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Thatscricket - News - 'Fit Tendulkar is ready to lead India's batting charge'

Published: Monday, December 2, 2002, 18:39 [IST]
 
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Auckland: India's master batsman Sachin Tendulkar will lead a formidable batting line-up in the upcoming series against New Zealand after recovering from a hamstring strain which kept him out of recent One-dayers against West Indies, coach John Wright said Monday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"In terms of batting we are a strong side. We have put the runs on the board and proved we are formidable, not only in India where we have our brilliant spin bowling, but also away from home," Wright said as his team arrived in New Zealand."It was, for example, most pleasing that during our tour of England there were two Test pitches that did a bit, at Nottingham and Leeds. We managed to bat well on those two pitches conditions that could be similar to those we find in New Zealand."Wright was a popular New Zealand captain in his playing days and remains a high profile figure in the sport here, creating interesting tensions for him on the tour of his homeland.In his two years as India's coach, Wright told reporters that he had become acutely aware of the importance of the team's success."There is really a lot at stake. There might not be any difficulty for all of us to focus on the time and work we put in," he said."But we have the huge responsibility to the people at home in India. They love their cricket, they rejoice at our victories, and they are what we try to give them."Captain Saurav Ganguly said that while the priority was to prepare the One-day team for next year's World Cup in South Africa, he also wanted to give supporters back home something to cheer about.Ganguly said he would regard the two Tests against New Zealand as important as the seven One-dayers that would be the dress rehearsal for the World Cup.India has not won a Test series in New Zealand since 1967-68. "We have played well this year we will try our best," Ganguly said.

AFP
Copyright AFP 2001

Extras:
Kiwis will be tough customers at home, says Wright
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