Bowling to Tendulkar a tough challenge: Hauritz

Chandigarh: Australia spinner Nathan Hauritz on Friday admitted that it would be a “tough challenge” to bowl against Sachin Tendulkar in the upcoming Test series but said the champion batsman too is vulnerable to mistakes.

“He (Tendulkar) is the world’s best batsman, he is unbelievable. I am looking forward to bowl to him, in what I know, is going to be a tough challenge. But people make mistakes and Tendulkar too can make mistakes,” Hauritz told reporters ahead of the three-day practice match against Board President’s XI starting here on Saturday.

Hauritz, who made his Test debut against India at Mumbai six years ago and took the prized wicket of Tendulkar in that match, will be leading the Australian spin attack during the two-Test series starting here on October 1.

“I would be looking to bowl in the right areas but lot depends on the wicket as it has been raining here. Generally, the wickets don’t turn much here after the first two days,” said the off-spinner, who is returning after an injury.

He also sees a “great challenge” in bowling to other Indian batsmen, including Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying all of them play spin very aggressively.

“I know it’s going to be a tough challenge, but my focus would be to see the ball comes out well out of my hands,” said Hauritz, who has so far scalped 57 wickets from 15 Tests.

Hauritz also heaped praise on his spin counterpart Harbhajan Singh and rated the temperamental Indian off-spinner as “one of the best spinners in the world”.

Asked if he had made any special preparation for the strong Indian bating line-up, he said, “There is no different preparation as such. It’s only a matter of adapting to the wicket.”

India go into the Test series as the number one side and Hauritz said the Aussies never take any team lightly, no matter who the opposition is.

“We respect every opposition. Once you start disrespecting your opponents, you will get beaten,” he said.

Hauritz also said that Australia was slowly and steadily coming to terms with the transition phase after the retirements of greats like Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden, Glenn McGrath among others.

“Transition is never going to be easy, it is going to be tough, but it is beginning to take shape,” he said.

Hauritz, who has not bowled since June due to a foot injury, also praised his compatriot Steven Smith, who made an impressive debut against England earlier this year.

“He is a very good bowler,” he said.

Meanwhile, Australia all-rounder Shane Watson lauded Indian pace duo of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, saying his batting colleagues will have to watch out the pair in the upcoming series.

“They are very skillful bowlers and we will have to try and reduce their impact on the game as much as we possibly can,” Watson said.

“It’s always hardest facing a new ball that is reversing and Indian pacers have the ability to reverse the ball early in the innings,” he added.

Watson further said that playing against India on their backyard is always a “huge challenge” but every player of the Ricky Ponting-led side was looking forward to the tour.

“It’s always great to tour to this part of the world, where we get an opportunity to experience different culture, different people and meet fans who are so passionate about this game,” he said.


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