We played for a win, not to save Test: Nielsen

Australian coach Tim Nielsen said the team realised the futility of trying to save the Mohali match and hence will go for a win, how improbable it maybe.

updated: October 20, 2008 13:22 IST
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Australia's aggression while chasing a monumental target may have surprised most but coach Tim Nielsen said the team realised the futility of trying to save the match and hence went for a win, how improbable it maybe.

India set Australia 516 to win and both the openers Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich played with a positive attitude. Hayden perished after a 20-ball 29 while Katich departed after making 20 off 26 balls scoring at seven runs per over.

"We had decided it in the morning that whatever be the target, we would chase it and go for a win," Nielsen said.

"We knew there was no point trying to save the game against a bowling attack of such quality. So Matthew was pretty aggressive when he came out. He tried to take the attack to India and succeeded for a short period before falling to that leg before decision," he added.

Australia's counter-attack ploy, however, didn't click and the visitors ended the fourth and penultimate day at 141 for five, needing another 375 runs from their lower half for a highly improbable win.

"Hayden played positive right from the beginning and Katich also knocked around. We got through the first phase and they put pressure on India before Hayden fell. Losing two wickets in the same over badly hurt us," Nielsen said.

The Australian coach was highly impressed with the Indian bowlers and he singled out Ishant Sharma for special praise.

"He is very, very tall. I mean he's probably the tallest bowler around and the bounce he generates from the good length spot is really vicious and his trajectory also makes him a difficult bowler to deal with.

"The two deliveries he got Ponting and Watson out with were fantastic. Getting through Ricky's defence at that point of time was quite an effort.

"Zaheer (Khan) too is a great exponent of reverse swing and they have exploited the conditions better. I think they bowled consistently for longer period of time and that made the difference between us and them," Nielsen said.

Asked if Australia would like to draft in Andrew Symonds for the next two Test matches, Nielsen ruled out such possibility.

"Not at the moment. He is still dealing with the (rehabilitation) process. Selectors will sit after this Test match to pick the squad for the next two Tests," he said. Nielsen admitted the Australians have been outplayed both with the bat and ball and said there was some room for introspection.

"I think we have to sit back and analyse what we did here and plan how we can do better. We have to think that before the next Test in Delhi," he said.

His attention was also drawn to Hayden's dismissal after which the towering Australian opener was seen saying something to the umpire on his way out.

Nielsen said there was some words exchanged between the players but it was all within the limit.

"There was a bit of some stuff going around. The bowlers definitely didn't enjoy being hit around. No one was ready to give an inch there.

"The bowlers were under pressure and said something and Matthew also had a little bit of energy and emotion," he said.

Asked why Australia didn't bowl Brett Lee in the morning session and sprang a surprise by introducing Michael Hussey, Nielsen said, it was part of the ploy and nothing else.

"We knew both Ganguly and Dhoni love to see the ball come nicely on to the bat. So we decided to take the pace off it and hence Hussey was asked to bowl," he explained.