Pacers key for India~~s success in Australia: Wright
Published: Sunday, April 20, 2003, 17:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Dhaka: India coach John Wright on Sunday said the team's pace attack was doing well and held the key to their success on a tour of Australia later this year. "Our seamers have been doing a good job and can do well on the Australian tour," said Wright, whose contract was extended by one year by the Indian Board earlier this month. India starts a tour of Australia in December this year for a four-Test series to be followed by a triangular tournament also featuring Zimbabwe. "Our fast bowlers were very effective during the World Cup and one of the main reasons for our success," said Wright, who coached the team that made the final of the 14-nation tournament in South Africa. "Our pace attack could do well in Australia as we have some good back-up players," said the coach, who joined the team here after making a short trip to New Zealand on his father's death. "Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Ajit Agarkar have been bowling well and it is also good to see youngsters like Aavishkar Salvi come through." Salvi, a paceman from Mumbai who has modelled himself on Australian great Glenn McGrath and has an almost identical action, was blooded during an ongoing three- nation tournament here, featuring South Africa and hosts Bangladesh. "Salvi is an outstanding prospect, has really added to the bench-strength and will give that much more confidence when the team is playing outside the sub-continent," said the former New Zealand opener. "Ideally we should have around 10 seamers," he added in jest. India is here without five frontline players - superstar Sachin Tendulkar, dependable batsman Rahul Dravid, experienced leg spinner Anil Kumble and seamers Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra. But they have tested their reserves, capping leg spinner Amit Mishra and batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Abhijit Kale, apart from Salvi, all of whom played for India 'A' on a recent tour of the West Indies. However the India coach felt that a replacement would not be easy to find for Srinath, who is contemplating retirement. "It will be difficult to fill his shoes," he said. Wright said it was too early to judge what the new players were worth. "We will know more about the players with each game. The advantage of having A teams is that we have players who have played abroad already. Quite a few of them can play at this level." He warned that the team could not rest on its laurels. "The challenge is to move on from where we are. Things can change very quickly and it is important that the selectors sit down and work things out for the future."