Doherty expecting Indian backlash tomorrow
"India will be pretty chuffed with themselves after Melbourne. They have a very solid batting and quite a few key players in their line-up," said Doherty, who took two for 24 in Friday`s thrilling five-run win over Sri Lanka at WACA. Doherty is mindful though that the pitch at Adelaide Oval usually helps spinners and he could be a key performer for his side tomorrow.
"It`s a great place to bowl. There is enough in these wickets to help spin, besides being the most beautiful ground in the world." The pitch at WACA was helpful too to Doherty who probably helped Australia cross the line last night. "I loved the extra bounce which WACA produces. It was of particular advantage." Australia struggled to make 231 and barely managed to keep Sri Lanka away from the required target.
"We did drop our guards down. It put them on a bit of roll but we are pretty happy to take points. Angelo (Matthews) had done so before in a similar sort of situation 12-14 months ago. With 231 on the total, you are not going to win every game." The match was at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in November 2010. Australia, batting first, had made 239 runs from their 50 overs.
Sri Lanka, were down and out at 8 for 107 before Matthews rallied with unlikely ally Lasith Malinga to pull off a one-wicket win. Matthews (77) and Malinga (56) put on a record 132 runs for the ninth wicket. Doherty said the team has learnt lessons from last Friday`s game and would be looking to improve on two areas in particular.
"We had set very high standards in the first game. As Clarke mentioned, one of our top order needs to get on a make a big score. Only then we can have a really competitive total. Secondly, we must learn not to take foot off the accelerator. We didn`t quite nail down the match but to get the result we wanted was great." The 29-year-old Tasmanian is looking forward to either Peter Forrest or Mitchell Marsh joining the playing eleven in the match tomorrow.
Despite his steady show, Doherty is realistic enough to realise he can`t replace off-spinner Nathan Lyon from the Test line-up yet even though he has already represented Australia in two Tests. "I am not thinking about it yet. Nathan Lyon has done a great job and is tough one to move out. I hope down the track another opportunity presents itself. It`s probably a long-term goal. It`s not really in the frame at the moment."