The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Time ripe to experiment, says Wright

Chennai: India decided do drift from the combination and strategy which took them to the World Cup final earlier this year. As expected, Rahul Dravid is not keeping wickets and donning the big gloves is Parthiv Patel, and coach John Wright thinks the time has come to experiment.

“The World Cup format does not have to stay forever. We can always experiment,” the India coach said at the team hotel on Thursday, shortly after the first tri-series match between India and New Zealand was abandoned due to rain.

“It’s not necessary to stick to a specific format. The situation now is such that we can try out a few new combinations. We don’t have to be rigid. We tried one today (bringing in Parthiv), but unfortunately, didn’t get the chance to see how it works.

“We can change according to the situation and be flexible,” said Wright when asked whether Dravid would keep playing as a specialist batsman.

The New Zealander said the first thing his team needs now is some good, solid practice. His players couldn’t have an extensive nets session on Wednesday due to inclement weather and only 26.5 overs was all they got in the first match of the tri-series.

“The first thing we need after reaching Gwalior is a long session. It’s actually very frustrating for both teams when a match ends like this, especially if it’s the first game of a series.”

The coach also rued the fact that the showers stopped Sachin Tendulkar at a time when he was showing signs of returning to top form. “Sachin was in very good rhythm and about to open up. Such things (the interruption) upsets the momentum. Even Yuvraj was playing well,” the coach noted.

Wright, however, wasn’t very pleased with Virender Sehwag, who failed to carry on after another bright start. “He was out to a bad shot despite starting well,” he felt.

The coach is anticipating some stiff competition in the tri-series. “All the teams are good... among the top ones in the world. You have to be at the top of your own game and can’t afford to write off any,” Wright signed off.

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