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Much needed practice for us: Chappell

Coach said the cricket tri-series will serve as Champions Trophy warm up for the team.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 15:42 IST

Coach Greg Chappell on Monday said the DLF Cup cricket tri-series would give the Indian team the much needed match practice ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy.

"We will treat this tournament as a practice for us ahead of the Champions Trophy," Chappell said after the team's net session this morning at the Selangor Club ground.

India's visit to Sri Lanka last month was marred by a bomb explosion and torrential rains, and the team returned home without playing a single match.

The team kept itself occupied with a rolling camp and practice matches within themselves prior to departing for Malaysia.

"The players have such a hectic schedule that we don't get such time off from the field often. So we utilised the break (in Colombo) to focus on other aspects of the game," Chappell said.

The former Australian captain said weather would not pose any problem for his team who were used to playing in hot conditions.

"Weather is not a worry for us. We are used to hot conditions," he said.

The Indians suffered a blow ahead of the tournament with middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh being ruled out of at least the first one-dayer, on Thursday against the West Indies, due an illness.

"Yuvraj is sick. He may play later in the series," said a team official.

The tri-series starts tomorrow with three-time World Champions Australia taking on Brian Lara's West Indies at the Kinrara Oval.
 
Although monsoon showers are predicted during the tournament, it was under blistering heat that the teams went through its regular drill.

Also braving the scorching sun were hundreds of local fans who had come to get a glimpse of the Indian stars at this off-shore venue.

The female fans were drooling over Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the new batting sensation. Shouts of "Dhoni! Dhoni" pierced an otherwise quiet atmosphere.

Sachin Tendulkar, however, was the most sought-after player, his blue India jersey standing out in the midst of his teammates who were all clad in white, the official dress with sponsors logo.

After finishing their practice, the players had a busy time signing autographs for the fans.