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SA look to avoid a clean sweep

cricket Updated: Feb 27, 2010 00:57 IST
Subhash Rajta
Subhash Rajta
Hindustan Times
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Gary Kirsten doesn’t believe in resting on his laurels. While he’s proud of India finishing the season as No. 1 Test side and No. 2 in the ODIs, he hasn’t lost sight of the areas India need to sort out .

On the eve of the Ahmedabad ODI, India's last match of the season, Kirsten said they needed to work on T20 format ahead of the approaching World Cup. “It’s the only format where we have not done well in the last one year or so; we need to do some work on it,” he said.

Unfortunately, as much as he may want to work, he has no time to do that. Immediately after this series, the players head into the IPL, and Kirsten will fly home. The IPL finishes on April 25, and the World Cup starts five days after that, leaving the team and coach with virtually no time together.

“I will stay in touch with them throughout the IPL and keep talking about preparations,” said Kirsten.

What's more interesting is Kirsten's admission about problems in the pace department, especially in Zaheer Khan’s absence. “It’s one area where we have not been able to decide who are going to be our 4-5 core bowlers.,” he said.

“However, I am pleased with our attack in entirety with

spinners doing a fine job.” Nevertheless, the fact remains that we are far from having a settled pace attack, which becomes glaring in the absence of Zaheer Khan.

The coach, however, is delighted with the batting strength. “We have got eight to ten exceptional batsmen in the mix. There’s tough competition for every spot,” he said.

As for the Saturday clash, it remains buried in the Gwalior hangover. As much as one wants to look forward to it, the mind races back to that Sachin special. On Saturday, the only thing to look forward to is whether South Africa can avoid a clean sweep.