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Wright wants India to keep intensity going

Ashish Shukla | January 30, 2004 17:44 IST
Last Updated: January 30, 2004 18:00 IST

The Indians may have booked their berth in the VB tri-series finals but they would still go into the remaining two league matches with the determination to keep their intensity going.

Coach John Wright emphasised at Perth it was not enough that his side was in the finals saying it was of paramount importance that the side goes into the field with an attitude to win irrespective of the status of the game.

India and Australia have already booked their berths in the best-of-three finals beginning with the first in Melbourne on February 6.

"We have talked about that and boys are determined -- they are hungry to take the title home," said the coach as India take on Australia in a league match on Sunday.

"But the finals are a long way off -- we are concentrating on the next game in two days' time," said Wright. "It would be a nice way to leave the shores (with a title win).

"We have tried to have that belief right through the series that we are here to win cricket matches, we have not just come here to compete. What we try is to achieve our game plan and play to our goals. Then the results would take care of itself.

"We have that attitude that we want to win games. That's what we are trying to do."

As a measure of his intent, Wright said his team would be at its full strength against Australia who would be without their captain Ricky Ponting and one-day specialist Michael Bevan.

"We would like to be at full strength, playing as a unit, leading up to the next week. To be honest, we are extremely keen to do well this weekend," said Wright.

The coach expected both Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag to be fit for Sunday and get into some kind of form before the finals.

"We are expecting them to play. They have been out for a while but they were in good nick when they went out. It would be good if they could spend some time in the middle before the finals."

Wright felt the one-day series has evolved into a kind of sluggers' duel between Australia and India and even a team which has scored 300 runs is not feeling entirely safe.

"Scores are getting bigger and the way the two sides have played, it seems even 300 is not safe, though we would take 300 at this stage!

"The game is certainly evolving that way and it is great for public here and I hope in India."

Wright said he felt the reputation of WACA as the fastest pitch in the world was no longer true. Some high scores have been witnessed at the ground, including Matthew Hayden's world record score of 380 against Zimbabwe earlier this summer but Wright still thought it was not as quick as before.

"What will be of interest to an old fellow like me is the change in the nature of the wicket at WACA, it is not as quick as it used to be. But frankly speaking, we have enjoyed the conditions in Australia this summer -- be it Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney. WACA would be no different."

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