Millennium Post

Indian batting class: James

Fit-again Australian pacer James Pattinson believes India still boast of a ‘class batting line-up’ despite the retirements of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and the visitors will have to work really hard to beat the hosts in their own backyard during the four-Test series.

‘It's different (batting line-up) from the one we played last. Again, it's a class batting line-up and the Indians would look to prove us wrong. It's a fantastic line-up with (Sachin) Tendulkar in form after a Ranji (Trophy) ton. (Virender) Sehwag can do anything on his day. It's good to see Dravid and Laxman not out there. We are looking forward to the challenging conditions,’ Pattinson said.

‘It's going to be a good battle. We are not going to get friendly conditions like we did in Australia. We bowled quite well over there, so to come here and to do well is something that would be great,’ he told reporters after the team's optional training session here.

Pattinson, who bowled nine overs for one wicket in a tour match against an Indian Board President's XI ahead of their second warm-up game here from February 16, praised Jammu and Kashmir off-spinner Parvez Rasool for his superb all-round show. ‘I think he (Rasool) bowled very well on the wicket and it turned quite a bit. He bowled a lot of overs as well,’ he said.

Rasool shone with both bat and bowl in the drawn two-day tour game here, picking up seven wickets in Australia's first innings and scoring crucial 36 runs while batting.

The 22-year-old from Victoria pinned his hopes on skipper Michael Clarke, who, he believes, is the best player of spin bowling in the tourists' line-up.

‘You are not supposed to play against the spin over here. We have got some good players of spin and all of our batsmen spent some time in the middle (during the tour game), apart from Maxwell, so it's another bonus to take. Pup (Michael Clarke) is one of the best players of spin in the world and hopefully he can play the role that (England captain) Alastair Cook did. And, we have got younger players as well who should play around him,’ he said.

Pattinson said he is on track for a Test return after recovering from a rib injury.

‘It's frustrating not to play consecutive games through the year. But I am more mature now and aim is to playing test matches consistently. The best way to learn is by playing cricket and not just by bowling in the nets. So, I am going to manage that in t he next couple of years until I become 26 at which point I can play almost every test available,’ he said.

The paceman had been out of the international arena after suffering the injury in the second Test against South Africa in November. He played a Sheffield Shield match for Victoria last month before travelling to India for the series with the first Test starting from February 22 here.
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