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Indian team seeks Reid's help

November 27, 2003 13:11 IST

With the Indians already getting a taste of things to come in the upcoming four-Test series against Australia, the team management has made a frantic call back home asking for the services of former Australian left-arm fast bowler Bruce Reid as the bowling coach during the 84-day tour.

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Informed sources in the team told PTI on Thursday that the team management spoke to Board of Control for Cricket in India chief Jagmohan Dalmiya about the need for a bowling coach and told him they would prefer to have Reid for the job before the first Test in Brisbane, starting on December 4.

Dalmiya, the source said, promised to get back to the team in a day or two.

Apparently, the only impediment between Reid and his appointment as India's bowling coach is the remuneration, which needs to be cleared by the BCCI.

India coach John Wright is believed to have already spoken to Reid and it is learnt the gangling former Aussie pace ace is not averse to taking up the job.

However, BCCI secretary S K Nair told rediff.com "no request has been received from the Indian team management in Australia".

"As and when it comes we will discuss it," Nair said

Reid had earlier helped out Zimbabwe on their recent tour to Australia and provided "inside information" to the tourists, something which the Indians feel will come handy in the four-Test series.

Reid's contribution was not so obvious in the first Test when the Australians ran up a score of 735, including a world record 380 by Matthew Hayden, but Zimbabwe bounced back in the second Test by restricting the Australians to 403, and posting a 300-plus score for themselves.

Reid has also been credited for the astonishing rise of Nathan Bracken, the left-arm fast bowler who was today picked for the first three Tests against India.

Reid coaches English county team Hampshire, for whom he represented as an overseas professional in the 1980s.

The Indians are concerned about the inexperience of their bowling attack, comprising three left-arm seamers. Senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar was seen instructing the pace trio of Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Laxmipathy Balaji yesterday morning about the length they should be bowling in Australia. He sought the three out at the MCG before the start of the second day's play against Victoria and put two red markers on the adjoining pitch and asked them to pitch it thereabout or so.

But the hard grounds and bouncy pitches in Australia take a massive toll on a fast bowler's physical and mental abilities and it will take more than the helping hand of Tendulkar to guide the fast bowlers through the gruelling tour.

Sourav Ganguly arrived in Australia and immediately said he would have loved to have someone like Wasim Akram as bowling coach. But the great left-arm paceman is part of a television network's commentary team and can only devote time on an on-and-off basis. Besides, as Ganguly mentioned, Akram as coach would be "sensitive" selection.

Reid was a lanky left-arm fast bowler and his rather frail health allowed him to play only 27 Tests during which he took 113 wickets at an average of 24.63. He made a huge impression against India during the team's tour of Australia in the 1991-92 series, claiming 12 wickets at a miserly average of 11.33.

The Indians have been dealt a lesson or two already in the three-day tour-opener against a Victoria line-up that piled a massive 518 for eight after restricting the visitors to 266 for nine in their first knock.

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