India hoping for a win against Aussies

Having suffered a humiliating defeat in their opening game to Pakistan, India now find themselves against none other than world champions Australia.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Having suffered a humiliating defeat in their opening game to Pakistan, India now find themselves in a must-win situation against none other than world champions Australia in the cricket tri-series on Monday. The Indians have nothing to lose but their own waywardness which cost them heavily -- a huge 66-run defeat to their arch-rivals who appear to be getting back into the groove after two wins on the trot against Sourav Ganguly's men. India almost certainly face a shut-out in the tournament and they must now win against Australia and then hope Pakistan would win against the world champions on Wednesday to remain in contention for the August 28 final. Odds against India The variables are heavily loaded against them and if they are not able to pull off a win on Monday, they must prepare to cool their heels for the next five days before leaving for England for the NatWest Challenge and the Champions Trophy on August 29. India are fervently hoping that their famous batting rediscovers its touch, for, further mishaps will prove disastrous to the men in blue in England. If the last season was one in which all the batsmen were in the pink of form, the present season has shown them in terrible light with nobody able to hit the straps. Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif have all been struggling to put one decent score on the scoreboard. Sachin missed To compound the issue, Sachin Tendulkar has been ruled out of the tournament because of a tennis elbow syndrome on his left arm. It is a moot issue, though, how a batting line-up so short on confidence would find a measure of the Australian bowling which has a four-pronged pace attack in Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Glenn McGrath and Michael Kasprowicz. Australia will have an added spur to do well against the Indians since they would be coming over to India in October for a Test series and a good performance here would help them score some psychological points. Australia are at their full strength except for the absence of Adam Gilchrist who has stayed back home because of personal reasons. Their batting is powerful, their bowling penetrative and fielding razor sharp - all in all an opponent which India in their current form do not look capable of taking on. (PTI)