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No Robin in Gary’s team

It has been learnt that the new coach Gary Kirsten feels that a fielding coach is not required for the Test matches, reports Amol Karhadkar.
Hindustan Times | By Amol Karhadkar, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2008 03:07 AM IST

With the veterans returning to the squad for the Test series against South Africa, which will start in Chennai on March 26, the high fielding standards that the Indian team set in the recently concluded tri-series in Australia are likely to slide.

Yet, fielding coach Robin Singh will most probably not be there to work with the ageing bodies.

The Hindustan Times learnt on Tuesday that Robin’s services “will not be required” for the three-Test series. And the decision has been taken at the instance of new coach Gary Kirsten.

It was learnt that Kirsten, whose first assignment as coach of the team will be the Test series against his home team, felt that a fielding coach was not required for the Test matches. As a result, Robin, who recently took over as the coach of the Hyderabad-based team to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), will not join the squad in Chennai.

Robin and bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad got involved in a dispute with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) when they signed deals to coach the Hyderabad and Bangalore teams, respectively, in the IPL.

However, the decision to not have Robin on board had “nothing to do with his association with IPL” and was purely based on Kirsten’s wish, it was learnt. Former India teammates Robin and Prasad became associated with the senior national team as coaches together, after the World Cup debacle.

The first assignment of the two was to Bangladesh where Ravi Shastri was the cricket manager. Robin, in fact, is yet to be intimated about the decision. A source close to him said he was “hoping to be with the team even for Tests.” It was also learnt that a formal decision will be announced by Thursday.

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