'India's pace department has got more depth'

Published: Sunday, August 10, 2003, 18:29 [IST]
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Bangalore: Ahead of the New Zealand tour of India, coach John Wright on Sunday warned that the Kiwis are a tough side to beat and Sourav Ganguly's boys would have to strive hard to press home the advantages. "New Zealanders performed well on a recent tour to Sri Lanka. The Kiwis are always underrated, but they fight hard," Wright said. "Perhaps, the other side (India) isn't different. It's up to us (India) to perform better and keep the home record going." Asked how eager is the Indian team to avenge its thrashing by New Zealand on their last tour, Wright said the team is always eager to play good cricket, against any side.

On Javagal Srinath, recuperating from a knee injury, being doubtful for the home series, Wright said he would speak to the pace spearhead soon and expressed hope that he would carry on. "I haven't had a chat with Sri for a month. But obviously we will have a talk in the next week or so. Sri is big enough to take the decision. Let's hope he wants to carry on. But that will be his decision." Wright added, "But we seem to be getting more depth in the pace department which is good."

"India's pace department has got a 'little more depth', particularly after a 'little bit of over-competition' on the New Zealand tour, followed by the World Cup campaign in South Africa where they were perhaps 'wayward' in the final," he said. Wright said it's a good move by the BCCI and the selectors for having picked 36 players for the conditioning camp, including the India "A" team that toured England, and dismissed suggestions that it would be too big a group to handle.

"It will be alright and fine. I think it's a good move by the BCCI and the selectors to get as many for selection. There were some good performances in India A's recent tour of England," he said, adding, "it was an excellent tour and coach Sandeep Patil deserved congratulations." "It (36 probables) will be a good base from the fitness point of view. I will not find it difficult to handle as many. I am confident of doing a good job," Wright said.

Asked if some of the India 'A' players who did well on the tour have a chance to get into the national squad, he said the selectors are looking for them to consolidate their performances on the tour and be consistent in domestic matches as well. Wright said the conditioning camp beginning here on August 14 would focus on physical fitness.

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