Melbourne, Feb.9 : Australia's fear or wariness of India in the ongoing Commonwealth Bank one-day series is justified, said Indian opener Virender Sehwag today, a day before the two teams clash in the fourth match of the tournament at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here.
Interacting with press persons ahead of the crucial tie, Sehwag said India could not and should not be taken lightly in the tournament in view of its performance in the recently concluded Test series (2-1 in favour of Australia) and the 1-1 drawn series in 2003-04. He said that of all the teams taking on Australia in the recent past, only India had mounted a credible challenge.
"In Brisbane, it was lack of practice. Now, we've had four days of nets, so we are looking better day by day," Sehwag said, hoping that the MCG pitch would be the same as the one on which Queensland lost to Victoria. On a slow surface.
Sehwag felt the lack of pace would make it easier for the Indian batsmen to hang around. "If we have to challenge the Australians we need to not lose wickets early on, because the Aussies find it difficult if the wickets don't fall and we should play on that,"he said.
Speaking for the Australian side, fast bowler Brett Lee said the team would approach its match with India with the necessary firepower and caution.
"Tomorrow is a very big match for us. India are tough opponents," he said. "If we can go there and play some really good cricket, hopefully pick up a win, then the momentum will be sky-high going into Perth against Sri Lanka," Lee said.
Lee agreed with Sehwag that the MCG pitch is likely to be less pacey, but said the Australian bowling attack was varied and consistent enough to deliver in any conditions.
"Collectively as a bowling group we have done well. The guys are chipping in and it's not like one person is putting his hand up," he said.
Both teams are likely to field unchanged line-ups though India might be tempted to pick leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.
Australia: (probable) 1 Matthew Hayden, 2 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Andrew Symonds, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Brad Hogg, 10 Mitchell Johnson, 11 Nathan Bracken.
India: (probable) 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), 7 Robin Uthappa, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Sreesanth, 11 Ishant Sharma.