India should settle WC squad by Jan: Gavaskar

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar today said India should have their squad settled by January for the World Cup in the West Indies next year.

He also said all teams would have to name their squads by the end of January according to the ICC guidelines.

On the sidelines of a Duestche Bank press conference here today, Gavaskar said it would be a big plus for India having toured West Indies just nine months before the World Cup, as they would have a better understanding of the wickets there.

Gavaskar, however, said he would not be able to comment on the conditions in West Indies, though he has performed exceptionally well there. ''As the conditions do not depend only the pitch but also depend on other factors like the wind speed, direction and also whether the stadia there are open or enclosed would also have a bearing. Not having been to the West Indies recently, I also do not know what to expect,'' he said.

He, however, added that with the experience of the just completed series in the Caribbean and if plans to hold a tri-series there before the World Cup featuring India, West Indies and Sri Lanka bear fruit then India would be the definite gainer in the build up to the World Cup.

Gavaskar was also satisfied with the number of one-day matches scheduled for this season prior to the World Cup and these matches would be able to give us the proper idea of which are the shortcomings and work to rectify them before the World Cup begins.

India's greatest opening batsman also agreed with the new methods of training that the squad for the Sri Lanka would be put through.

''These training methods are something new for someone like me, but if it helps cricketers perform better on the field I am all for it.

We have to evolve and accept modern techniques which during our time would have been unheard of,'' he added.

India trainer Gregory King would be putting the boys through the paces which includes yoga, swimming and a new form of training with 'teki', which is all about balance and focus.

On the tri-series in Sri Lanka in August, Gavaskar said India would have a great chance to create history by winning in Sri Lanka, where the last time the side won was way back in 1997. ''Like we did in West Indies, this team now has another chance of writing their names in gold by winning in Lanka after a gap of nine years,'' he added.

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