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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

India must maintain focus: Wright

March 03, 2003 15:05 IST

India coach John Wright warned his players not to get carried away after they stormed into the World Cup Super Sixes by beating Pakistan at Centurion on Saturday.

India won the high-pressure Group A game by six wickets, following a nine-wicket humiliation against defending champions Australia earlier in the tournament.

"The biggest thing is we got through the first stage," he told Reuters on Monday.

"That was our first goal. It had all the pressures associated with it."

Saturday's victory secured India second place behind Australia in the group standings and they will be travelling to Cape Town for their opening Super Six game on Friday.

"After our match against Australia, a lot of people were doubting our ability to make it from the group," Wright said. "But we have come back really well after that."

"We had a heady victory over Pakistan, but now we have to keep our feet on the ground."

He was confident India would reach the semi-finals, as long as the players maintain their focus: "They have to take one step at a time, and not look too far ahead."

INSPIRATIONAL TENDULKAR

Wright was fulsome in his praise of Sachin Tendulkar, who has been the inspiration behind India's batting in all the group games and destroyed the Pakistan attack with a brilliant 75-ball 98 at Centurion.

"After the Australia loss, I told the batters they had to sort themselves out," the New Zealand-born coach said. "There Sachin's leadership has been tremendous."

Wright added that he had been impressed by the way his players had responded to the various adjustments in both the batting and bowling order.

"Some of the changes have been necessitated through form," he said. "We put Sachin up to open and that has worked. It is a big plus."

Young batsman Mohammad Kaif was promoted to number four against Pakistan and responded with a confident 35 as he and Tendulkar shared in a third-wicket partnership of 100 to turn the match India's way.

"We are an older side now," added Wright. "We have played a lot of one-day cricket over the past year and have been able to win matches when Sachin has failed, and even when he has not been in the side.

"That shows this team is evolving."

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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Number of User Comments: 2




Sub: good show but still to continue...

Our boys did great specially after winning with pakis but still we have to go very far. So my suggestion is to be confident but ...


Posted by javeed





Sub: India

Kindly note that the pak cricketers were caught abusing on the field and it is surprising that when the whole world heard them on the ...


Posted by salauddin kadri




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