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Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Pathan lacks confidence’
- Sehwag has benefited from Dr Webster’s counsel, says Chappell
Irfan Pathan

Antigua: Team India coach Greg Chappell has admitted that Irfan Pathan is down in confidence and expressed hope that the allrounder can turn it around by the time the first Test starts on Friday.

“He is struggling because he is down in confidence at the moment. He is probably trying a little too hard, which is easy to do when things are not going well. We hope he can turn it around quickly,” Chap pell said after Pathan went for 70 runs in 11 overs against Antigua XI on the opening day of the two-day warm-up match on Tuesday.

“Maybe he is trying to bowl a little bit quicker. It is a confidence thing getting the ball in the right areas. You really don’t have a big margin for error. If you get it too full or too short, these players will hit it.”

On playing five bowlers, the Australian said, “I still feel five bowlers is the way to go. But you want horses for courses and different conditions require different things.”

The Team India coach feels the bowling made all the difference in the just-concluded one-day International series.

“In the ODIs, I don’t thing we adjusted to the conditions, batting or bowling. In bowling, we were just not consistent enough with the length. We varied too much.”

“The West Indian bowlers bowled better than we did because they were more consistent with their line and length,” Chappell said.

“Once you do so on slow wickets, it reduces the options the batting team has. We let them get too many runs and we didn’t make too many runs ourselves.”

Rather than hitting out of trouble, Chappell feels batsmen had to show some patience. “There’s more ways than one to skin the cat. We don’t all have to play the same way. Not two batmen are the same.

“We’ve got an experienced batting line-up. If we apply ourselves and bat as well as we can, our methods will be fine.

“When you try to play somebody else’s way, it’s then that you get into trouble.”

Chappell felt it was important that all his main players built partnerships in Test matches.“Batsmen need to spend time in the middle and get runs as quickly as possible. For a four-match series, you want everyone contributing along the way.”

The spectre of too much cricket raised its head again on this tour with the Indian players distinctly looking jaded and tired.

“You look tired when you are not winning. When we start winning, we wouldn’t look so tired. In a way it’s a good thing. We have to address some key issues. We may have to look at different combinations. It will help us become a better team. It’s the wake up call we needed.”

Chappell confessed his side’s fielding standards have dipped in the present series.

“We didn’t do well, some of the intensity wasn’t there. We started to do other things but now we can’t assume they would continue to field well. We now have to keep doing it.”

Chappell lauded Dr Rudi Webster in improving the mental strength of Indian cricketers and said there have been signs that Virender Sehwag has benefited from it.

“Sehwag spent some time with Dr Webster on Saturday and there were distinct signs that some of those discussions have been beneficial.”

Laxman on Sachin

Meanwhile, middle order batsman V.V.S. Laxman has admitted that the absence of Sachin Tendulkar would put responsibility on him since he is a senior player.

“Sachin has been a consistent performer for us for the last 16 years. He is not playing and that is a big loss. It puts a lot of responsibility on me but there is no added pressure. It’s my job. Any one picked in the team has got responsibility to perform,” said Laxman. (PTI)

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