Team India is not a force in Tests: Prabhakar

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Rahul Dravid's men may be a lesser force in Test cricket but under coach Greg Chappell they are scaling new heights in the shorter version of the game and that perfectly dovetails with Team India's Mission World Cup 2007, feels former all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar.

''See, it's very evident that under Chappell, India have its eyes set on the World Cup and that's how they are preparing. I don't think they are thinking of grooming players who can serve the Test team for a long time to come. Rather, here you are looking for utility players who can chip in and that perfectly suits our World Cup plan.'' ''We are doing well in one dayers and the results are before us to see. I feel we have very good chances in West Indies,'' he told before leaving for Pakistan with a veteran cricketers' team to play a four-match series there.

Prabhakar, however, admitted that India was lesser a force in Test cricket.

''Of course, we are not the same side in Tests and we have not done too well in the longer version of late. But these days, it's all about one dayers and frankly speaking Test cricket is less relevant today. How many people turn up to watch Test matches?'' When pointed out that a recent poll showed more Australians would like to win the Ashes than the World Cup, Prabhakar said, ''You can say the same thing about India-Pakistan Test series but what about other series?''

''Chappell enjoys the selectors' backing and he is giving the bowlers all kind of support and see how the players are growing in confidence.'' ''For instance, take Irfan Pathan's case. He is a bowler-batsman and was promoted in the batting order and it clicked. With good batting performances against his name, every time Irfan goes out to bowl, he is bubbling with extra confidence. That's a typical all-rounder mindset I can tell you.''

Prabhakar also patted the selectors for doing a great job and hailed the recent trend of finding players like MS Dhoni, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and others from far-flung areas.

He also advised people not to make an issue over whether Irfan Pathan has turned slower of late, ''People forget he is a swing bowler and to get your swing going, you have to compromise on your speed at time. So no need to panic.'' Himself a master of the art, Prabhakar, however, lamented that Indian pacers have not learnt how to bowl slower and Yorker.''Yorker is such a potent weapon in one dayer that caught so many great batsmen napping. But these days, you hardly see an Indian pacer bowling a Yorker. Even if you know reverse swing and still can't bowl yorker, you are useless.'' Prabhakar, who had an unceremonious exit from international cricket after a poor match against Sri Lanka (4-0-47-0) during the 1995-96 World Cup, is also convinced that Team India will be better off with a bowling coach.

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