India have time, strong batting: Clarke

Updated: 30 December 2007 16:53 IST

Australia's middle order batsman Michael Clarke did not put it beyond India to make a match of the target though he backed his bowlers.

India have time, strong batting: Clarke

Melbourne:

Australia's middle order batsman Michael Clarke did not put it beyond India to make a match of the target though he backed his bowlers to wrap up the opening cricket Test.

"They have plenty of time. You look at India's batting line-up, it's very strong. I know we have to be on our game on Saturday to win this Test," said Clarke who top scored with 73 in Australia's second innings as the visitors set 499 for India to win the Boxing Day Test.

"But I also believe that if we bowl as well as we can and hold our chances, there is a possibility that the game could be over on the fourth day itself."

Clarke believed the wicket at the MCG demanded utmost patience.

"It's hard to get set at the start of innings. When it gets a bit softer, it becomes more difficult to score. One needs to be as patient as possible."

Clarke was of the opinion that it would be difficult for batsmen to survive once the ball starts reverse swinging on Saturday. More "Frankly there are no cracks in the wicket. The wicket is not going to break up. But fortunately we have three pacemen who are very good with reverse swing. They can reverse swing it both ways which I think not many bowlers in the world can do."

"Even with the Indians, both left-armers were pretty challenging. You would have seen a lot of nicks going to slips but because of slowness, it did not carry to the slip cordon."

Clarke revealed there was no plan to declare the innings at the start of the day's play but then Ponting wanted to have a go at the Indians in the final minutes on Friday.

"I did not know Ricky was declaring. But when I came in, I saw Gilly (Gilchrist) and him discussing. Obviously the idea was to have a go at the batsmen and see if we could pick a wicket or two."

Clarke also said his side would not make the mistake of taking Rahul Dravid lightly though he is not at his best.

"Rahul has been a great player. He knows his game better than anybody else. We would not be taking him lightly at all."

Topics : Cricket India Australia
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