Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Mitchell Johnson has vowed to rattle Virender Sehwag's rib cage as Australia's pace battery prepare to target the Indian master blaster and his opening partner Sachin Tendulkar.
Sehwag and Tendulkar are the most lethal opening pair in world cricket, with the duo having amassed 3752 runs in 86 one-day innings at 43.63.

 Should the Indian pair put on 102 runs, they will surpass Australia's Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh (3853) as the fourth most prolific opening partnership in one-day history.
But the Australians know a blazing start by Sehwag and Tendulkar will almost certainly shatter their World Cup defence.

Australia's bowlers held a private meeting at their team hotel, with Johnson revealing plans to launch a sustained attack on the Indian openers.

"I don't mind bowling up into (Sehwag's) rib-cage to be honest," Johnson said.

"Hopefully we can get him out in the first over. In the bowlers' meeting I asked the question, 'How many times he has scored four from the first ball?' so he likes to score quickly.

"He's a dangerous player and we'll be looking to get him as quickly as we can. We'll stick to our plans and stick to what we know best of what works against him.
 "Sehwag seems to struggle with (the short ball) a bit but I guess putting pressure on him, if he gets a single it puts pressure
on the batsman at the other end.

"It's always a good challenge to bowl to someone like that, he doesn't really use his feet but he can hit the ball hard.

"It will be a pretty good start to the game if we can get him early.

"If we can get two or three of their big guns early on it really changes the way they think about their game. It's something we've spoken about and we'll work hard to try and do it.

"You always try and target their best players ... and Sehwag and Tendulkar are their best players."

Johnson has 10 wickets in this tournament at 19.00, but has claimed just two scalps in his last four matches. He says he is ready to lift against the Indians in a match he described as the biggest occasion of his 95-match one-day career.

"Inside I feel very confident," he said. ''I don't think I've been too bad this tournament.

"I started pretty well with a few four-fors against (Zimbabwe) and New Zealand. I feel I'm not too far away again, I've been getting a few plays and misses on wickets that aren't for fast bowling.

"We need to stick together in this game. In the end it's not about individual performances, it's about the team and hopefully I can contribute.

"I do like getting wickets, every fast bowler does, so I'll be looking to do the best job I can.

"It's do or die, we need to win this game or we'll be going home. We want to do ourselves and our country proud."

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