Gabba, a happy hunting ground for India

Feb 19, 2012, 07:15 IST | A Correspondent

India haven't lost an international game at Brisbane since January 2000

India haven't lost an international game at Brisbane since January 2000

Australia are being called sloppy by their critics and justifiably so, as they have lost their last two games of the CB Series. Indeed, table-toppers India (10 points from four games) go into Sunday's game against the hosts as favourites.

Michael Clarke and Sachin Tendulkar collide as the Australian attempts
to field the ball during the second final of the CB Series at Brisbane on
March 4, 2008.  Pics/Getty Images

Not that past records have any bearing on the job at hand except for a bit of a feel good factor, but the fact is that India have not lost an international game at the Gabba here since Sachin Tendulkar's side went down to Wasim Akram's Pakistanis in the second game of the Carlton & United triangular series in January 2000.

Where Australia are concerned, they last beat India here way back in 1992 -- in a thrilling World Cup game which the hosts won by one run.

Most importantly, while bringing up past records, it was here that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's ODI outfit beat then world champions Australia to win their first triangular title Down Under in 2008.

The skipper, apart from Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan and Praveen Kumar, who are part of India's current squad will remember that triumph with a dollop of joy.

Tendulkar led the way with a knock in which he fell nine runs short of back-to-back tons -- caught brilliantly by Ricky Ponting off Michael Clarke. India scored a competitive 258 before Praveen Kumar's four for 46 helped India bowl out Australia for 249.

Like in most games at Brisbane, the quick bowlers will thrive and India are not short of ammunition to chose from -- Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, the in-form Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan. 

Vinay Kumar, who has claimed nine wickets in four games, told the media on Saturday that he was trying to do better. "I could have given 10 runs less in every game. There are a few areas I can improve. When a new batsman comes in, I allow him to get three runs or a four. I know I can bowl a dot ball. I know I can control things," he said.

Viru doubtful
Which top order batsman will be rested for Sunday's game is anyone's guess, but there is a possibility of a forced break for Virender Sehwag, who is struggling a bit with a back spasm. Sehwag has scored 30 runs in two games. He was not in the playing XI for two tri-series games. Australia will be without Michael Clarke, whose right hamstring injury has not fully healed.

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