Aus looking for 450-500: McGrath

Australian speedster Glen McGrath feels a target of 450-500 would be good enough for his team to launch their Test campaign against India.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Australian speedster Glen McGrath feels a target of 450-500 would be good enough for his team to launch their Test campaign against India with a victory. "450-500 in front, hopefully, that will be good enough for the bowlers, we are looking at a minimum of four and a half sessions to dismiss the Indians," McGrath, who took 4 for 55 in India's first innings, said on Friday. Strong lead Australia, who decided against enforcing the follow-on, were in the driver's seat after taking an overall lead of 355 runs with six wickets intact by the end of third day's play. McGrath said the wicket would get tough to bat on and Indians would find chasing the big target a diffucult task. "We are in a pretty good position at the moment. But another 50 or 100 runs would be good. We will see how the first session goes tomorrow," the fast bowler said on Friday. "The wicket is quite slow, the ball quite soft which is not really coming on to the bat. Looks like the wicket will get worse. Whoever has more patience will win the match." Confidence booster On his bowling performance, McGrath said the warm-up match against Mumbai served as a confidence booster ahead of the real battle. "The warm-up game in Mumbai gave me a lot of confidence. to be honest you obviously cannot ask for a better start than taking two wickets in your first two overs, it's probably the perfect way to start as a bowler." McGrath had opener Aakash Chopra trapped leg before in the first over for duck before dismissing Rahul Dravid in the next over, also for no score, to leave the home team in shambles. "To get a guy like Dravid, a batsman of his calibre, knock him over for a duck was a pretty big moment for us. It really put India on the backfoot." The bowler said his fellow pacemen and he were coming to terms with conditions in the subcontinent. "One of the things you come to expect in India is that the new ball will carry through okay and then you get reverse swing as the game goes on. I did not expect to get a wicket in the first 10 overs. India had it (reverse swing) going as well, the ball was getting scruffed up quite a bit." Pathan 'confident' India's paceman Irfan Pathan said his team played better today and that he was "confident" of his team rising to the occasion in the remaining two days. "We did pretty well today and we are quite confident of doing well in the next two days," Irfan said. On the wicket, he said, "I don't think the wicket did very much but we bowled very well. The wicket is quite slow, if we bowl a good line and length, it's good. But if we bowl a bad ball, it is going to go for runs, we have to be careful." Asked to comment on his dubious caught behind dismissal which ended his gutsy knock of 31, the Baroda paceman said, "I can't say anything about that decision. But I think I was unlucky." (PTI)