x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Australia are looking to bounce back

Australia are looking for improved performances from their batting and bowling leaders in the third Test.

NEW DELHI // Australia are looking for improved performances from their batting and bowling leaders in the third Test, which starts tomorrow, with the tourists needing to rebound quickly to avoid a first series defeat since 2005. India, on the other hand, have decided to go for the kill, opting to rest the second Test bowling hero Amit Mishra and bringing back captain Anil Kumble.

India have not lost a Test on all six occasions that Kumble has played at the Ferozshah Kotla ground. Kumble's 10-wicket feat in an innings came here against Pakistan in 1999. The 38-year-old has taken at least seven wickets in each of his Delhi tests, bowling India to victory each time. The opener Matthew Hayden has vowed a more aggressive approach to shed his poor form while paceman Brett Lee has been working hard since both failed in the first two Tests.

And while the Australian batting order has also struggled against the reverse swing and pace of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, their own bowlers have come up short, with the visitors lacking a quality spinner. The Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke said his team were not concerned by India's formidable record at a venue where they have won the last seven Test matches dating back to 1993. "I believe all the guys in the squad are in fantastic shape. We are 1-0 down, we have to win, play good cricket," he said.

"We've taken the positives out of the last two Tests. We're concentrating hard on this Test, not looking too far ahead." The former captain Steve Waugh visited the nets yesterday and urged senior players to lead the fightback. "If they get a couple of things right and seniors like [skipper] Ricky Ponting, Lee, [Mike] Hussey and even Hayden take responsibility they should be fine," he said. * Reuters