Hooper hopes to exploit ~~lively~~ pitch in 2nd Test

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2002, 0:54 [IST]
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Port of Spain (Trinidad): West Indies skipper Carl Hooper said his team had a good chance of winning the second Test against India (commencing from Friday) on the pitch expected to favour fast bowlers.

"We've a very good chance on this wicket. We played with three fast bowlers on a flat track in the last Test, but are looking forward to play on this surface. Hopefully, we'll get a good result in this match." The West Indies skipper was hopeful that Brian Lara would return to his big-scoring ways on his home ground, saying there was no pressure on the left-hander despite his failure in the first Test. "Lara is a world-class batsman like Sachin (Tendulkar). Sooner or later, he's going to come good. There's no pressure on him." The West Indies, meanwhile, has included leg spinner Dinanath Ramnarine as cover for Mahendra Nagamootoo, suffering from a hamstring injury. "Nagamootoo bowled very well in the last match," said Hooper. "He got the prize wicket of Tendulkar and also troubled Dravid a bit early in his innings. Ramnarine has been included as cover in case Nagamootoo is ruled out." Meanwhile, the Indians grappled with problems of captain Saurav Ganguly's form and wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta's poor showing behind the wickets. Ganguly is likely to bat at his normal number five spot Deep Dasgupta flopped both as an opener and a wicket-keeper in the first Test, scoring nought and then dropping West Indies skipper Carl Hooper first ball. His lapse cost his team dearly as Hooper went to score a superb 233 to help his team post a big total. "Sanjay Bangar can open if we include wicket-keeper Ajay Ratra. As of now, all options are open. We'll take the final decision before the start of the match," Ganguly said. "Let's see how the wicket looks on the morning of the match. It looks good and dry at present, but we want to have one more look at the pitch before deciding our playing 11. We are keen to maintain our good record at this venue." India has won just two of its 34 matches in the West Indies, with both of the victories coming here. It beat the West Indies by seven wickets in 1971 and by six wickets in 1976 when it scored 406 for four, the highest fourth-innings total to win a Test. India was also contemplating a new partner for paceman Javagal Srinath as left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan failed to find his rhythm in the previous Test. "There could be competition for the second paceman. Our fast bowlers have to be more consistent. I think (Ashish) Nehra has the ability to do well."

India, WI pin hopes on bowlers in 2nd Test

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