|Thursday, 4 December 2003|
Ganguly ready to face the Aussie chin music
by Robert Smith
BRISBANE, Australia, Thursday (AFP)
Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, singled out by Shane Warne as having a weakness for short-pitched bowling, says he's ready to face the "chin music" in Thursday's opening cricket Test against Australia at Brisbane's Gabba ground.
Legspinner Warne, serving a 12-month drugs ban, has pinpointed Ganguly as showing a distaste for short-pitched deliveries and warned him that he will receive a barrage of what he called "chin music" on the greentop Gabba pitch.
But Ganguly did not sound perturbed on Wednesday, saying it was what he expected on what will be a hugely-challenging tour for one of world cricket's poorest travelling teams.
"That's how they play their cricket, which is good and tough," Ganguly said.
"They use their media quite a bit against opposition teams and you've just got to forget about it and get on with your game."
Asked if he expected a working over with the short-pitched ball, 31-year-old Ganguly said: "Yes... (Australian captain) Steve Waugh gets it and he's scored 32 Test hundreds.
"I don't think about it. Fortunately, the hotel people don't put a newspaper under my door, so I don't get to read most of them.
"It's going to be a challenge, you want to play Test cricket and you don't get everything pitched up to you.
"Players who've played Test cricket for a long period of time have received a few of those (short balls), so you're going to get it, that's what Test cricket is all about and we have to stand up against whichever side we play."
Ganguly's Test batting average is 41.42, but it dips to 29.47 against Australia in 10 Tests. On his last tour here in 1999-2000 he scored one half-century in six innings.
Waugh signalled that India's batsmen, headed by the great Sachin Tendulkar, will receive short-pitched bowling, but not to excess.
"We have a general thought as to how we are going to bowl to most of their batsmen, and obviously we'll keep that to ourselves, but Test match cricket is all about testing the opposition out whichever way you can with the ball," Waugh told a press conference on Wednesday.
"There's going to be some short stuff, we've got to expect that in Test match cricket as our batsmen expect it from their bowlers, it's all part of it, (but) I don't think we'll be overusing it, you want to make sure that it's a surprise weapon."
Although Australia will go into the opening Test without 430-Test wicket strike bowler Glenn McGrath and tearaway Brett Lee (131 wickets), Waugh said that would not influence his decision whether to bat or bowl should he win Thursday's toss.
"If I win the toss and bowl I see it as a positive move, not any other way," he said.
"If I believe we can knock the opposition over then I'll certainly consider bowling and just because we haven't got Glenn McGrath or Brett Lee it doesn't mean I don't believe these guys can knock over the Indian batsmen ... so there's every chance we'll bowl first if we win the toss."
Produced by Lake House