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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

India must be ruthless on
Wednesday: John Wright

N Ananthanarayanan in Paarl | February 12, 2003 09:45 IST

Coach John Wright wants India to show no mercy in their opening World Cup match against minnows Netherlands on Wednesday.

"There should be a resolve and ruthlessness to go out there and get the job done," New Zealander Wright said as his team prepared for their Group A game.

"Our attitude has to be good, whether it is against Holland or Australia."

The 1983 champions would normally regard such a game as an easy warm-up but India cannot afford any complacency after their batting frailties were exposed on the recent tour of New Zealand.

India's problems were more evident in last week's warm-up defeat by South African provincial side KwaZulu Natal, with Rahul Dravid, captain Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif all falling cheaply.

"We have to understand the conditions and set our targets accordingly," he added.

"Our strength is batting. It suits us to be aggressive, but we need to show commonsense.

"If Saurav decides to bat first on Wednesday, we should get a big, big score. If he bowls first, then we should be chasing an insignificant score."

Captain Ganguly expects his side to be fully motivated against the Netherlands.

"This game is as important as against any other side," he said.

The India captain said there would be flexibility in the batting order and in the bowling, although Tendulkar was almost certain to bat at number three.

India's premier batsman, who holds the record for most one-day centuries (33) and aggregate runs (11,546), needs just 25 runs to overtake Pakistan's Javed Miandad as the highest run-scorer in World Cup history.

Tendulkar has scored 1059 runs from 22 games with Miandad making 1083 from 33.

The only injury concern for India is batsman Kaif, who is nursing a shoulder strain, but Wright said it was not serious enough to prevent him from playing.

The Dutch, meanwhile, have been struggling with their preparations in the midday heat of around 37 degrees centigrade in Paarl and captain Roland Lefebvre is fully aware of his side's limitations.

"India have four or five of the best batsmen in the world and our guys have only seen some of them on television," he said.

"But we have to play our own game. If there is one area where we can do well, it is fielding. Those skills everybody can improve on."

The Dutch make their second appearance in the World Cup, having played in 1996.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 12

Sub: Ruthless!!!!

True to the coachs words Indian team were ruthless when they were batting against the World cup minnows Holland, but they might not have followed ...

Posted by kumar

Sub: India Vs Holland

India shouldn't wait for an EYE OPENER (which they usaully do). India must keep their eyes WIDE OPEN.

Posted by Ram

Sub: wrong comment

the loss of Indians was true except for the fact that Dravid and Yuvraj were rested during the match. the news was misleading indeed ...

Posted by vignesh kumar

Sub: Rahul DRavid and Yuvraj , didn't play ..

For your kind information, Rahul DRavid and Yuvraj , didn't play the warm up mathc india lost ..In the match they played both of then ...

Posted by Balu

Sub: Error in article

be careful of your info... in the match that we lost...yuvraj and dravid did not play....the earlier match which was rained out, both made 66, ...

Posted by Dhiren


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