India's Caribbean Adventure - India has qualities of making a good ODI team

Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain (Trinidad): I feel India has the attributes of making a good One-day side in coming days. I distinctly carry this impression after losing 1-2 to them in the One-day series. It has batters who can bowl and they can also bat fairly deep. It has also a pretty decent fielding side. All credit to the Indians. I think they played better One-day cricket than us in the five-match series.As I mentioned earlier, with Rahul Dravid batting and keeping, it is a big asset for the Indian side. Having a batsman as good as Dravid who can also keep is a huge bonus.If we were in the same situation and had somebody like Dravid who can bat and keep as well as he has done, we certainly would be doing it. I know sometimes your younger players give the impression of being jittery but then it is only natural. They would mature. We have got seven One-day games against you guys in India. You guys are going to be there in the mini World Cup in Sri Lanka. Then there is this triangular series in England next month. I also have learnt that Srinath has retired from Test cricket but he wants to be a part of One-day set up. So if he is back I am sure he would guide the younger players through the World Cup. I think you would do well. I have also heard comments from Indian quarters asking if Dravid and Mohammad Kaif, who are not exactly free-stroking birds, should be coming low down the order. Well, if you have somebody like Saurav Ganguly at the top and playing the way he does, there would be days when he would step out and nick it to the wicket-keeper. The good thing about One-day batting is if they are going to get themselves into trouble early, they have got somebody to bat later so they could post something respectable on the board. I will give the example of my team. If we were to lose openers Chris Gayle and Wavell Hinds and Ramnaresh Sarwan, early, we have got to rethink because we have a longish tail and have to bat for 50 overs. Then you would not like to take as much risk when part time bowlers come on. So that's a problem. That's why I think it is so important to have players who can bat well enough at this level and also bowl a bit.Because it gives you an added depth not only in your batting but also in bowling. I would also like to offer words of encouragement to Harbhajan Singh. If he has had modest success in the West Indies, I wouldn't be critical of him at all. You have got to understand Harbhajan is a young man. He first came into news against the Australians. Playing at home and obviously getting a bagful of wickets got him the recognition. Since then he has toured South Africa for the first time as well as come to the Caribbean for the first time. I am sure when Harbhajan comes in here again, he would know exactly how he needs to bowl here to be much more successful. I am sufficiently impressed by him. I think he is a fighter. I think he is a great find for Indian cricket.I would also say we enjoyed a great relationship with the Indians. I watched the Indian and Australian series and the feeling on the ground was very, very tense. They were getting into each other's face. But I had a good relationship with Ganguly. When we won the game, the Indian players congratulated us as it should be. And when they won, we have gone into the dressing room and said complimentary things. I have enjoyed the series and I think they have too. At the end of the day we really wanted to win the One-day series. But if I had a choice, I would have liked to win the Test series more than the One-day one. PTI

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