The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rohan has edge over Karthik
- Bad weather hits teams' preparations ahead of Sunday's 'quarter final'

Birmingham: Thanks to incessant rain, it remained gloomy throughout Friday, two days before the India-Pakistan Champions Trophy 'quarter final' and affected the teams' preparations.

In fact, both sides had to make do with the otherwise excellent indoor facilities at Edgbaston but, then, there's nothing quite like nets outdoors.

There was more josh among the Indians, but it's to be seen whether that carries them to next Wednesday's semi-final in Southampton.

With the weatherman hardly being on the ball, no one is wasting much time on the forecast although a clear day is expected. Bob Woolmer, however, is preparing for unsettled weather.

The Pakistan coach, who spent years with Warwickshire here in different roles, opined that the weather will ' as of now ' actually have the biggest say.

'Our strategy is going to depend on the conditions... As for the Indians, they are playing better than in the Asia Cup... Is Sachin Tendulkar's absence a factor' Look, for me, every game starts 50-50,' Woolmer told The Telegraph.

Opposite number John Wright feels much the same way, but he conceded Pakistan have held the edge in recent matches. In any case, that has been reflected in the scoreline both in Colombo and Amstelveen.

'As it turns out, we've got some momentum going... We won at Lord's (against England) and in Southampton (versus Kenya), so.. But, yes, the team has to lift its game... We've got to improve our cricket... Pakistan are dangerous,' he pointed out.

Speaking exclusively, captain Sourav Ganguly ' who, incidentally, joined Wright at the breakfast table ahead of the indoor session ' said: 'Playing better is the key to our staying on in England... Everybody will have to chip in...'

While the 3-1 or 2-2 bowling combination debate is going to be settled by the weather, one understands Rohan Gavaskar has the edge over Dinesh Karthik. The latter played the last two matches, but it seems Rahul Dravid will be back in a double role.

Only, the vice-captain hasn't kept for a fortnight.

Scalpers, by the way, are having a roaring time with tickets going for five times the value. And, given that Pakistanis outnumber the Indians 2-1 (revealed by the last census) in Birmingham, security is going to be tight.

Apparently, in what appears to be a first in these parts, the sides will even be provided police escort both from the hotel (Crowne Plaza) to Edgbaston and back.

It's going to be a big day for the local administration as well.

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