Australia captain Michael Clarke realises that his bowlers will have to work harder for 20 Indian wickets in the fourth and final Test starting today here at the Adelaide Oval.
Clarke's fast bowlers steamrolled India's batsmen in the first three Tests. Not a single Indian batsman has hit a century in the series thus far. Even in 1999-00, when India lost 0-3, there were fine centuries from Sachin Tendulkar at Melbourne and VVS Laxman at Sydney.
"Generally the Test match at the Adelaide Oval does go five days. So we have to have the discipline to hang in there until you get the opportunity to grab hold of some momentum. The boys are flying high on confidence but it's going to be a tough challenge. I'm certain India will be very keen to finish the series on a high.
It's a great test for us as a team in what are going to be tough conditions to take 20 wickets," Clarke said on the eve of the Test.
Clarke acknowledged that the dry nature of the surface will help seamers extra reverse swing. "I think reverse swing will play a huge part in this Test, it always does here at Adelaide. The ground is in great nick, so the outfield will keep the ball newer than I have seen it in the past but I think as the day goes on, especially in this heat, you will see a lot of reverse swing.
Just like India
"And that is why I say it's probably as close to Indian conditions as you're going to get in Australia. So as a batting unit, we have been working on that in the nets, we have faced a bit of reverse swing and a fair bit of spin, so I think our preparation has been spot on," he said.
The Indian veterans are drawing criticism back home for their below par show so far but Clarke said Down Under, there is only respect for the three.
Clarke paid tribute to Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who will appear in their final Test in Australia today. "They're three good players and very well-respected all around the world but especially in this country. We have the utmost respect for them. They're still playing good cricket.
They've copped a bit of criticism of late. For the team's sake, I hope Sachin doesn't make that 100th hundred and we can restrict Laxman and Dravid to not making too many runs so we can win the game.
"But it's going to be a very special moment when he does (score 100th century), wherever that is in the world. I'd like to continue to see those older guys who have been such great players get the respect they deserve. I'm certain India will be very keen to finish the series on a high," he added.
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