Ahmedabad, March 22 (IANS) Australia’s experienced middle order batsman Michael Hussey feels their past good performances against India in their backyard gives them the confidence to come on top during their World Cup quarterfinal clash here Thursday.
Hussey Tuesday dismissed suggestions that the retirement of their star players – Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne have rendered the side inept for tackling co-hosts India.
Hussey said the fact Australia won the 2009 One-day International (ODI) series in India without Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath and Warne shows they are well equipped in handling sub-continental conditions.
“We can come into this game with a lot of confidence because we have played well against India in Indian conditions in the last few years, and won some very tough series,” Hussey told reporters here after the practise session.
“We’ve won quite a few ODI series against India in the last few years without McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Hayden.”
Hussey hoped that Australia’s pace battery – Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson – will make the Indians “hop” with their express pace.
“We have to face them in the nets and they don’t mind giving us a few short-balls, so they can certainly give some to the Indians as well. They like to be aggressive, they like to take wickets, they like to try and ruffle the batsmen with some short stuff as well,” he said.
“They’re bloody fast bowlers so it can be very difficult to play and let’s hope they have the Indians on the hop.”
Hussey said if they can overcome India, they stand a good chance of lifting the trophy for the fifth time.
“The teams that win their quarterfinals can take that confidence and momentum into the semifinals. This is a huge game for us. We believe that if we can beat India, then we have a great chance of going all the way,” he said.
Australia faced a four-wicket defeat at the hands of Pakistan in their last group match which ended their 34-match unbeaten run at the World Cup but Hussey was confident of his side rising to the occasion.
“I’m sure the ground will be a packed house and it will be a great environment to play our best cricket.”