| Sourav is happy with Balaji’s performance
Hobart: Bruce Reid, whose short-term contract as Team India’s bowling coach ends with the Sydney Test (January 2-6), is expected to again join the support staff during the tour of Pakistan from end February.
“We’ve been speaking to Bruce and, well, he hasn’t been unfavourably disposed towards being with us in Pakistan,” captain Sourav Ganguly told The Telegraph on Sunday evening. He confirmed that Reid’s services (as of now) wouldn’t be required in the forthcoming tri-series (January 9 -February 10).
Sourav added: “Of course, given that we will be playing two matches in Perth (where Reid is based), it’s possible that he will drop by and review the quicks’ progress. But, otherwise, there are no plans right now for a bowling coach to accompany the team during the tri-series.”
The games in Perth, where Reid runs a popular indoor facility, will be against Australia (February 1) and Zimbabwe (February 3).
Meanwhile, Sourav said he was “happy” with the way Lakshmipathy Balaji bowled (three for 87) in the Australia A second innings and Akash Chopra’s “application” in both outings here.
The match ended in a draw — the result couldn’t have been otherwise as India were asked to chase 308 in 41 overs.
Eventually, India finished on 66 for two, when the engagement was called off.
“Balaji hasn’t bowled better on this tour and, really, gives us an option... As for Chopra, I’m confident he will convert the good starts into big scores,” Sourav remarked. Then, in a warm gesture, he praised the talented Michael Clarke for an unbeaten 131 (second innings): “With Steve Waugh retiring, there’s an opportunity to step in... We all know he is gifted...”
For his part, Clarke responded by saying: “Jees, I don’t think anybody can replace Steve... In any case, there are so many guys getting runs. But, yes, it’s nice to have got an unbeaten century versus India.”
Barring Sachin Tendulkar, who left for Melbourne on Sunday evening itself (to have extra hours with his family which arrived a day earlier), the rest of the Indian contingent heads for Melbourne on Monday morning.
The third Test, at the MCG, begins on Friday.