The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Homework on Sachin has been done: Buchanan

Calcutta: When the Aussies embarked on the tour of India for the tri-series, they made it clear that one of their main aims was to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Sachin Tendulkar.

Other than returning with the winners’ trophy, the Aussies claim to have succeeded on the other front as well.

“Yes, we have studied the great man thoroughly and done our homework on how to go about the job when the Indians tour Down Under,” Australia coach John Buchanan told The Telegraph before leaving the city on Wednesday.

“This tournament allowed us to have a closer look at the others who will be coming to Australia shortly,” the coach added. “The Indians will present a vastly different challenge. I think they definitely have a more agrressive approach than we saw last time.”

India were whitewashed 0-3 in the Test series last time they toured Australia, four years ago.

Buchanan added this trip helped them know the Indians better in every way. “In fact, other than the team, we also got to know about their culture, which will help us when we come back in 2004.”

When quizzed about India’s decision to go in with three left-arm quicks, the Aussie coach quipped: “May be, that’s the best combination they have.”

Meanwhile, the Aussie team management informed that Michael Bevan had suffered a hamstring strain while batting during Tuesday’s tri-series final at the Eden Gardens, but it is not that serious. The champion left-hander batted with a runner and got a fighting unbeaten 40.

“He (Bevan) has a bit of a niggle. But we don’t think it’s too much of a worry,” Australian media co-ordinator Jonathan Rose said.

On the other hand, India coach John Wright remarked that the forthcoming tour will be his toughest assignment since he took up the responsibility. “They are surely the best team in the world. You have to be realistic, we’ll start underdogs.”

The coach sounded confident that captain Sourav Ganguly will be back in full swing during the tour. “It was a touch and go affair yesterday and we decided to rest him so that we can have him fit for this series,” he added.

The coach expressed confidence that Sourav will be playing both three-day preparatory matches before the first Test in Brisbane. “The way he is recovering, Sourav should be fit for those games,” Wright hoped.

The coach felt the bowling line-up chosen for the tour was the best available at the moment. “The combination of three left-arm pacers and two right-armers gives us the necessary balance.”

Meanwhile, umpire David Shepherd said there has been no report against Andrew Symonds, who got involved in an exchange with Rahul Dravid during the final.

“It was a minor incident and was dealt with in the ground itself. I didn’t think it was big enough to be reported to the Match Referee,” Shepherd said.

It was also learnt that a suitcase with important documents belonging to Rose, went missing from the dressing room after the match. The Aussies are not lodging any complaint.

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