Indians are a big threat, strong in batting: Caddick

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 3:42 [IST]
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Durban: England's spearhead Andrew Caddick, one of the meanest bowlers in One-day cricket, is looking forward to taking on Sachin Tendulkar when England meets India in a critical group 'A' match on Wednesday. "I am more than happy if Tendulkar opens because then I have a chance to get him early on. When he comes at number four, the ball is slightly old and is not doing much," Caddick said. "It's always a challenge to bowl to Sachin but at the end of the day, he is only human and does make mistakes."

Tendulkar, after being pushed down to the middle-order last year, is back to his favourite slot in the World Cup and has shown his penchant for the opener's role smashing 321 runs in four innings, including 152 in the last game against Namibia. Caddick, on the other hand, has been niggardly in the first two matches of his first World Cup conceding only 28 and 27 runs against Namibia and Pakistan, and enjoys a extremely healthy economy rate of 3.96 runs per over, from his 52 One-day Internationals. Caddick played down the threat of Tendulkar, suggesting England has an equally dominant batsman in Michael Vaughan. "You have got one of the best players in Sachin and we have got one of the best players in Vaughan. It sort of counts that out."

Vaughan cracked his third half-century in four matches against Pakistan but is currently suffering from a sprain in left ankle and is extremely doubtful to play against India. Caddick rates Indian batting as a very big threat and sounded out the rivals to watch out for the pace and bounce England bowlers would employ against them. "Indians are a very big threat. They have a very good batting line-up. But we realise that pace and bounce is a very effective tool against the Indian batsmen. "They are playing some very good cricket as far as batting is concerned.

Thankfully for us, a lot of their batsmen lower down the order haven't played long enough. Hopefully, we might use it to our advantage on Wednesday." Caddick dismissed there was any bad blood between the two teams after nail-biting finishes they had in Tests and One-dayers last year. "There is no bad blood between the two sides. If you mention about cricketers taking off their shirt, it is a kind of celebration at the success enjoyed." Caddick hasn't seen the pitch at Kingsmead but said it should favour batsmen, unlike the occasion against South Africa a few years ago when he picked up seven wickets in a Test.

"That was Test cricket but One-day strips are different. They tend to favour batsmen more than the bowlers." But Caddick felt England has now got a very good bowling line-up to nail a batting unit, which was in such prolific form in England last summer. "If we continue the form in which we are bowling, Jimmy (Anderson) is bowling, Craig White and Andrew Flintoff are doing, we will continue to apply pressure on Wednesday," Caddick said.

The lanky Englishman, who is sharing the new ball with bowling sensation Anderson, suggests the duo are able to build a different type of pressure on rival batsmen. "My kind of bowling is boring really. He applies the pressure while I keep it tight at the other end. We all know the first 15 overs are very important for a batting side. "If they get off to a flyer, it makes it very difficult later down the innings.

My main job is to keep it as tight as I can. If I can do that, it will allow him (Anderson) to pressurise the batsmen more." Good as Anderson has bowled, Caddick still misses his old mate Darren Gough at the other end. "You always miss Darren Gough. He was and is a world class One-day cricketer. "I haven't spoken much to Anderson about his bowling methods. There is hardly you can say to a guy who is bowling as well as he has done. "Only because I have grey hair doesn't mean I need to be a father figure. I just concentrate on what I am doing and let others do their own stuff." Caddick wanted England to be levelheaded against India rather than gloat too much on the success it enjoyed against Pakistan. "The key on Wednesday will be the continuous form we have been building. We don't need to get too big heady. We just need to be cool about it."

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