It's advantage India against Aus: Whatmore

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India has a bright chance to avenge their 2004 series loss in next month's Test series against Australia, feels former Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore.

Updated: September 13, 2008 09:15 IST
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New Delhi:

With the Australian attack losing the venom of the recent past and two rookie spinners in the visiting squad, India has a bright chance to avenge their 2004 series loss in next month's Test series, feels former Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore.

Whatmore, now Director (Cricket Operations) of the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore said Anil Kumble's boys should capitalise on the inexperienced Australian bowling to beat the world champions.

"I think in the series they (India) are fairly fortunate. There is no Warne, no McGrath (in the Australian squad), that is over a 1000 wickets taken out. India have got advantage. Generally, speaking you would need everyone firing for Australia to win a Test match," he said.

"The attack that's coming over is not as experienced as what has been. They (India) will enjoy that, they will capitalise on that, get enough runs, protect and bowl the opposition out twice," the Australian told a cricket website.

He, though, had a word of caution and said India would do well if they allow their pace spearhead Brett Lee and captain Ricky Ponting little success.

"(It) is an inexperienced side coming over. But even in this inexperienced team there are a couple of match-winners in Lee and Ponting. We cannot overlook that.

"We can never write Ponting off. He has enough experience in the subcontinent. He has played enough in Pakistan, India, as well as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in recent times. He has enough experience here to come along and start to play the ball not coming onto the bat as much as these guys like," said the 1996 world-cup winning coach.

"The (Australian) bowling attack will be worked around Lee, no question about it. It is the spin attack that worries me from their view. Not sure they have decent spinners, they certainly have no experience in Indian conditions," Whatmore said.

"The batting will centre around Ricky Ponting, but if their openers Phil Jaques and Matthew Hayden, don't give them a good start, it will be difficult for them to get a big total. At least good enough to defend themselves," he said.

Whatmore, who toured India in 1979 under Kim Hughes, feels that India-Australia series has also grown in stature comparable to the Ashes.

"Ashes are played every second year once away and once at home. Maybe people are getting sick of all that ... overkill of all that. These fixtures between India and Australia are beginning to take more importance. Both sides are boasting some decent players and it is important to beat each other particularly in your home ground, so I think it is emerging to be pretty important series in the calendar of world cricket."

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