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Aussies to keep Proteas on the canvas

By Jim Morton 09/01/2006 06:08:33 AM Comments (0)

Newly-elevated vice-captain Mike Hussey says Australia is motivated to keep South Africa on the canvas and inflict more psychological damage in Monday night's historic Twenty20 match at the Gabba.

The Aussies are looking forward to a low-key, fun affair in front of a near-capacity Brisbane crowd of 37,000 after an intense Test series but are determined to continue the Proteas' misery.

The one-day tri series, also involving Sri Lanka, starts on Friday and the crafty left-hander believes another win would give the home nation a nice springboard into the limited overs competition.

"It would be nice to take a little psychological advantage over South Africa leading into the one-day series," Hussey said.

"It would just be nice to keep them down while they are in Australia.

"(But) even if we did happen to lose the game I don't think we would go into the first one-dayer with any less confidence."

Australia begins the limited-overs tournament against Sri Lanka on Friday at the MCG, while South Africa's first match is against the Aussies at the Gabba on Sunday.

South Africa pulled off 17 successive wins in completed one-day matches last year.

"They have been playing some excellent one-day cricket of late and so we really need to start well and get another win for Australia," Hussey said.

His appointment as Ricky Ponting's stand-in caps a remarkable rise for the West Australian, who just 11 months ago was selected for his first overseas tour to then star in a one-day whitewash of New Zealand.

He takes the role of vice-captain for just one match as Adam Gilchrist has been rested for the ultra-abbreviated clash along with the likes of Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath.

South Africa has also picked a young side for the Twenty20 clash with Jacques Kallis, Andre Nel, Justin Kemp and Charl Langeveldt all rested.

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