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India left late for Down Under: Greig

cricket Updated: Dec 16, 2007 22:46 IST

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Former England captain Tony Greig feels the Indian team has committed a 'mistake' by leaving late for the Australia tour and predicted that the visiting batsmen would struggle on bouncy wickets Down Under as they have little time to acclimatise.

"I was very disappointed to hear that the Indians decided to leave so late for Australia. I think that's a mistake," Greig said.

"You really need to go to Australia and you need to give yourself a bit of time to acclimatise. And I worry that they haven't had enough time to acclimatise. That being the case, if you've got bouncy pitches then you could run into a few problems," he said.

India are scheduled to leave for Australia tomorrow, nine days before the first Test at Melbourne from December 26.

The cricketer-turned-commentator said though the Indians had good batsmen capable of tailoring their game according to differing conditions, they were likely to struggle as "They are adjusting from Indian pitches to Australian pitches, and (that too) against really fast bowlers. "So, I have got a feeling that they are going to struggle," he said in an interview to CNN-IBN.

Echoing him, former Australia player Dean Jones said the Indians should have given themselves at least two and half weeks to get used to the Australian conditions. "It's the hardest country in the world to adapt to, because the ball swings and bounces in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane and it spins in Adelaide and Sydney.

"So, for one part you're using your top half ducking and weaving, and then in Sydney you have got to use your bottom half to kick the spinners away," Jones added.

Asked how the Indians should tackle the Australians, who are known for their rough behaviour on the field, Greig replied, "They should fight fire with fire. Do the same as Arjuna Ranatunga did. I think that's the way to go."

Greig, meanwhile, felt instead of going for Gary Kirsten, BCCI should have roped in an Indian for the coach's job. "I think it's time India had an Indian coach. I have got no problems with Greg Chappell or John Wright or Gary Kirsten. But for me, it makes sense for India to have an Indian coach. They have got a billion people, more people than any other cricket playing country in the world, more cricketers than any other cricket playing country in the world and plenty of Test cricketers that are capable of doing this. If you said to the Australians that we are going to have someone from England as your coach, they will laugh at you. I think there is an element of pride associated with having your own coach."