly between the 16th & 34th over. I'd bowl Watto from about the 30th over. Attack with the pacers at the start & finish of the innings. My starting line up; 1. Watto, 2. Haddin, 3. Punter, 4. Pup, 5. Ferguson, 6. White, 7. Hussey D, 8. Smith, 9. MJ, 10. Lee, 11. Tait. Smith & Hussey would be interchangeable. I'd consider pinch hitting from White & MJ. IF this side performs near its collective best we are in with a RED HOT SHOT! Ozzy ozzy ozzy!

  • thewayitwass on February 14, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    this is SPOT ON.. my thoughts exactly when i first heard of Australia's squad..but as potentially expensive their attack is, i believe they have the experience and the fire power to knock teams over.. granted they dont have a bracken or mcgrath this time but the nature of the tournament means they just have to click for 3 knock out games really.. the real worry is the batsmen.. without mhussey and white out of form, it looks all to reliant on watson.

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  • thewayitwass on February 14, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    this is SPOT ON.. my thoughts exactly when i first heard of Australia's squad..but as potentially expensive their attack is, i believe they have the experience and the fire power to knock teams over.. granted they dont have a bracken or mcgrath this time but the nature of the tournament means they just have to click for 3 knock out games really.. the real worry is the batsmen.. without mhussey and white out of form, it looks all to reliant on watson.

  • Meety on February 14, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Not sure whether to go with Krezja, & also not sure between Tait v Bollinger. Given D Husseys growing spin reputation I'm tempted to play him @ 8 in the batting line up & Smith @ 7 (or vice versa). If Pup & Bear are able to bowl, I would use all 4 in short spells - if they are going cheaply - I'd consider bowling for up to 15 overs as a hedge asainst one of the pacers going astray, mainly between the 16th & 34th over. I'd bowl Watto from about the 30th over. Attack with the pacers at the start & finish of the innings. My starting line up; 1. Watto, 2. Haddin, 3. Punter, 4. Pup, 5. Ferguson, 6. White, 7. Hussey D, 8. Smith, 9. MJ, 10. Lee, 11. Tait. Smith & Hussey would be interchangeable. I'd consider pinch hitting from White & MJ. IF this side performs near its collective best we are in with a RED HOT SHOT! Ozzy ozzy ozzy!

  • on February 14, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    You forgot John Hastings,Mr. Coverdale. Hastings was the best bowler against India in their practice match as he took kohli and dhoni's wicket and also hindered India's batting progress by bowling tight line and length. Watch out for him!

  • nce8 on February 14, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    wish australia had warne, bracken, mcgrath and lee at their best!!!!

  • on February 14, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    with this bowling line up it will be hard for any team to stop them.

  • on February 14, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    BUT Aussies you cant win this one.................let this hope out of your minds..........................

  • on February 14, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    At least it will be exciting to watch. Cheers & tears may be?

  • on February 14, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    What choice does Australia have. But if yesterday"s practice match was any indication many teams could find the pace too hot to handle. Barring Sehawag none of the Indian batsmen looked comfortable.It is another thing that Australia dropped a few chances otherwise India should have finished close to 160 with both Paine and Watson guiltyof dropping absolute sitters.The larger worry was the batting which was found wanting on a turner. The good news and the bad news for Australia could well be that the remaining pitches will not have the bounce of Bengaluru. Neither should they turn so much. No one knows what is going to happen with the Aussies particularly with Tait, Krezja and even Johnson. But Lee is bowling well and if he is fit and leads the attack then Australia could be a force. Wicket or wide ?Ony time will tell. But you can be sure that there are not going to be too many dull moments when Australia is bowling sridhar

  • ParamIyer on February 14, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Right said! Terrific bowling line up but a shaky batting line up. Lots of pressure on Watson. If Ponting can find his touch and White and Clarke chip in, the batting line up becomes quite strong. Would miss M.Hussey though. Its a great chance for David Hussey. bet Aussie to reach the Semis...

  • NALINWIJ on February 14, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    The way India collapsed to 138 for 8 by Australian pacemen on a spin friendly pitch accurately describes the potency of Aussie attack. Australian capitulation to the spinners describes the most effective strategy in the subcontinent. This is similar to what happened to Australa in 1996 WC final. [SL spin quartet-Murali, Dharmasena, Aravinda,Jayasuriya].Australia has the best bowling combination if WC was not in the subcontinent . Picking Horses for courses is possible only if you have the right horses and Australia does not have the spinners to suffocate the opposition in the middle overs.