Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/2/19/khawaja-says-pressure-on-india-tweakers

Khawaja: Pressure on India tweakers

UPDATED 19 February, 2013 11:30AM AEST | by Damien Souness, Omnisport 24

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja believes the weight of expectation could burden India's spinners in the Test series starting on Friday.

Spin traditionally plays a major role in Test matches in India, with the hosts expected to select up to four spinners for the first Test in Chennai.

"We've had enough practice and we are as ready as we are ever going to be," Khawaja said.

"The Indian spinners have a lot of pressure on them because if it is a turning wicket, they will be expected to take wickets."

Australia, whose three-day match against India A ended in a draw on Monday, must decide whether to go with three seamers or two spinners on Friday.

"It will be interesting to see what (captain) Michael Clarke and (coach) Mickey Arthur decide for the first Test," Khawaja said.

"There have been a couple of good performances over the last couple of days.

"Moises (Henriques) bowled brilliantly in this game and the last game.

"Peter Siddle bowled lovely in this game, hit the deck hard and got it around their faces.

"I think it all depends on the conditions that we get served up in Chennai."

Khawaja admitted the Indian spinners had put the heat on the visiting batsmen during the three-day match.

Australia were skittled for 235 in reply to India A's total of 451, prompting the hosts to enforce the follow-on.

The Aussies reached 3-195 in their second innings, avoiding an embarrassing innings defeat ahead of the first Test.

"In terms of practice, this is obviously what the spinners wanted," Khawaja said.

"It obviously didn't go as well for them as it did for the Indian spinners, but the Indian batsmen also batted really well.

"You've got to give credit to the spinners; they bowled very well yesterday.

"They used the conditions brilliantly and put a lot of pressure on us. It was good to get out there and put ourselves under a bit of pressure.

"I think as far as our bowling group is concerned, the spinners took more out of it, in terms of learning how the Indians will approach it come the first Test.

"The options are there for us in the spinning category, but it's a long tour."

Khawaja said Australia were wary of placing too much emphasis on the opposition spinners and not the other factors at play.

"We've actually said that spin plays a big part in India but it's not the only thing that plays a big part in India," he said.

"They've got some good pace bowlers too, who can use the new ball and use the old reversing ball really well too."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 19 February, 2013 10:25AM AEST

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