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'Length Will Be Key In Australia'

'You have to keep the ball up. You cannot bowl short to the Australians, says the left-arm seamer

INTERVIEWS | 16 November 2003
'Length Will Be Key In Australia'
AP
'Length Will Be Key In Australia'
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Having recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the two-match Test series against New Zealand, left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra is keenly looking forward to his first tour of Australia.

Nehra, who had a memorable World Cup earlier this year in South Africa where he picked 15 wickets, was off the field for more than six months when he underwent a surgery on his right ankle.

But the Delhi bowler says he has gone through a thorough rehabilitation course that has brought him back into peak fitness and is now ready for the series Down Under.

"The preparation has been smooth. There was a month long camp at the start of the season, and I have been with the Test and one-day teams to get back into the groove," said Nehra, allaying fears about his ankle.

The left arm bowler, who took a record equalling 6-23 against England at Durban in the group stage of the World Cup, said 'length' was more important while bowling on Australian pitches.

"The pitches there have more bounce than those in India. The length will be more important. "You cannot bowl too short to the Australians, you have to keep the ball up."

Though the wickets in Australia were hard and bouncier, a bowler would have to double his efforts to get wickets, Nehra said.

"One also has to have more patience because you cannot expect to get five wickets in five overs which you may do here. You need to bowl 20 or more overs in a day to get those wickets.

"You have to use the tour matches to set into the right line and length. If you don't, it will be difficult on the whole tour," Nehra said.

The 24-year old said his responsibility would be more in the absence of Javagal Srinath, who announced his retirement from international cricket last week.

"Myself and Zaheer (Khan) will have to take the responsibility in the absence of Srinath. We will have to bowl both the new ball and old ball, 20 overs every day."

Nehra, who has taken 37 wickets from 13 Tests so far, felt it would be a challenging experience to bowl to the most formidable batting line-up in the world.

"Containing the Australian batsmen will be a difficult task. They play positive cricket and taking wickets is the only way to stop them.

"If you take two wickets and allow batsmen like Hayden and Gilchrist to bat on, they would make more than 300 runs in a day."

PTI

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