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We have to regain our belief: Wright

Telford Vice | February 18, 2003 14:03 IST

India have their backs to the wall going into the World Cup Group A match against Zimbabwe on Wednesday, according to their coach John Wright.

Sourav Ganguly's side beat the Netherlands and lost to Australia in their first two games, leaving them needing three victories from matches against Zimbabwe, Namibia, England and Pakistan to be sure of reaching the second round.

Group leaders Zimbabwe, by contrast, have been buoyed by a comfortable win over Namibia and the four points they were awarded after England refused to honour their fixture in Harare because of safety concerns.

"Two months ago this batting order was successful, but since the start of the tour to New Zealand we've had nine one-day performances where we haven't finished the 50 overs," Wright told reporters on Monday.

"We've got to put it right if we are to be successful in this competition, and it has to start from this game and be carried through. We must beat Zimbabwe.

"We have to regain our belief, our commitment and our determination to get the job done. That is critical to our success.

"At critical times we've been too aggressive and we've taken the wrong option. Our batting plan is simple, and that is to keep wickets in hand."

The die was cast for the nine-wicket hiding India were handed by Australia on Saturday when they were bowled out for 125, their lowest ever World Cup total.

"The game against Australia was always going to be tough," Wright said.

"It was obviously a big game for us, and it would have meant a lot to have been successful. (The loss) didn't help from a morale point of view."

Wright declined to say whether struggling captain Ganguly would be dropped down the batting order.

"We had a stable order, but with continued underperformance you need to look at it and make the changes necessary," Wright said.


Andy Flower, the home side's premier batsman, said Zimbabwe would go into the match confident of giving the Indians a tough time.

"India had a bad game against Australia, the best side in the world, so it's good to catch them on a downward trend," Flower told Reuters.

Flower believes the game will be won and lost in the Indian innings.

"You've got to take wickets against them," Flower said. "If you can get through most of their powerful top order cheaply you're in with a chance.

"You've got to knock over their big guns, and we've done that before."

Flower and fast bowler Henry Olonga made world headlines when they wore black armbands to "mourn the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe" in the match against Namibia.

They said in a statement they would wear the armbands for the duration of Zimbabwe's involvement in the tournament, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided against taking action against the pair for using cricket to make a political statement.

But Flower said he and Olonga had not decided whether they would repeat their protest.

"It's obviously a touchy subject, and I'm still discussing that with Henry," Flower said.

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