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May 5, 2010
Australia's batsmen have got until Friday to perfect a plan to deal with India's spinners after they overcame a scare against Bangladesh to reach the Super Eights. Michael Clarke's side was 65 for 6 before scrambling to 141 for 7 on the way to a 27-run victory.
The next challenge is India in Barbados and the batsmen will face another stern examination from their high quality slow men. "Spin bowling is going to play a big part in this tournament, whether that's how you face spin or you bowl spin," Clarke said.
"India have got some good spin bowlers, Harbhajan [Singh] is one of the best in the world, so we're going to have to work out a plan against him and back ourselves at that. Every player in our team plays spin bowling differently, you need to be confident with your plan and stick to that."
Australia won both their group games to move into the second round and Clarke said the result that sent Bangladesh from the tournament was satisfying. They relied on an unbeaten 47 from Michael Hussey before Dirk Nannes produced a career-best 4 for 18 as Bangladesh fell for 114.
"Our top order obviously didn't perform as well as we'd like," Clarke said. "The conditions were a lot different to St Lucia, we probably didn't adapt as well as we'd like. But to scrape our way to 140, Huss played a wonderful innings as he always seems to do when we're under pressure, and young Steve Smith batted really well.
"Our execution with the ball was spot on. I think these conditions are really going to help our fast bowlers, there was a lot of pace and bounce in that wicket. There was also a little bit of spin as well."
Clarke said the top-order batsmen should have tried to build more partnerships as the wickets fell quickly. "But in this form of the game it's hard, you're trying to score runs from every ball you face and you're disappointed when you don't," he said. "It comes at a cost when you bat like that, you take risks and sometimes it doesn't pay off.
Mitchell Johnson missed the match with an elbow infection but Clarke is hopeful he will be fit for the India game. "He was certainly improving this [Wednesday] morning," he said. "Mitch is a huge part of our team with both bat and ball, hopefully he is fit."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala