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India defer selecting team theme
- Troubled visitors desperate for session with Sandy Gordon

Brisbane, Nov. 29 (PTI): The beleaguered Indian team, getting hot under the collar by the minute on the tour of Australia, has sought the help of sport psychologist Sandy Gordon before the start of the first Test at Gabba on December 4.

The Indian team management on Saturday confirmed that the message has been sent to Gordon to arrive in Brisbane on Monday where he is expected to have at least two sessions with the team — most likely on Monday and Wednesday — before the Test match.

The team management has also deferred the selection of the “team theme” till they catch up with Gordon after failing to arrive at any consensus in at least one meeting on the issue on the tour so far.

[That India will have a new theme for the tour Down Under was reported by The Telegraph on November 19]

Indians have had a disappointing lead-up to the first Test, having conceded over 800 runs in two unfinished innings to the opponents. Added to that, key players like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag are yet to get among the runs.

They have sought the services of Bruce Reid as bowling coach who in all probability would be given a thumbs-up by the Indian board in their emergent working committee meeting in New Delhi on Sunday.

India’s second move concerns Gordon who was a vital factor in their dramatic improvement in the World Cup. Gordon offered the team theme “now or never” to go along with the now-famous huddle after every wicket.

India overcame a poor start and made a complete turnaround in their World Cup campaign till they ran into Australia in the final for an overwhelming defeat. This year, India have played six one-day Internationals against Australia and lost five of them, conceding over 340 runs twice and generally disintegrating against the allround prowess of the world champions.

All this while, the Indians have been seeking help from Australians only. Besides Reid and Gordon, captain Sourav flew down to Australia before the start of the home season to take batting lessons from Greg Chappell for six days.

Sourav acknowledges Chappell’s lessons were of great use against New Zealand in the first Test at Ahmedabad where he smashed a hundred in October.

Gordon is beginning to get more and more involved with Indian cricket as his help is being sought not only for the present team but also for the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

Sourav said it would be better if Gordon could interact with the team more frequently. “He has been brilliant to us but rather than his involvement in an on-and-off basis, I would prefer if it (the arrangement) was made regular,” said Sourav.

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