The Web


Home > Cricket > India's tour of Pakistan > PTI > Report

Bowling needs to improve: Wright

M R Mishra | March 14, 2004 19:23 IST

A day after India struggled to defend a mammoth total, Indian team coach John Wright called upon his bowlers to keep the focus in the middle overs which he admitted was becoming a problem area for the team.

"The bowling has been a problem. We bowled well in the first 15 overs but the middle overs is an area of concern and we have to address that problem quickly," Wright told reporters at Rawalpindi on Sunday.

"The bowlers know about it and we have to sort out the problem in this area in the coming matches," he said.

Wright said the bowlers bowled poorly in the first 15 overs during the tour of Australia but now the problem has shifted to the middle overs.

"We used to bowl poorly in the first 15 overs in Australia, but here the problem is in the middle overs. Overall we need to get better in that area," he said.

The coach said it was a good feeling to start the high-profile series with a win but admitted it had become "too close for comfort" in the end.

"Yes, it is great to start the series with a win. Our batting was excellent but it became too close for comfort in the end. It was a feeling of delight and relief," he said.

India registered a sensational five-run win in the first one-day international at Karachi on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The Indians play their second match, a day-night affair, at Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

Wright predicted the one-day series to be a close affair and cautioned his players to keep their focus going right through the series.

"It is going to be a close series. The second match here will be a key game for both the sides. Some of the nerves may have gone out after the first match and both the sides now have had their chance to look at each other's strength and weaknesses."

Asked whether he was surprised by Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq's decision to bowl first after winning the toss, the coach said, "we would have batted first. but that was his choice and he very nearly got the result he wanted."

On whether an Indo-Pakistan match puts additional pressure on the players, he said "the players are the best judge. Attitude in such a clash is very important and I think it is necessary to remain calm.

"It is all very good to have passion but it has to be directed properly. Calmness and ability to handle pressure is the key."

"There are a lot of emotions involved. The players have to embrace this opportunity and enjoy the tour. It is important to do that but enjoyment would be proportional to results."

Wright also said the team will persist with Rahul Dravid as the wicketkeeper in the next couple of matches.

"He will play the next few games as wicketkeeper. Parthiv (Patel) has immense potential. We rate him very highly but he will have to wait for his chance," he said.

Asked whether the Indians missed the services of their two experienced spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh, he said: "It is irrelevant to think about whether we are missing them or not. The fact is that they are not here, and we have to play the matches without them. We have two spinners in the side, they have to do the job".

The Indians had an optional practice session late in the afternoon at the Rawalpindi cricket stadium. VVS Laxman,  Parthiv Patel, Ramesh Powar and Irfan Pathan came for the practice under the watchful eyes of the coach.

Most of the other players, who had featured in the first match at Karachi, spent the day in their hotel rooms.

Article Tools
Email this article
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article

Related Stories

Rediff chooses its Indian team

Winning is important: Ganguly

Ramesh Powars his way in

People Who Read This Also Read

Laxman may play second ODI

Inzy not a bold captain: Mushtaq

Pakistan need a bowling coach

© Copyright 2004 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

India's tour of Pakistan: The Complete Coverage

Copyright © 2004 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.