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|'India's performance to put Pak under pressure'|
Sunday, January 25 2004 17:55 Hrs (IST)
''The Australian tour has a number of positives for the Indians. If the players can continue with the good showing, they are bound to put Pakistan under pressure,'' Wadekar, who was in the city on the occasion of a corporate cricket tournament, told newspersons.
Hailing the aggression displayed by the Indians against the mighty Aussies both in the Test matches and ongoing tri-series, he said ''The Australian tour will help Indians become stronger, both physically and skill-wise. It will definitely help them during the Pakistan tour''.
The Indian team is scheduled to visit Pakistan in the first week of March for a Test series and One-day matches after a gap of 14 years following easing of tension between the two South Asian neighbours in recent months.
Commenting on the recent controversy involving former Pakistani cricketers Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram regarding the latter's assistance to Indian bowlers, Wadekar said ''If you know Javed, he is a fighter. He always wants to put pressure on the rivals. So, he is trying to put pressure on the Indians even before they reach Pakistan. ''But, (Indian skipper) Sourav (Ganguly) is capable to counter such pressure-tactics,'' he observed.
Highlighting the 'positives' gained from the tour Down-Under, Wadekar said the Indian team, playing as an unit, has inculcated the 'killer instinct' and 'aggression' required to fight it out against dreaded rivals like the Aussies.
Besides, the performance of the youngsters and their high level of motivation, as apparent in their actions on the field, were clear signs of a newly-gained confidence of the Indians to contest any opponents on their own soil.
Wadekar had special praise for middle order batsman VVS Laxman, who according to him has been a 'revelation' from the Australian tour. ''On the whole, the Indian batting line up has lived upto the expectations and never really ditched the team. Its a very good sign''.
As for skipper Ganguly, the former Indian coach said ''under him and (coach) John Wright, the players are getting adequate protection. Thus, they feel comfortable and confident, which is reflected in their performance''.
Asked about the wickets in Pakistan, he said ''the pitches are not much different from those in India. So the batsmen should score runs. If they do so, we have bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a Test match''.
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