The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teaming up against home teams

Cape Town: It could well boil down to India vs India, Australia vs Australia and New Zealand vs New Zealand in the World Cup Super Sixes.

With foreign coaches fast becoming the order of the day, the Super Sixes has thrown up some interesting situations where a team will have to counter one of their own plotting their downfall.

So when India take on Kenya, one of Kapil’s Devils, Sandeep Patil, will be groping for strategies and use all his first-hand knowledge about Indians to work it to the advantage for the team he has been at the helm of since the last five years.

And when New Zealand take on India next week they will face a similar situation. Rapped for their poor performance on their New Zealand tour despite a New Zealander to fall back on, India will be keen to give one back to their rivals at the big stage. New Zealand, with no tailor-made conditions to rely on, will be on their guard against John Wright’s boys.

Dave Whatmore did it to Australia in 1996. The Australian has done wonders for Sri Lanka, harnessing their raw talent to guide them to a World Cup triumph by beating none other than Australia.

So when Australia take on Sri Lanka, they will sure be wary of Whatmore who knows their weaknesses and strengths inside out.

There is another Australian doing the rounds — Geoff Marsh — donning the mantle of Zimbabwe’s coach. But do the coaches suffer from split feelings before a match which requires them to plot against their own flesh and blood'

“No,” is the vehement reply of Patil echoing the sentiments of all of his brethren. “We are all professionals. There are no mixed feelings,” Patil said.

Patil, who has also coached the Indian team before being dumped unceremoniously, has hinted that he was willing to take up a job in the establishment in India. But at the moment his priorities lie solely with Kenya.

Wright was placed in an uncomfortable situation when India toured New Zealand. To make matters worse there was speculation that Wright may be asked to coach the New Zealand side. But Wright firmly set aside the suggestion saying he was concentrating only on India at least till the World Cup. Undeterred by the defending champions, Whatmore insisted his side was looking forward to the Australia match and was confident of “his boys” doing well.

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