The Web


Home > Cricket > Kiwis in India 2003 > PTI > Report

No harm exploiting home advantage: Wright

October 14, 2003 18:01 IST
Last Updated: October 14, 2003 18:02 IST

Blaming the flat track in Ahmedabad for India's failure to force a result in their favour in the first Test, coach John Wright said officials responsible for preparing wickets should keep the home advantage factor in mind.

Wright said the Ahmedabad track had nothing to offer the bowlers even on the fourth and fifth day and the "world class" spinners in both the teams struggled to get any purchase.

Also Read

Kiwis in India 2003 - Complete coverage

"It is the responsibility of people preparing the wickets to keep these things in mind. Sometimes you probably need to raise these points with the people responsible," Wright told reporters in Mohali on Tuesday.

Set a victory target of 370, New Zealand lost six wickets by the post-lunch session on the last day but still managed to draw the first Test, mainly because of a gritty performance by Craig McMillan and Nathan Astle.

"It's unusual in India that the team batting first scores 500 runs in the first innings and there is no assistance to the bowlers in the later stages of the match," he said.

"We have to play on wickets that are given to us. Sometimes you hope for a little bit of home advantage. It is the case in all the countries. In Australia, they make sure that their wickets never turn."

Like captain Sourav Ganguly, Wright also came out in support of the Indian bowlers, saying it would be unfair to expect them to win a match on such a flat track.

"There were three world-class spinners -- [Anil] Kumble, Harbhajan [Singh] and [Daniel] Vettori -- playing in the match. They all struggled on the track. But the long spells will help them in the subsequent match," he said.

Wright said the players have no option but to play on tracks that are given to them.

"You have to play on whatever wicket that is given to you. You have to approach the game and adapt accordingly. We played good cricket but we could not finish the match in the way we desired," he said.

The coach said he was particularly pleased with the way the batsmen performed in the first Test.

"It was a good performance and I am pleased with the batting. In bowling, I think Zaheer [Khan] did a good job, particularly in the first innings."

On New Zealand treating the outcome of the first Test as a morale victory, Wright said, "It is not an unusual kind of reaction from opposition teams."

Asked whether four specialist bowlers are sufficient to do the job in Test matches, Wright replied: "Four bowlers can do a fine job, unless conditions demand otherwise."

He also gave a vote of confidence to young Delhi opener Akash Chopra, who made his Test debut in Ahmedabad, saying he was quite happy the way he played.

"It is important to give some space to the newcomers. You have to have faith on them and show it. You have to allow these players to settle down."

Asked whether India should start preparing bouncier wickets to help the team perform better overseas, Wright said, "Trying to change the basic nature of Indian pitches will not be good for the game.

"India should keep its tradition. If we start making pitches like the ones in Australia, it will not be good for the game. The diversity of the game is also important."

Talking about the Mohali track, he said, "Let's hope there is balance between bat and ball. I had a look at the wicket and I hope there is more bounce."

On whether Ajit Agarkar, who joined the squad in place of an injured Aavishkar Salvi, would be playing in the second Test, Wright said, "It is a decision we will be taking in a day or two."

He said Yuvraj Singh, who is also in the squad, is very eager to earn his Test cap but it would be very difficult to accommodate him in the middle order.

"I know he is very keen to play. But it is hard to get hit in the middle order. He is knocking at the door loudly," he said.

Wright was not unduly worried about star batsman Sachin Tendulkar's form and said failure in just one Test does not reflect on his form.

The Indians had a strenuous practice session at the PCA stadium in the afternoon. Many of the senior players, including captain Ganguly, Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag, who held discussions with BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya on graded payments in New Delhi on Monday, flew into Chandigarh this afternoon amidst tight security arrangements.

Article Tools

Email this Article

Printer-Friendly Format

Letter to the Editor

Related Stories

Pitch Imperfect

Make the Challenger challenging

What's the point in Challengers?

People Who Read This Also Read

'India have to show more energy'

Ganguly doubtful for second Test

Aussies to stop sledging

© Copyright 2003 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Kiwis in India 2003: The Complete Coverage

Copyright © 2003 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.