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Batting camp will make Australians ready for mind games

The Australian batting camp that started here Tuesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has not only been designed to help the top-order batsmen to combat India's swing bowlers, but will also preach mental toughness and one-on-one sessions to deal with cricket and life.

Captain Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin, Dan Christian, Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh were present along with coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Justin Langer.

While all the batsmen attended the nets, Watson skipped it raising doubts on his availability for the Boxing Day Test. Watson, who has already ruled himself out as a bowler, is yet to recover from his hamstring and calf muscle injury.

Watson helped Langer to feed the bowling machines to counter the likes of the crafty Zaheer Khan and rangy Ishant Sharma - although both are in doubt for the Boxing Day Test because of injury.

"You can do the physical and technical preparation but for me a lot of preparation for the opposition is a real mental thing. A lot of it has to do with strategy. It's a mind game really. We know the Indian bowlers really well. We've just got to get our minds attuned to getting ready for what is to come," Langer was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

"The recent batting collapses, we certainly don't ever accept those, we need to get better. I think the wicket in Hobart was really green, and in Cape Town it was a lot different wicket than we'd generally play on. We have to adapt better, there is no doubt about that, but I'd like to think that no one is panicking," he said.

Arthur is concerned that Indian counterpart Duncan Fletcher is plotting a swing-led attack take down of his top order.

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