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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


India refreshed and ready to go, says coach Chappell

N.Ananthanarayanan | March 14, 2007 12:02 IST

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Coach Greg Chappell said a welcome break from non-stop playing has revitalised Indian players before their World Cup campaign starts on Saturday.

The 1983 champions face Bangladesh in their opening game in Group B, seen as the toughest because of the presence of Sri Lanka, besides debutants Bermuda.

India trained in Jamaica and enjoyed time away from frenzied attention back home but opinion has been divided whether it was ideal to arrive so early in the Caribbean.

"It's been a good preparation," Chappell told reporters on Tuesday, a day after the team arrived in the Trinidadian capital of Port-of-Spain.

"It's a chance for us to get used to the conditions in a measured way without having to rush anything.

"We've have been doing practice, relaxing, we've been swimming, sailing, snorkelling, things you would expect to do in the West Indies.

"So it's been a nice change of pace from the point of view of what happens on a normal tour, particularly in India where you are playing every three days."

India have faced criticism for playing two many one-day games, with the national board, which has signed a multi-million dollar rights deal, also organising matches in non-regular venues such as Malaysia last year.

The team has had a packed schedule for almost one year. They toured West Indies in mid-2006, then featured in a tri-series in Kuala Lumpur against West Indies and Australia before the October-November ICC Champions Trophy at home.

They then toured South Africa and on their return played two back-to-back home one-day series against West Indies and Sri Lanka -- they won both -- which ended in mid-February.

Chappell said there were no concerns in the team.

There has been some worry over an ankle problem to Saurav Ganguly, who did not open the batting in Friday's warm-up victory over hosts West Indies in Trelawny, Jamaica after he fielded for only for 13 overs.

"We're prepared for it, and we are ready to go," said Chappell. "Most of the niggles are gone, so it has just given us a chance to let rip a bit.

"We're looking forward to our first game."

Sri Lanka take on Bermuda in the first Group B match on Thursday.


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