India go into today's game with Australia at Centurion aware that they have to win to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy alive. The Indians lost their opening match against Pakistan by 54 runs while the Australians beat the West Indies by 50 runs. The India captain MS Dhoni said yesterday that his team would have to play much better today than they did on Saturday.
"When you're chasing a total like 300, you always have to be at your best, and if you lose wickets in quick succession, it becomes really tough to chase those runs," he said, adding that his bowlers let him down. "We didn't bowl well. I tried whatever we had, but the captain can't really go and bowl," said the wicketkeeper-batsman. "At the end of the day, the bowlers have to go and bowl. We gave away too many runs.
"We bowled a bit short and, frankly speaking, I've never seen so many runs scored backward of point. "It's about adapting to the conditions. You have to be smart at international cricket but it's done and dusted, we could have done a lot better." Meanwhile, Jacob Oram is considering following his fellow all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's lead and consider becoming a 20-over freelancer due to the effects of his chronic injury problems.
The big-hitting New Zealander admitted earlier in the year that he may have to give up one format of the game - most likely Test cricket - in order to cope with the excessive demands on his body. Now, the former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe said the time has come for Oram to make that call after a hamstring strain forced him out of the Black Caps' Champions Trophy campaign.Crowe told a New Zealand radio station: "Jacob Oram is going to go home and reflect on how he is going to exit out of this game.
"When you get a chronic injury there reaches a point where the rest of the body just can't cope and you have got to call it quits," the former batsman added. * With agencies Australia v India, ART Prime Sport, 4.30pm