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05-31-2013, 02:00 PM #1
[Cricket] Maxwell primed for Champions Trophy finale
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell says Australia will have the chance to turn the tables on their Asian rivals at the ICC Champions Trophy.
After months of playing in foreign sub-continent conditions, Maxwell is confident of bringing that experience to the Champions Trophy tournament when Australia open their campaign against England on June 8, followed by group matches against New Zealand (June 12) and Sri Lanka (June 17).
Gloomy weather in Cardiff cleared enough on Thursday for reigning champions Australia to train outdoors, and Maxwell appreciated the chance acclimatise after spending the past few months in India for the Border-Gavaskar Test series and the IPL.
Australia are scheduled to play warm-up matches against the West Indies on Saturday and India on Tuesday.
England's overcast conditions and green pitches could not be more contrasting to India's dust bowls.
"Being in conditions similar to back home, we are pretty much in our element here," Maxwell said.
"There's probably a little bit more swing and seam.
"It will suit us more than the West Indies and a few of the sub-continent teams," he said.
Maxwell said the Caribbean side's strengths were obvious but nullifying them on Saturday would be difficult.
"The way they've play in the short form of the game, they rely on their batting and (leg spinner) Sunil Narine."
"If we can deny Sunil Narine, we can really expose the rest of their bowlers and hopefully get through their batters as well."
While the West Indies enter the June 6-23 tournament as reigning World T20 Champions, their form in the 50-over format is not as strong, losing eight of their last 13 ODIs.
They were whitewashed 0-5 in Australia earlier this year but skipper Dwayne Bravo believes the result could be different this time around on neutral soil.
"The series in Australia we didn't start well and playing in Australia, once you don't start well it's difficult to come back," Bravo said.
"They're a fantastic team and we have to respect that. But they're out of Australia, also. Now they're in England. We're also in England. I think both teams are going to use the first game as preparation to see exactly what is the right combination for the teams.
"Yes, we want to win the game but it's about picking the right team, getting a balance and getting our style of play the way we want to play in this tournament.
This will be the last Champions Trophy staged, with Australia winners of the past two tournaments.