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Opportunity for fringe players: Wright

September 09, 2003 15:59 IST

Indian cricket team coach John Wright says the TVS Salve Challenger Series, starting in Bangalore on Wednesday, offers fringe players a great opportunity to stake claim for a berth in the national side.

"The three teams -- India Seniors, India 'A' and India 'B' -- are evenly balanced and matched. It offers a great opportunity for fringe players to stake a claim... It is a competitive situation," Wright told reporters in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Wright is coach of India Seniors, led by Sourav Ganguly, while Sandeep Patil is coach of the Anil Kumble-led India 'A'. Ashok Malhotra will guide the Rahul Dravid-led India 'B'.

Dravid said it is the beginning of an exciting season for Indian cricket, adding the players are raring to go out in the middle after a long break.

Kumble said the teams are evenly balanced and he expects some good, hard cricket in the competition.

Wright said all three sides are well matched, as the selectors are keen on "even competition".

Asked who would open the innings for India Seniors, Wright said it is for the captain and selectors to decide.

On the decision to field Harbhajan Singh, who was not scheduled to play, Wright said the spinner is very keen to play. "He hates to sit on the sidelines."

Aakash Chopra is not playing because of a knee injury.

On the possibility of Virender Sehwag playing the final, Wright said a decision would be taken after taking into account whether a game at this stage would be good for him.

However, the coach said, "Sehwag batted well at the nets and was moving without discomfort."

Earlier, Dravid, Kumble, Wright and TVS Motor Company's vice-president, Sales & Marketing, R Chandramouli, launched the 'TVS Salve Challenger Trophy'.

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