Hauritz anticipates Strauss challenge

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The Independent Online

Nathan Hauritz is expecting Andrew Strauss to come out with a better plan when he faces up to him in today's Champions Trophy semi-final showdown at Centurion.

The Australian off-break bowler claimed the prize wicket of the England captain five out of seven times during their recent seven-match one-day series.

That number could well have been one of the reasons behind Australia's crushing 6-1 victory at the end, but there is just one game separating the two sides from a place in the final of the current tournament being played in South Africa.

"I was fortunate a couple of times to get him out - it's always good," Hauritz said. "I guess if a few decisions go my way and a few lucky shots go my way then that happens, but it's a new game.

"He would have thought about how he's going to play me, no doubt.

"There are batsmen there that I haven't got out, who probably feel they got a hold against me. But it takes one ball as a bowler and that's what I'll just be concentrating on against him."

England have come a long way since that NatWest Series drubbing, beating hosts South Africa and Sri Lanka along the way to finishing second in Group B, while Australia toppled West Indies and Pakistan to end top of Group A.

There has been plenty of talk suggesting that England have been playing a different brand of cricket in the competition, but Hauritz insists that the defending champions will not change their own approach.

He continued: "It doesn't change anything for us. I just think in this format you got nothing to lose.

"Paul Collingwood is batting four now and he's done a fantastic job.

"Owais Shah has come out - at the start of the series against us, he definitely played his shots, but towards the end he was definitely a different batsman. Then we saw straight away over here, everyone knows how punishing he can be.

"As I said, at the end of the day, it's a new game. They've obviously looked at a few different areas at what they needed to do and it's worked for them so far."

Hauritz, who took nine wickets during the one-sided series in England, also feels that the emphatic result will have no bearing on the game.

He added: "I don't think it will have anything to do (with it) at all. I guess the difference was we played seven games back-to-back against each other and it can get a bit monotonous and draining at times.

"The only thing is that we get a bit of a better gauge of each other. We've known everybody's strengths and weaknesses, whereas when we played India, we hadn't played them for 18 months in one-day cricket."