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Cup Extras: Kirsten happy with tough ties

Last updated on: March 7, 2011 16:27 IST

We don't want easy matches: Kirsten



India might have been made to toil hard by Ireland but coach Gary Kirsten is happy that his side has not got any "easy matches" so far in the World Cup as this has helped Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men get a hang of different situations.

India made heavy weather of what seemed to be a comfortable chase of 208 against the associate nation on Sunday.

India endured stiff tests even in their previous matches -- against Bangladesh and England --winning the former and managing to tie the latter.

- Yuvraj's fine all-round show douses Irish fire

"It was important that we chased and got used to batting second and getting to understand what to do in different situations," said Kirsten.

"Two points is everything and we will face different challenges in different games, we don't want to have easy games all the way through," he added.

India are now up against another minnow, the Netherlands, on Wednesday and Kirsten said all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who picked up five wickets and scored and unbeaten 50 on Sunday, has struck form just at the right time.

"Yuvraj did well all round," he said.

"He has been working hard on his cricket and wants to contribute with bat and ball. I am pleased with the way he went about his batting," he added.

Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gary Kirsten
Photographs: Getty Images

Yuvi has matured into a utility cricketer: Yograj

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Yuvraj Singh is now an "utility cricketer" who can craft his innings as per the situation, feels his father and mentor Yograj Singh.

Hailing his son for a brilliant overall performance, which saw India run home with a five wicket win over spirited Ireland on Sunday, Yograj said, "He (Yuvraj) has matured into a very good utility cricketer and I see that as a great change in him."

The 29-year-old etched his name into the record books after becoming the first player in the history of World Cup to take five wickets and score a half century in the same match.

- Images: Yuvraj stars with bat and ball

On the superb bowling effort of his son, Yograj said, "I have been working with him for long now and keep having discussion with Bishen Singh Bedi. I think what the world does not probably realise is that Yuvraj has worked so hard all these years."

The mercurial left-hander who is known for some big hitting struck a patient 75 ball unbeaten 50 with just three hits to the fence after claiming five wickets for just 31 runs to restrict Ireland to a total of 207 on a wicket that seemed to be conducive to spin bowling.

Witnessing the change in Yuvraj's batting his father, a former Test cricketer said, "In games, where we are chasing modest scores like the one against Ireland, there is no need to hit 90m and 100m sixes. He finished the game and that was important."

Emphasising on Yuvraj's recent spate with the injuries Yograj said, "From ligament to wrist injury, any cricketer in his place would have struggled. But he is mentally so tough that he has put these odds behind faced the challenges head on."

Yograj feels that Yuvraj has habit of "gifting his wicket" to the bowler rather than getting out to good deliveries.

Image: Yuvraj Singh celebrates after picking up a five-wicket haul against Ireland on Sunday
Photographs: Reuters
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UDRS is a joke in its present form: Latif

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Pakistan's former captain Rashid Latif says he shares Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's concerns about the accuracy of the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS) as the innovation is nothing but a "joke" in its present form.

"The manner in which the system has been applied in the World Cup and the way decisions of the umpires have been reversed or upheld because of it indicate it is nothing but a joke," Latif said.

Latif said the system was simply not serving its purpose in its present form specially without the hotspot technology.

- Yuvraj claims UDRS technology confusing

"Every system requires its entire components in order, but here a major component of the system (hot-spot) is missing. Also, the hawk-eye does not consider the nature of the wicket while showing the trajectory of the ball", the former Pakistan captain said.

- Why the umpire's decision must be final!

He gave the example of the India and Ireland match on Sunday in Bangalore.

"In the India-Ireland match an Irish batsman (Cusack) was given LBW after a review. Earlier the umpire correctly turned down the appeal because the batsman was well down the track -- more than 2.5 metres. To me it was a clear-cut decision, but the hawk-eye suggested otherwise. If the wicket was of the Perth then it would be a mind-boggling decision," Latif noted.

He pointed out that it was very difficult for the technology to take into account the nature and bounce of pitches as they were all different in different countries and in varying climate.

India has offered the sole opposition to the UDRS system until now with the International Cricket Council saying majority of the other Test-playing nations had supported the innovation after looking at the results of the experiments carried out in last two years.

Latif said if the system is to be used effectively, the ICC should first make sure the broadcasters and concerned boards had all the components required to make it a success.

"In the World Cup the technology they are using for the UDRS is lacking because it is difficult to make a judgement on basis of replays available to us," Latif noted.

Image: Rashid Latif
Photographs: Getty Images
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Hafeez promises to end Pak's opening woes against NZ

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They might have come a cropper so far, but Pakistan batsman Mohammed Hafeez on Monday said he and his opening partner Ahmed Shahzad are just one good partnership away from the striking form in the ongoing cricket World Cup.

Hafeez and Shahzad's opening partnerships of 11, 28 and 16 so far have put Pakistan in early trouble in all their previous three matches. They have already been told to improve by skipper Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis.

- 'Hope openers will deliver the goods: Afridi

"As an opener I know we have not given a good start to the team, but there's no lack of confidence and we just need one good partnership to get the rhythm back," Hafeez said .

The 30-year-old said he also needs a bit of luck to go his way as he prepares for the match against New Zealand in Pallekele on Tuesday.

- World Cup coverage

"You need luck in cricket to perform. Here there is lateral movement with the new ball and the swing is also there so both of us are trying to put up a long partnership which is the requirement," he said.

Talking about the match against New Zealand, Hafeez said the Kiwis' bowling attack should not be much of a threat to Pakistan's batting which handled it easily during a tour before the World Cup.

"We handled their bowling very well in New Zealand. Confidences is very high and I hope to perform against them," said Hafeez.

Image: Mohammad Hafeez
Photographs: Getty Images
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