Kumble, Bhajji will maul Aussies: Ojha

Pragyan Ojha believes Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh would maul the visitors in the forthcoming Test series if they get a little help from the tracks.

updated: November 29, 2008 18:49 IST
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Pragyan Ojha has done his own assessment of Australia's famed batting line-up and the left-arm spinner believes elder craftsmen Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh would maul the visitors in the forthcoming Test series if they get a little help from the tracks.

Along with Piyush Chawla, Ojha has been instrumental in exposing Australian top-order vulnerability against spin attack and he believes crisis would only compound for Ricky Ponting and his men if India rolls out turners and unleashes Kumble and Harbhajan.

"It would depend on the track but though Australia have a strong line-up especially with (Ricky) Ponting, (Matthew) Hayden and (Michael) Hussey in the ranks I think they would be in trouble if the track offers help to the spinners," said Ojha, who claimed three of the nine Australian wickets claimed by the Indian spinners in their first innings.

Leg-spinner Chawla was the pick of the Indian bowlers, claiming five, while captain Yuvraj Singh also finished with one.

Ojha said the track at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here had nothing for the spinner and still he and Chawla did a smart job. In wickets which is more spinner-friendly, Australia might find itself in real trouble.

Besides, Kumble and Harbhajan's vast experience would also come handy when they take on the Australians.

"Both Anil bhai and Harbhajan are hugely experience and can hit the good areas consistently. It would be quite a problem for the Australians," said the youngster.

Dwelling on his performance, Ojha said, "I'm not too unhappy because conditions were not easy. One more wicket would have made me happy. But then there was nothing in the strip and I decided to stick to the line and length formula and get the basic right."

Australia were staring at follow-on before Michael Hussey's gritty century and Stuart Clark's rearguard action saw them avert the ignominy. Ojha said Hussey played a patient knock and was rewarded.

"It was basically a good wicket to bat on. He was confident even though the was Piyush bowled today and I too chipped in, it was not very easy. He was more patient of all the Australian batsmen," Ojha said.

Asked how frustrating it was to see Hussey and Clark eventually avoid the follow-on, Ojha said, "We tried everything but wicket was not assisting us. Besides, both of them played really well."

Talking about the gameplan tomorrow, Ojha said, "We would like to get some more runs before actually declaring and asking them to bat again."

The local favourites ended the day at 110 for two, thus stretching their overall lead to 251 with eight wickets in hand.