Nagpur: Australia are extremely keen to wrap up the seven-game ODI series here on Wednesday itself by winning the penultimate match in Jamtha and take an unassailable lead, left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty stated on Monday.
Australia are 2-1 ahead in the rubber and India face a must-win situation here on October 30 to stay alive in the series. “From our point of view this is the game we want to win. We don’t want to save it for the last game on Sunday. We want to wrap up this game. Obviously from their (India’s) point of view they need to win to stay alive and from that point, it is pretty crucial for them,” said Doherty.
“We would rather be 3-1 up than 2-2 all. Both teams have played some very good cricket and it will be about who is better on Wednesday,” he added. While conceding that bowlers from both teams have found the going tough, especially with the new ODI rule on field restrictions, Doherty averred that it was better to grin and bear it.
“It’s been pretty tough going for all bowlers. Conditions have been tough. It’s been a rude challenge. Still having 20-20 cricket with five out and bringing them in. That’s the way it is suck it up and move on personally I will rather have five fielders,” he said.
“(But) from spectators point of view (there have been) more boundaries (hit), more runs scored. There have been 350-run chases and I am pretty sure we will have 400-run chases soon. No doubt that’s the way cricket has been going. From my point of view, am trying to get my ten overs in as best as I can, build up pressure and get some wickets either from my end or at the other.”
Personally from his experience in the Test series that Australia lost 0-4 earlier in the year, Doherty felt there would be some turn for the spinners. “I expected some spinning wickets as we got in the Test series here. Probably the last game it rained (in Ranchi) or it might have been spinning a bit. Looks like this wicket will spin a bit and spinners will play a bit more of a role,” he said.
Doherty said left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson, who took five wickets and bowled with a lot of fire, has been the stand-out bowler in the series. “Mitch has been outstanding from both teams. On wickets with any sort of grass, he’s a real weapon for us. From our point of view, he has been the bowler we go to get a wicket or restrict runs with his extra pace. I know a lot of runs have been scored but from our point of view, Mitch has been the man of the series.”