Centurion: New Zealand's pace bowling sensation Shane Bond will not pose any problems for Sachin Tendulkar, India's Kiwi coach John Wright said on Wednesday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
"Sachin can take care of anything," Wright said as his wards prepared to take on his countrymen in the World Cup Super Sixes match on Friday.India, with seven wins from eight matches, has already qualified for the semi-finals along with reigning champion Australia, while New Zealand needs a win on Friday to move up.Tendulkar, One-day cricket's leading batsman, has aggregated a record 571 runs in this tournament, while Bond scared the living daylights out of the Australians on Tuesday with a fiery burst of 6 for 23 at Port Elizabeth.India came to the World Cup after a disastrous tour of New Zealand where it was blanked 2-0 in the Test series before losing the One-dayers 5-2.
But Wright, a former New Zealand captain who took over as Indian coach two years ago, denied Friday's game at SuperSport Park was a grudge game."There is no grudge, we just have to play as well as we have been doing in the tournament and get through this game," he said."From 14 teams, we have made it to the top four because we have played very good cricket."But we need to concentrate hard because no win is easy."Wright stressed the Indians were not weighed down by the enormous expectations from millions of cricket lovers at home."It's a good position to be in since we have made the semi-finals. We have won seven of our eight games and need to continue that to go into the semi-finals with confidence.
"Tendulkar's opening partner Virender Sehwag, the only Indian batsman to emerge with credit from the New Zealand tour with two centuries, said he was looking forward to taking on Bond and company again."Those were different wickets, these are different wickets and different conditions," Sehwag said."The wickets here are similar to the ones we get in India, except there is more bounce and some movement.
"I did not have a great start to the World Cup, but with a batsman like Sachin at the other end, I have no worries."It is fantastic to watch him bat. He keeps telling me to hang in there and the runs will come and that's what I did against Sri Lanka when I made a half-century."Copyright AFP 2001