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New spinnes will be weak link in Oz attack : Bhajji

Sydney, Sep 13 (UNI) Asserting that the two new spinners could be the potential weak link in the Australian attack, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said absence of the likes of Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill will cost the visitors dearly.

Australia picked the uncapped 36-year-old Bryce McGain and Jason Krejza as their frontline slow bowlers for the India tour scheduled to start from October 9.

Harbhajan felt the two rookies will be easily dealt with by the Indian batsmen and will face a torrid time in India.

''We were always aware when we played Australia at home that Shane Warne was the main threat, and now that he is not there, it is obviously good for us,'' Harbhajan told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''Warne and Stuart MacGill have both been great spin bowlers.'' ''There are no spinners in Australia of the quality of Warne and MacGill now, and I'm sure our batsmen, who are the best players of spin in the world, are going to have fun with this challenge. We are not worried about whoever comes. I'm sure our batsmen will be okay,'' he added.

Australia will be counting on their pace attack, not spin, to beat India in their four-Test series.

The selectors named the uncapped Doug Bollinger and Peter Siddle in their 15-man squad to provide back-up to the front line trio of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson for the series.

Australia have a vastly different line-up to the group that won in India in 2004-05 and only four members of the current squad have Test experience in the country and Harbhajan sees it as the biggest oppurtunity for India to win the series.

''It is obviously a big advantage to us that players like Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Warne and Jason Gillespie are not around this time,'' he said. ''All of those guys have done well here in the past. The last time they were here they beat us, but I genuinely think that if we play to the level we're capable of, we can defeat them.'' However, the 28-year-old offie asserted that beating Australia is not an easy task as they are still the number one team in the world.

''We know that whoever Australia pick, they will be a good team, whether Shane Warne is playing or not. They are still the Number one team in the world, and it is always a challenge to play them. But we think we have a very good chance, playing in our home conditions and with the crowds supporting us,'' he said.


Story first published: Saturday, September 13, 2008, 14:03 [IST]
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