Vice-captain Brad Haddin says Australia is no more a foreign land for Indian players; gets real about threat from MS Dhoni's men
Australia vice-captain and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin said that the experienced Indian team feels at home here in Australia, and will be able to vie for a maiden series victory even if either Zaheer Khan or Ishant Sharma breaks down during the course of the four-Test series that gets underway with the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) today.
Brad Haddin . Pic/Getty Images
"I think they rely on the two big boys (Ishant and Zaheer) quite a lot. Even with the injury cloud, I don't think too much about that with this Indian team. Once they take the field they seem to roll out all right. It's definitely a different place to play cricket for the Indians. But, it's not as foreign any more (for them). It's like Australia going to India," Haddin told reporters yesterday.
"They have got some great players and I know especially our bowlers are looking forward to having a crack at them. But, we've picked a XI that we think is confident to rip through this Indian side," a positive Haddin added.
An ardent fan of Sachin Tendulkar, Haddin said he was excited about the master's elusive hundredth international ton. "That's exciting, the prospect of him (Sachin) scoring his hundredth hundred, for the fans and everyone involved in the game. But from our point of view, it hasn't come up in meetings. We haven't discussed anything about Sachin's hundred, and with a bit of luck we don't give him the opportunity to get there," he said.
On a lighter note, Haddin, who brought his little one to the nets on Christmas Day, said it was a time of the year that his teammates enjoyed. "We always look forward to this time of the year. We train today and our kids normally come down and enjoy the day with us, mostly because they've been up since five o'clock waiting for Santa Claus.
Then we go as a team, we have a Christmas lunch at Crown (casino) with all the families together. Santa Claus makes a guest appearance. It's just exciting, especially for the kids to see Santa Claus and to spend it with our extended family. We're away together so much it's good to just relax and have fun together. It's a time to spend with your family and we're no different," he said.