Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/22/clarke-stands-by-his-attack

Clarke stands by his attack

UPDATED 22 February, 2013 9:50AM AEST | 7

Australia Test captain Michael Clarke has argued his team has enough bowling variation to exploit all conditions in the first Test against India.

With India naming four spinners in their squad for the first two Tests to exploit the spin-friendly pitches in Chennai and Hyderabad, there had been plenty of speculation Australia would at least pick one specialist spinner and a slow bowling all-rounder for the match starting on Friday.

Instead, Australia have selected Nathan Lyon as the only specialist spinner, three fast bowlers in Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc, plus medium-pace bowling all-rounder Moises Henriques.

Clarke, however, rejects the idea Australia will lack spin options in Chennai. 

"Our team's different to India," Clarke said on Thursday. 

"We feel it's the best XI to help us have success in these conditions, we've certainly got the option of spin there. 

"We've got Nathan Lyon as our front-line spin bowler and then we've got a couple of part-timers in Dave Warner and myself. 

"In regards to the fast bowlers and Moises, I think their greatest strength over here is going to be once conditions go a little bit up and down, there's going to be variable bounce and also reverse swing. 

"So we're backing that if they execute their skills as well as they can, we can still take 20 wickets with that attack."

Clarke confirmed he will bat at number five in the first Test with Shane Watson set to come in ahead of Australia's captain at four.

Ed Cowan and Warner will open the batting, while Phil Hughes will come in at number three and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will bat at six ahead of Henriques.

Meanwhile, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has admitted he is nervous ahead of his 100th Test match.

If Singh is selected to play in Chennai, he will become the 10th Indian to play 100 Tests and will reach the milestone against the same team he made his debut against.

"Had no clue about what was going to happen," Harbhajan said, reflecting on his debut Test versus Australia in Bangalore. 

"To be honest I was a little kid on the park. 

"I was star struck at looking at players. (I said to myself), 'wow I am playing alongside (Sachin) Tendulkar, (Javagal) Srinath, Anil Kumble. These are all my heroes. I am playing today with them'.

"Of course I have come a long way. At that moment I never thought I would play for India this long a time."

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

First Posted 22 February, 2013 7:52AM AEST

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