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New players did not have time to adjust

In recent years, most international teams have provided expert assistance to allow the players a better chance to perform at their best. ...

In recent years, most international teams have provided expert assistance to allow the players a better chance to perform at their best. We are also seeing a trend in countries looking off shore for coaches, usually former players, with necessary qualifications. For example, South Africa has Bob Woolmer from England, Sri Lanka had Bruce Yardley and New Zealand has Australian Steve Rixon.

India has Anshuman Gaekwad as the coach and he has to do it all. With Indian commentators like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar and Arun Lal here in New Zealand, I can only assume that all the experience they have on offer is not used and if it is, it certainly is not used to the full.

Interestingly enough though, India has engaged the services of former Australian opening batsman, captain and coach, Bobby Simpson to assist in the preparation of the team for the World Cup in England. He is in New Zealand with the team until the completion of the five one-day matches.

Simpson’s success as the Australiancoach over a two-year period should be beneficial especially with the fielding aspect of the game, an area the Australians were and still are very efficient and an area that let India down on this tour.

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In one-day internationals, India’s performance away from home is not impressive and must cause a lot of concern. Since the 1996 World Cup, which was held in India and Pakistan, India has won only 36 per cent of their games, yet in their own country they have won 64 per cent. New Zealand and India have now clashed on 47 occasions, with India holding the advantage of 25 wins to New Zealand’s 20, with two no results. Most of those wins for India against New Zealand have come in India, 12 to 2. Yet here in New Zealand, India has won only three to New Zealand’s 13. It is interesting to note that India leads 10-8 on neutral grounds.

India will be disappointed to lose the first one-dayer. They had enough runs, but the bowling was again below par. India were certainly disadvantaged when the lights went out and NZhad to chase a revised target, but the Black Caps were well on target by then. Although we saw Rahul Dravid, who was named Man of the Match, score his third century within a week to help India reach a total of 257 for five in 50 overs, they let New Zealand get away to a quickfire start in their run chase, scoring 105 for one in 15 overs.

India gambled today by playing all their new players so soon after their arrival here. Robin Singh, Kanitkar and Nikhil Chopra didn’t have enough time to combat the effects of jet lag or spend enough time in the nets to be ready to perform at their best in this match.

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Singh had a horror start with 26 runs being scored off two of his overs. However no Indian bowler can be pleased with their performance in this match. India will have to do a lot of work in a very short time, if they hope to stop the roll of successes for the Black Caps. Maybe Bobby Simpson will have some answers for them.

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First published on: 10-01-1999 at 12:00:00 am
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