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    Verbal volleys begin as India-Australia series nears

    Can it happen that Australian don't fire verbal volleys before the start of any major series? After Michael Clarke's recent quotes saying, "It's not about what you say, it's about what you do", it was expected that the upcoming series between India and Australia will not be devoid of the spicy touch which has been the case over the years. But Geoff Lawson, former Aussie pacer, didn't want to break the Aussie tradition as he hurled a few verbal blows, inviting some more statements by other Australian players.

    "They [India] have been ageing and declining team, and the loss of experienced personnel - and form - add up to a fall or at least a stumble on the rankings," Lawson said, pointing at the current state of the Indian side.

    Lawson also took a pot shot at Sachin Tendulkar, saying the veteran batsman's form has been patchy in the last few years and that he would be under pressure. "Tendulkar has not made a Test hundred in 33 Tests and nearly two years. His struggles last summer in Australia were well recorded as he chased the facile and artificial 100th international century," Lawson stated it further.

    Opening batsman David Warner said that Australia have the resources to trump India in the upcoming series and that India are under pressure following their recent performances in Tests. "Definitely, we have the resources to beat India. Dhoni is under pressure after recent results and we have the upper hand in pace bowling and our batsmen are among runs," Warner said.

    Usman Khawaja, another Aussie batsman, said the Indian spinners will be under immense pressure to deliver. "The Indian spinners have a lot of pressure on them too because if it is a turning wicket, they will be expected to take wickets, so there will be a bit of pressure on them," Khawaja said on Monday.

    But it's not the Australians who started the duel this time. It was Harbhajan Singh who celebrated his comeback to the Indian Test side by stating, "It will be a challenging series for them and hopefully we will put them under pressure from the first day of the Test match," Harbhajan said after leading Rest of India to victory in the Irani Cup match against Mumbai recently.