Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Kaif trying to break the run of bad luck

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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New Delhi:Trying to break the run of bad luck and injuries, Mohammad Kaif says he was "really disappointed" after missing India's recent tour of Australia and hopes to turn it around in the coming season.

"I have recovered and I was really disappointed missing Australia," Kaif told Karan Tapar in the BBC's Face to Face programme be telecast on Saturday. "I love ... especially the kind of cricket they play in Australia, the kind of players (there) and the kind of place," Kaif said.

The 23-year-old middle order batsman from Uttar Pradesh caught the attention with his athletic fielding and the sensational innings he played to lead India to a dramatic victory over England in a triangular One-day series' final two years ago.

Kaif, however, had an ordinary season in 2003 and was omitted from the team to tour Australia following a finger injury.

Looking back at his knock at Lord's in 2002, when he combined with Yuvraj Singh to help India recover from a top order collapse and eventually overhaul a daunting target of 326, Kaif said the team's urge to avoid another final defeat provided the motivation for the two batsmen.

"Before that game ... We had a meeting and we really wanted to win that game, because ... Before that we had lost eight (finals)," said Kaif, who had played in four cricket World Cups, including the Under-15 and Under-19 events.

Asked what was he talking to Yuvraj in the middle, Kaif said they were "just sharing jokes"."Nothing much to be honest. Just sharing jokes, not really focussing on, just keep the mind away for a while," Kaif, nicknamed 'The Rubber man of Indian team' said.

"Jokes were just to have fun, play the ball and just do the job ... Not really think to win the game." He, however, said international sport was all about preparation and feeling well ahead of the match.

"The big thing is before you go to play any international game, you got to feel well ... The kind of preparation you do before the game I think is very important."

Kaif, who had a difficult World Cup in South Africa last year, said the demonstrations in front of the players' homes strengthened the team spirit. "I would say so because after that all the guys really got together and especially the seniors did a great job with us.

"Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and John Wright ... All sat together and spoke about what has been happening last few months," he said.

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