Aussies keen to bounce back
Australia are seeking an all-round improvement in the third Test to avoid a first series defeat since 2005.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 27/10/08 1:34pm
Australia are seeking an all-round improvement to avoid a first series defeat since 2005, when the third Test against India gets under way on Wednesday.
The world's top-ranked team, who are trailing 1-0 in the four-match series, need to win at least one of the remaining two Tests to keep alive an unbeaten run that dates back to the Ashes series loss to England more than three years ago.
In the second Test defeat, Australia's shortcomings were cruely exposed by the swing bowling of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma in Mohali and seven-wicket new-boy Amit Mishra.
If Wednesday's clash already appeared tough for the Aussies, the tourists will also have to contend with fit-again skipper Anil Kumble after he sat out the last Test due to a shoulder injury.
Leg spinner Kumble, the third most successful bowler in Test history with 616 victims, has taken 55 wickets in six games at the Ferozshah Kotla ground, long regarded as India's favourite venue.
His impressive haul includes all 10 second innings wickets to bowl India to a series-levelling win over Pakistan in 1999, only the second time one player has bowled out the entire side in Test cricket.
But Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke insists his team were unconcerned by India's formidable record at a venue where they have won the last seven Test matches dating back to 1993.
"I believe all the guys in the squad are in fantastic shape," he said. "We are 1-0 down, we have to win, play good cricket.
"We've taken the positives out of the last two tests. We're concentrating hard on this test, not looking too far ahead."
Struggling opener Matthew Hayden has promised a more aggressive approach to shed his poor form, while paceman Brett Lee has been working hard since both men flopped when India cruised to a record 320-run victory in last week's second Test in Mohali.