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'Draw the only option for World champion'

New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) With the huge total piled up by India in the third Test here, former cricketer Ian Chappell feels that draw is now the only viable option for Australia.

The Indian batsmen made merry on a flat pitch with Gautam Gambhir and VVS Laxman notching up double centuries before declaring their innings at a massive total of 613.

''I think Australia have got a lot of long, hard toil ahead of them if they are going to draw this match, which is now the only viable option left for Australia,'' Chappell said here yesterday.

''Australia have got to be very cautious of which delivery they drive and which delivery they don't and they are going to have a lot of questions asked by Amit Mishra with his flight,'' he said.

The former India coach appreciated the performance of Gambhir and Laxman.

''Their brilliant batting and their tremendous partnership took India to a position of great strength. They came together and accelerated the scoring-rate at just the perfect moment for India.

On the Aussies' bowling attack, he said, ''There was a wicket for Brett Lee; he is really down on form and on confidence at the moment. Mitchell Johnson got three wickets: he has been the best wicket taker for Australia, but even he has got a problem with the position of his wrist and he is not getting the old ball to swing at all.'' ''Shane Watson, I thought, has showed a lot of improvement at a Test match bowler in this match. He produced one very good spell where he got a couple of wickets; he got rid of Gambhir and his bowling confidence has gone up in this match, which is good news for Australia.'' ''Ricky Ponting was forced to use Simon Katich but when he did use him he got a wicket and he certainly looked the most threatening of Australia's slower bowlers,'' he added.


Story first published: Friday, October 31, 2008, 12:04 [IST]
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