Hussey confident of Nagpur win
Michael Hussey believes Australia can claim a series-levelling victory in the final Test against India in Nagpur.
Last Updated: 04/11/08 2:37pm
Michael Hussey believes Australia can claim a series-levelling victory in the final Test against India in Nagpur and keep hold of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The tourists trail 1-0 in the four-match rubber after high-scoring draws in Bangalore and Delhi were sandwiched by India's 320-run win in Mohali.
Hussey knows Australia must quickly seize the initiative when the series decider starts on Thursday and is backing his team-mates to do just that.
"It (the first session) will be the most important," he said.
"If we can start well and get ourselves into a position of strength, then we will have a good chance to try and press for a victory. But I think it gets dangerous if you start thinking about the result.
"I don't like to think about the result or get too far ahead of myself. I just like to try and concentrate on hopefully winning that first session."
Hussey rejected suggestions that Australia's much-vaunted aggressive approach to Test cricket - a trademark of the Steve Waugh era - has been abandoned in favour of a more conservative game plan.
"I wouldn't agree we were defensive," countered the left-hander. "If the situation presents itself, we'll be very attacking.
"We need to win the last Test and have to make sure we get ourselves into a position from where we can attack.
"In the first Test in Bangalore, I thought we were quite attacking. It did take us a while to score runs, but the pitch was probably the main cause of that. We actually tried to win that game as hard as any Test.
"Coming into the second and third Tests when the opposition posted big first-innings totals, it was very hard then to dictate the rest of the game. That's probably why we appeared to be a bit more defensive."
Australia's batting line-up found form during the drawn third Test but the bowling attack has struggled to take 20 wickets in the absence of a top-rank spinner.
Victorian all-rounder Cameron White has carried the slow-bowling burden with little success and could be axed for Nagpur.
Uncapped off-spinner Jason Krejza, who was picked for the tour despite an uninspiring first-class record, is in contention to make his debut at White's expense.
One unknown heading into the series climax is the pitch. The match is taking place at the newly-constructed Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, which only gained International Cricket Council approval on Tuesday.
The practice facilities are not yet ready, leaving both teams to do their pre-match preparation at Nagpur's old ground, a venue Australia won at on their last visit four years ago.
On that occasion the playing surface was seamer-friendly. There is little prospect of a similar deck being prepared this time around - it is expected to be dry and slow.