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Chopra disappointed with debut
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October 22, 2003 12:30 IST
Rahul Dravid has called him the solution the team has been looking for. Coach John Wright has a hunch that he will do well in Australia at the top of the order.
Akash Chopra, with two half-centuries in the recently concluded India-New Zealand Test series, is sitting pretty.
"It is good to get a couple of half-centuries under your belt in your maiden Test series," Chopra told rediff.com, but hastened to add that the Tests were completely different from the two side games he played against the Kiwis earlier.
"The pressure of a Test match is different," said Chopra. "Also, the Kiwis were well prepared for me in the Tests. They knew where to bowl to me, and set precise field placements to curb my scoring. It seems they have watched my side games innings really closely."
He attributed his initial success in Test cricket to his mental preparation.
"I have played six seasons of domestic cricket now and have learnt things along the way. So even though I hadn't played a single game for the past five months due to injury, I felt fine playing the Kiwis. Cricket is a mental game."
Chopra, however, castigated himself when recounting his debut Test innings. "I could have made much more [than the 42 runs he scored]. I was batting well. I had settled down and was seeing the ball well. I had got six runs off that [Daniel] Vettori over already, but I guess I got over-ambitious. If there is anything I can undo in my life it will be that first innings dismissal."
He made no secret of his intention to break into the one-day team. "To be a complete player it is important to play both forms of the game," he said. "In due course of time I know I will break into the squad."
Rubbishing reports about his inability to play the short-pitched stuff, Chopra shot back: "Have I got out to a single short-pitched delivery? Have I looked uncomfortable against the short balls? There is no argument."
Indeed, he seems a good bet for the tour of Australia.