Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Buchanan says Oz openers are the weak link in ODI series against Proteas

Bloemfontein (South Africa), Apr.8 (ANI): Former Australian cricket team coach John Buchanan believes that the openers are the weak link in the ongoing one-day series against the South Africans.

The Kolkata Knight Riders coach is in Bloemfontein preparing for the second edition of the Indian Premier League that gets underway from April 18.

Buchanan believes the team owed its dominance of several years to the opening partnership of Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.

Both batsmen, who in 114 games together put on partnerships of more than 50 on 43 occasions and topped 100 runs 16 times, recently retired from international cricket.

They had a real presence. The one would step up if the other was not at his best, he said.

That gave Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke a lot more freedom when they came in.

Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin, who opened the batting in the first two one-day internationals against the Proteas, have not impressed as yet.

Haddin, who was exceptional against the Proteas Down Under, admitted on Tuesday that he had been disappointing in South Africa.

The start your team gets off to against the new ball is particularly important in South Africa, he said.

Our top order, but Michael and I in particular, should accept responsibility for our struggles in Centurion.

The Aussies were dismissed for only 131 in the second game after Wayne Parnell and Dale Steyn ripped wreaked havoc in the first 10 overs.

Proteas coach Mickey Arthur believes that whoever wins this game, will have one hand on the trophy. (ANI)

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