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'Indian pace attack one of the best'

'Indian pace attack one of the best'

India's bowling attack has come in for praise.

Melbourne: The Indian bowling attack came in for praise from all quarters here in Australia. When Team India took off for the tour to Australia many thought that the bowling was the weak link in the otherwise solid Indian team. However an impressive performance in the Melbourne Test has meant increased respect for the bowling attack that is known more for its swing than lethal pace.

Former Australian pace bowler Damien Fleming, was impressed with manner in which Zaheer Khan and R P Singh were bowling to the Aussies and giving them a fair share of trouble. All eyes will be on the duo on day three of the first Test hoping they could give the vital breakthroughs India needs to stay in the Test match.

"No, not at all, I don’t think the Indian pace attack is weak," said Fleming who was also known for his ability to move the ball while playing alongside seam bowlers like Glenn McGrath and Jason Gilliespie predominantly dependent on line, length and accuracy.

"I am a big fan of Zaheer Khan. I think the time he was out of the team was actually spent on making of him. Its quite apparent from his body language and skill and he is now one of the most consistent movers of the ball," said Fleming who also spends time at the famous Australian Cricket Academy as bowling coach.

He picked up Zaheer’s ability to move the ball both ways as well as his development of the one that straightens out – the ball that got Ricky Ponting on the first day of the Test match.

"I don’t think that ball was a one off thing, he has been bowling those ones regularly now especially in England."

He said both had developed the straighter ones bowled from different angles and could prove difficult for the best right handed batsmen in the business.

Even Mathew Hayden acknowledged the Indian left arm seamers’ efficacy and said that it was quite challenging to bat against them. "He has bowled particularly well in the last year or so, he was quite challenging in the conditions," he said.

"When there is swing, he can be a handful. And he can swing the ball both ways, so as a left-hander you have to be careful which balls to leave and which ones to play at," said the Aussie opener.

first published:December 27, 2007, 17:30 IST