~~Experimentation cost us dear in K~~lumpur~~

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: India's outgoing chief selector Kiran More says there is no need to panic ahead of next month's Champions Trophy, despite the team coming in for severe criticism after a poor showing at a tri-series in Malaysia last week.

India were expected to cruise into the final of the Kuala Lumpur event, which also involved Australia and the West Indies, but won just one of their four matches.

Former players have slammed the team for a poor batting display, which they say was caused by unnecessary experimentation with the batting order.

"This is only one tournament. They are trying out different things," More, whose term as selector ends later this week, told media. The board will announce the new selection panel after the two-day annual general meeting concludes on Thursday.

"We are preparing for the World Cup. There is no need to panic," he said.

"We are not the only team experimenting. Everybody is trying out something. Australia experimented with Shane Watson who had not opened in one-dayers before the Malaysian tournament."

India have experimented with their batting order since last year seeking flexibility going into the World Cup in MarchThe shuffling of middle-order batsmen Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif and the promotion of paceman Irfan Pathan up the order last season had been a unique move, and one that bore results.

But coach Greg Chappell has come under intense criticism for persistently opening with skipper Rahul Dravid, India's mainstay in the middle-order, and pushing dynamic opener Virender Sehwag down the order in the Malaysian series.

Dravid has not scored a half-century in his last nine innings - after opening in seven of them - since the second one-dayer against the West Indies in May. India lost the away series 4-1.

Sehwag opened in only India's the final match in Malaysia and had a poor tournament, scoring just 28 runs. India fell 18 runs short in thier must-win match against Australia after having bowled out the eventual champion for a paltry 213. "It's time Chappell stopped his experiments with the team," former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri told Dunai-based Gulf News after the Kuala Lumpur defeat.

More said there was no confusion within the team and that Sehwag was aware the experimentation was necessary to try to find flexibility.

"I don't think there in any confusion," he said.

"It did not click. But we can always go back to the original order."

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