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Chappell comes out in batters' defence

"It's not easy to understand how difficult wicket was in centre," said the Indian coach.

india Updated: Aug 30, 2005 13:52 IST

Indian coach Greg Chappell defended the team's batting performance which saw them set up a modest target to inexperienced Zimbabwe, saying criticism from outside was easier than performing in the middle.

"Sitting outside perhaps it is not easy to understand how difficult the wicket was in the centre. It was moving and slow as well and the bounce was spongy," reacted Chappell after his side secured an easy 161-run win over minnows Zimbabwe.

Chappell was happy that his batsmen were beginning to build partnerships and spend time in the middle, something which they haven't done in the first few games of the season.

"There has been some encouragement in the sense that all batsmen have managed to spend time in the middle, sometime or the other. It's all a question of bringing it together and building up on the start," remarked Chappell.

Chappell was supportive of his captain Sourav Ganguly and his form and said even he was in a confident frame of mind at the start of the innings.

"I am pretty happy with the way he has shaped up. He was looking confident. On the ball he was dismissed, usually he hits it for a single but today he wanted to hit it for four. These things happen in the game."

"Having played the game myself, I know how wickets can fall in a clutter. The best way to come out of it is to not yell at the batsmen. Maybe now that they have had this experience they know how to react to such situations in future."

Venugopal Rao was pushed ahead as opener in today's game and Chappell said his second failure in the series made no difference to team's opinion of the youngster.

"He is a fine youngster with good attitude and he knows that the team is behind him. Unfortunately, twice in two games he got two very good balls."

Chappell emphasised that his work ethic will force the players to become better though at present the workload might be hurting them a little.

Chappell pointed out that the bowlers, and to a lesser extent, fielders have reaped the benefits.

"Like Irfan has done what a left-arm bowler should do to the right-handed batsmen. It's the benefit we are seeing of what (Ian) Frazer has been able to do to the boys."

Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran himself made a strong statement when he declared that if the seniors continued to perform as they have done lately, then may be bringing in young blood is the answer to his team's woes.

"It is what Duncan (Fletcher) did to the England team. He brought in a lot of youngsters and we are seeing the difference in their performance. If the senior players continue to perform poorly, I am sure the selectors would be looking out for replacements," he said.

First Published: Aug 30, 2005 13:52 IST