Adelaide, Jan 23 (IANS) Australia captain Michael Clarke admitted Monday that conditions at the Adelaide Oval will suit the Indians more than the hosts in the fourth and the final Test starting here Tuesday.
Clarke, however, expects reverse swing to play a crucial role in the match and said the team is focussed on completing a 4-0 whitewash of India.
“We know these conditions are probably going to suit India a lot more than where we have come from in Perth. So we are going to have to be at our best to beat them, that is for sure,” Clarke told reporters here Monday on the eve of the match.
“I think reverse swing will play a huge part in this Test. It always does. The ground is in great nick so the outfield will keep the ball newer than I have seen it in the past. But I think as the day goes on, especially in the heat, you will see a lot of reverse swing,” he said.
Spinner Nathan Lyon, a local boy, is likely to be included in the final XI as the track offers some turn and Mitchell Starc will be the 12th man. Lyon will be playing his first Test match at his home ground.
“I definitely have a lot of confidence in Lyno. He knows these conditions well and he’s played plenty of cricket down here. Generally, the Adelaide Oval goes five days so it’s about hanging in there and taking advantage of the moments where we can grab the momentum.”
“It’s probably as close to Indian conditions as you’re going to get in Australia. So as a batting unit, we have been working on that in the nets. We have faced a bit of reverse swing and fair bit of spin. So I think our preparations have been spot on,” Clarke said.
On persisting with Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus, Clarke said: “We think that’s the best XI to give us every chance to win this Test. I think the experience of the other three quicks will play a big part in these conditions.”
Clarke also said that his predecessor Ricky Ponting still has a lot to offer to Australian cricket.
“He’s in really good form – he has had a pretty good series. I have seen Punter bat for a long time now and he’s hitting the ball very sweetly,” he said.
Asked if Adelaide would be Ponting’s last Test, Clarke said: “No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it will be. Ricky has a lot of Test cricket left in him.”
Clarke also backed beleaguered wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who admitted that he was mentally drained.
“Mentally, he’s ready to go. He has been keeping pretty well throughout this series. His experience will play a big part (in Adelaide). It’s going to be tough conditions out there,” Clarke said.