Aussies ready with all pace attack

Australian captain Ricky Ponting announced with glee that he will unleash "wicket-taking machine" Shaun Tait to unsettle Indian batsmen.

updated: January 18, 2008 17:31 IST
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Australian captain Ricky Ponting announced with glee that he will unleash "wicket-taking machine" Shaun Tait to unsettle Indian batsmen at the fast-paced WACA track in the third cricket Test in Perth on Wednesday.

Australia have decided to field an all-pace attack at the fastest track on earth with fiery Tait, who will replace Brad Hogg, giving company to Brett Lee, Stuart Clarke and Mitchell Johnson.

"Shaun Tait is a wicket-taking machine, it's very rare that he goes through a game without taking two or three wickets in an innings. He would be used in short spells to unsettle the batsmen," Ponting told reporters.

Australia have been forced to make another change in their batting line-up with injured Matthew Hayden sitting out and left-hander Chris Rogers coming in his place.

"Hadyen is not fit. With 50 per cent running in yesterday, he hoped to be doing so 70 per cent today.

"In the last Test, he needed a runner and we thought if it happened in the first innings here, he would be needing a runner throughout. So we decided a week here and a few days extra should get him alright for Adelaide," Ponting said.

It's the pace attack of the Australians on a fiery pitch which was the talk at the WACA and Ponting felt it was for good reason.

"This wicket more than anything else rewards when it's bowled in good areas, giving yourself a lot more chance to pick wickets.

"Johnson didn't have much luck in the first two Tests. But by bowling close to 40 overs in the first innings in Sydney, he showed he could bowl long spells.

"We had really a good talk as a team a couple of days ago, minor issues that we can brush up from the last Test. India, by withdrawing their charge against Hogg last evening have shown that they are ready to move on. We have realised that the game of cricket is bigger than just us," Ponting said.

Ponting believed there was no bad blood between the two teams. "Is there any bad blood between the two teams. I can only go by the word of Anil who said there wasn't and I said the same thing."

Asked whether Australia will reciprocate India's gesture and take back the charges against Harbhajan Singh, Ponting said they have not decided on the issue yet.

"Hogg issue was withdrawn only last night. We have a pretty important and big Test match in a few hours time, and that has not been spoken at all about it in the group.

"My feeling is that the hearing wouldn't be until after the Adelaide game anyway, there would be some time probably for the hierarchy to sit back and discuss anything that might hasn't been done so far."

Australia's unsporting attitude have come in for a lot of criticism since the Sydney Test, but Ponting said it was not his worst moments as captain.

"Losing Ashes in 2005 was probably, having been the first Australian captain in a long while to have done so. There are a lot of challenge which comes up if you are a leader.

"I feel a lot happier after yesterday's meeting and I am sure Anil does the same. Both Anil and I have been under a lot of pressure this week," Ponting said.