India can dominate the likes of Anderson: Wright

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2003, 4:05 [IST]
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Durban: Indian coach John Wright on Monday said his team's batting had enough firepower in it to dominate the likes of latest bowling sensation Jimmy Anderson in the match against England on Wednesday. Wright said England bowlers, especially Anderson who rocked the Pakistani batting line-up on Saturday with a four wicket haul, had come up with a few commendable performances but stressed the Indians were not worried on that count.

"We haven't seen a lot of Anderson but he had a good night the other day," Wright said. "But we have got one or two players who can put the best of bowlers under pressure." The famed Indian batting, which struggled on the tour of New Zealand and in the first two matches of this tournament, is slowly finding its bearings, having registered convincing victories over Zimbabwe and Namibia. But England bowlers are also in a confident state of mind after their performance against Pakistan and their pace spearhead Andrew Caddick went so far as to suggest that the Indian batsmen were susceptible to pace and bounce.

"I am not surprised Caddick has talked of pace and bounce given the type of bowler he is. Let us hope we get a good One-day surface," Wright said as he took a few players for a net session at the Kingsmead ground here. "There was a practice game between Bangladesh and Natal (at this pitch) in which Bangladesh won while chasing. It is a good sign," Wright said. "This might be a little different wicket to the other wickets seen in South Africa so far. It would need adapting from both sides.

We are a little fortunate in having trained here since we arrived," Wright said. The coach said the fact that India enjoyed an advantage over England in recent times did not matter much. "We respect them as opponents. We had a tough tour of England last summer and they had a good win the other night. "We know them, they know us and it's been good to play them. The match is nicely poised and it's an opportunity for both sides to make a statement."

Wright did not think that the shuffling in the Indian batting order had sent out wrong signals to the opposition camps. "You need changes at times but we have made just one significant change. Saurav Ganguly has dropped down the order and Tendulkar has come up but that has been necessitated by the form of certain players," he said. Wright said left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra, who sprained his ankle while bowling against Namibia, was recovering well from his injury and his fitness for the game against England would be known on Tuesday. "Nehra is walking around quite easily today (Monday).

He had an intensive treatment from physio Andrew Leipus and we were encouraged by what we have seen today. We will have to assess his fitness tomorrow (Tuesday)," he said. England too has an injury worry in Michael Vaughan and the key batsman is a doubtful starter for Wednesday's game. "As for Vaughan, I don't think it is a big factor really. Injuries are a part of a sportsman's life. I personally would not highlight the issue.

He is a key man in the line-up but injuries give others an opportunity," he said. Wright indicated that India would have to continue with just one spinner in its bowling line-up for some more time. He commended both Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh for having a professional outlook and taking things in their stride even when left out of the side.

"We have two world class spinners and many batsmen are susceptible to both Harbhajan Singh and Kumble. Dropping either of them isn't the easiest of decisions. But we try to take the best combination. "Harbhajan has been in favour lately but Kumble has a tremendous record and is a professional. He does not enjoy sitting on the sidelines," he said.

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