The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Experimentations will be on, say Chappell and Dravid
- Our best opportunity to do well before World Cup: Sachin

New Delhi: Team India captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell on Sunday indicated that their experimentations with batting order and team composition would continue even during the Champions Trophy. Brushing aside the criticism that too much experimentation has cost India quite a few games in the recent past, Chappell said: “First of all one cannot win all the matches. It is not possible. And then, what you call experimentation is a strategy to me. We have different plans and strategies for different opposition.”

The Australian emphasised the need to chalk out a flexible policy. “What we usually do is to try and give chance to all the players available. It offers an opportunity to all the players around to showcase their talent on different days. It helps us as a team as we get a group of players who could be used in different situations.”

Asked about his views on having too many players for the opening slot, Chappell said, “we will have to wait and see. All we try to do is to get the best available combination.”

Chappell’s views were echoed by Dravid when he said the experimentation with the opening slot will continue till the best options come out of it. “These things will go on till the best things come out of it. Like you, we also debate on such subjects. We also express our worries and try to find out what is actually going wrong. Things will continue in this fashion till we find a solution.”

On Ravi Shastri’s recent comments that he should start asserting himself more as captain, Dravid said: “Ravi is a good supporter of the team. I have no issues with him. He has been a fair critic and genuinely cares for the team. But a lot of people are not privy to the decision making process.”

Dravid warned that one should not mix up the one-dayers with the longer version of the game. “In a Test series, one gets to know about the difference of strength between the two teams at the end of the series. In one-dayers, it all depends on the performance in a particular match under a given situation.”

Both were of the opinion that Virender Sehwag will soon return to form. While Dravid went to the extent of saying that Sehwag is a player who can win the World Cup, Chappell said he does not need to motivate the dashing Delhi batsman.

“Sehwag is an experienced player and has scored tons of runs in international cricket. I don’t need to motivate him. He will come back for sure,” said the Aussie coach.

Later, Sachin Tendulkar also expressed his optimism about wining the tournament. “We have a good side, we know the conditions better than other teams and, most important, our team is moving in the right direction.”

Sachin said he considered the Champions Trophy the second most important tournament after the World Cup. “This is our best opportunity to do well before the World Cup. We should go in this step by step. I am sure this one is going to be very exciting.”

The ace batsman felt it was unnecessary to discuss whether he would play aggressive or defensive cricket. “I am basically playing my game. I decide on my approach according to the team’s requirements. I cannot say today I am not in a mood to (play in a particular way). It is a team sport, you have to figure out the team’s requirements and play accordingly.”

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