Monday, February 25, 2008

India should 'worry about themselves'

The Australians are the only ones into the CB Series finals at this stage and their coach Tim Nielsen believes their opponents should focus on their own backyard...

Australia's coach Tim Nielsen says India should stop concerning themselves with Australia's behaviour and focus on their own performance as they try to secure a spot against the hosts in the CB Series finals. Following a controversial Test series there was further tension between the teams in their Sydney clash on Sunday when Ishant Sharma gave Andrew Symonds a send-off after dismissing him for 59.
Ishant was fined 15% of his match fee for the incident and India's team management has sent a letter to the match referee about what it considers to be Australia's players provoking their opponents. Nielsen said he had no problem with the way his players were acting on the field.
"It's interesting how much the opposition teams are talking about what we're doing and at the moment as far as I can see we're the only team that's in the finals," Nielsen said in Melbourne as the team gathered ahead of Tuesday's Allan Border Medal. "It might be time for them to start looking in their own backyard.
"While they're worrying about us it's a good sign. We're the only ones at the moment that are confirmed in the finals and until they have their battle on Tuesday then front up on Friday, Sri Lanka against us, we won't know who our opposition is. So they've got plenty to worry about themselves."
Nielsen said Ishant's actions - he pointed Symonds back to the dressing-room - were understandable given the pressure of the situation and he hopes India retain their fiery, spirited style of play. However, he wants players from both teams to ensure they do not cross the line if they meet in the finals; India will secure a place in the deciders if they beat Sri Lanka in Hobart on Tuesday.
"It's a difficult one because there is so much emotion going on," Nielsen said. "[Ishant] was under pressure, Andrew was batting so well with Ricky [Ponting] that it's hard to take the adrenaline and emotion of the game at this level.
"We want to play good, strong competitive cricket and we encourage them to keep doing it. We'll do it as long as we all stay within the guidelines of it. You can't start taking into account it's been a tough, hard series and then give people some leeway because of it. We know where the line in the sand is."
India v Sri Lanka, 11th ODI, CB Series, Hobart