Four-bowler formula works fine: Wright | india | Hindustan Times
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Four-bowler formula works fine: Wright

There was one major difference between Ashley Ross and John Wright on Monday, two days before the charges of both battle it out in the first Test at the Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2003 00:28 IST

There was one major difference between Ashley Ross and John Wright on Monday, two days before the charges of both battle it out in the first Test at the Sardar Patel Gujarat stadium.

Ross had nothing much to say, having already been interviewed, interrogated, even harangued these past two weeks since the Kiwis set foot on Indian soil. The New Zealand coach has been asked all manner of questions — especially about the intensive preparation that the Kiwis have undergone for this series — over the fortnight in Vizag and Rajkot and was evidently tired of answering them. He was polite in the extreme, as always, but all his answers can be condensed into this: "We have prepared extensively and how we've played in the tour games is of no consequence to us. They do not matter, our tour begins on the 8th (of October)."

That was Ross for you. The Indian coach, on the other hand, did not say anything very surprising or majorly different from what he has said a number of times in the past (in various different ways) but he made a couple of important points.

For one, he clearly stated that the players who were in the new-look team were there because they deserved to be there and nothing else. "In both cases (the opener and the pace bowler) the players have earned their places. Aakash has been in good form, he's got two good knocks against the same side under his belt and that's something. Balaji has done very well in the Irani Trophy and Salvi got wickets in the last two games that the Emerging side played in Sri Lanka."

He added that when any new player came into the side, others had to go out and that's the way it went in the game.

One of the problems that Ganguly has been at pains to mention over the past two days here is that Bangar will be sorely missed. Ganguly was obviously unhappy on Sunday afternoon that he would have to shoulder most of the burden of the fifth bowler.

But Wright said it wasn't as big a problem as it was being made out to be. "The (four-bowler) formula has worked well in India right through my tenure. It's never really been a problem," said Wright. "It's also a tremendous opportunity to use Sachin, Sourav and Sehwag (as bowlers); bring them more into the game. That's why they bowled at the nets as much as possible."

Saying that Tendulkar can be a match-winner with the ball, Wright added that Sehwag was easily capable of bowling 10-15 overs in a day and that "the captain is both fitter and faster than he was". New Zealand's much-hyped preparations — which were not too much in evidence at either Vizag or Rajkot — also did not seem to bother the Indian coach. "We've also been preparing," he said. "In fact, every team always has plans and that's not changed over the years. What has changed is the technology, so it's easier to access material to put those plans together. But there's always been, and always will be, planning for different teams. The trick is to execute those plans properly and we've done our homework."