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May 8, 2007

Shastri says India good team for Tests, ODIs

 
May 8, 2007

DHAKA: India cricket team manager, Ravi Shastri, promised to see India after a dismal World Cup returning to winning ways beginning with three One-day Internationals (ODIs) and two Tests series against Bangladesh.

Shastri, who took charge of the Indian team only for ensuing series, said the tour would be a challenge. “It will be a challenging tour especially after the World Cup debacle. We will put out our best foot forward.’’

“We have good team for both forms of game. It was not time to live in past. “Forget the past and focus on the present,” he said. Taking a leaf out of early exit from the World Cup in the West Indies, Shastri said, “players are disappointed; more disappointed than anybody else.” He said he endeavoured to make players realise need to play together to bring good results. “It is important to play as a unit. It is also important to enjoy playing and result will follow.”

On past performance, he said, “what I did not like in last six months was that cricketers were going through motions like they were doing a sort of 9 to 5 job. If you don’t enjoy playing, then forget about winning.”

He especially expected seniors to fire and fire well against Bangladesh. “Sachin (Tendulkar) is hungry. Just be patient with Sachin and (Virender) Sehwag. They will show you what they are capable of.”

Batting strongly for embattled seniors, he said, “show respect for what they have done. They have played international cricket for 15 years. Be patient, give them some time and you will see what they are capable of.”

On injury to skipper Rahul Dravid, he said, “He is fine, under observation. His improvement is being monitored. He will captain the side. There is no question about that. We know who will lead in case of any eventuality.” Questioned on raging contract row, team’s administrative manager, Surendra Bhave, said, “players are very keen to get issue resolved very soon.”