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Watson will hammer India down: Arthur

Press Trust Of India
Jan 16, 2012 at 01:21pm IST

Perth: Australia coach Mickey Arthur on Monday said that his men will "hammer down" the visitors in next month's ODI tri-series as well once all-rounder Shane Watson comes back into the team.

"Whether he plays in Adelaide Test or not, I'm not sure. But we want him to fit for the Twenty20 and ODI tri-series and I'm pretty sure we're going to have him and that's where he'll hammer India down," Arthur said after his side clinched the four-match Test series 3-0 at the WACA.

The tri-series, which will also involve Sri Lanka, starts on February 5 with a match between India and Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

'Watson will hammer India down in tri-series'

Australia coach Mickey Arthur believes that the all-rounder will have a huge impact.

Watson has played 10 ODIs against India and scored 410 runs at an avegage of 41.00. He has also claimed 12 wickets with his medium-fast bowling at 25.42 average. Importantly, he has yet to meet India in an ODI in Australia.

Arthur expressed surprise at India's tame capitulation in the Test series and believed that time has come for the visitors to identify some youngsters and bring them in the team in place of senior players.

"I never once thought it was going to be like this. You (India) need to identify some young players. You need to find ways to get those players into the system, to try to get them into the side and to give them opportunities," said Arthur.

Arthur said that India can still fight back in Adelaide but someone needs to stand up and deliver against his side.

"I do think they can (stage a fightback). What they need is a catalyst. They need someone to stand up and say, 'I'm going to lead the way and take the fight to Australia. Viru (Virender Sehwag) can do that at any time. Gautam (Gambhir) has shown sings of form. Sachin (Tendulkar) has been in outstanding nick. Zaheer Khan can do that with the ball. India are still a very, very good cicket team," he said.

"They've just got to get some confidence. They still are a team that we'll never ever take lightly."

Arthur gave credit to his players for executing his plans against Indian batsmen in the Test series. "I brought a slight dimensional change in terms of our tactics against some of the Indian batsmen. I did have the prior knowledge of where the team was at. But our players deserve all the accolades. The only way you can put India under pressure is by executing your plans," he said.

The Australia coach gave enough hints that his side will play three pacers and one spinner in Adelaide and that off-spinner Nathan Lyon will be in the playing eleven.

"All indications in Adelaide you are going to play a spinner. There's no doubt about that. The stars have aligned for us all series except in number three position," he said.

He also hinted that Shaun Marsh, struggling after recovering from an inuury, may still play in Adelaide. "If Shaun (Marsh) gets the opportunity, I'm sure he'll go out there and perform well. I saw signs of him coming back. I saw signs of his movements being a lot crisper. He looked really good at a point in his innings. I am hoping he gets through it and gets a score," Arthur said.

"Once he gets on a roll, he's hard to bowl at. Hopefully, Adelaide is the catalyst for him and he can take that into the Twenty20s and ODIs. We just thought he was tentative in first two Tests. Once you are injured, you start doubting your ability. You just need a score and he hasn't got that yet."

Arthur was all praise for David Warner and said the dashing opener would captain an Australian team at some stage. "We worked hard with Davey Warner - JL (batting coach Justin Langer) and myself. But Davey needs to take the credit because he's the guy who actually asked for more and more.

"Davey has leadership potential. He has the ability to lead any Australian team in any form of the game at some stage. Whether that's in next couple of weeks or in a year or five years' time, I'm not sure," said Arthur.

"He has a good cricket brain, leads by example. He trains the hosue down. The perceptions everybody has of him and reality of David the person are poles apart."

Arthur said he wanted the team to be more ruthless and believed he had the attack to make it happen. "We've got to get more and more ruthless. I do think we've got the talent to be able to do that. Siddle has been brilliant. Hilfenhaus has been outstanding. James Pattinson, it goes without saying how well he's done.

"Ryan Harris has looked the article the more he got into the team. Mitchell Starc is getting better and better. We've still got Pat Cummins and Shane Watson to try to fit in," said Arthur.

"Siddle and Pattinson were tremendous together. Pattinson got the accolades and got the wickets but if it wasn't for Siddle at the other end, he wouldn't have done it."

He expressed satisfaction that his players were able to apply pressure on the Indians continuously in the Test series. "That's been our mantra. Pressure equals wickets. We always wanted our breaking points to be higher than India's. We've held our nerve when the moments have presented themselves," her said.

Arthur was of the opinion that the journey for his team hasn't ended, instead, it has just begun. "We've won the series but we certainly haven't got anywhere near the heights that we want to. There's a lot of areas we need to keep working on and get better at because we want to get back to number one in the world.

"The journey for us has just started. We had steered South Africa to top, then found wasn't much left to do. The goals and targets we've set for ourself are in the future. This is very much the embryo stage for us," he said.

Arthur believes his side's progress has been a bit ahead of schedule. "I've been hugely impressed by the leadership of Michael Clarke. I've been hugely impressed by the way the players have embraced what we've wanted to do.

"We're a little bit ahead of where I thought we would be at this point in time. There's a lot of good talent. Competition for players is going to be rife," said the South African.

Arthur looked ahead at the Ashes, which he described as the ultimate goal, and said his team was priming itself for it. "It's the ultimate goal. I'd like the Ashes to probably start in two months time so we'd have Cummins, Watson and Pattinson all available," he said.

"This Indian series was a world championship cricket series for us. The South African series early next summer is going to be a huge series. We need to be able to win those series against opponents ranked higher than us in the world in order to go back into England and challenge.

"I guess winning back the Ashes is at the forefront of everybody's mind. I'd be lying if I didn't say that we were trying to build a really competitive team to go back and win them in 2012 but not at the detriment of any other series."

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