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Pak coach gives India 60-40 edge

Pakistan feel that the home advantage and the humid weather gave India a clear edge in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group I play-off tie commencing on April 7.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 21:07 IST

Pakistan feel that the home advantage and the humid weather gave India a clear edge in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group I play-off tie commencing here on April 7, but vowed they would give the home team a good fight.

"India have a 60-40 advantage. The home crowd support and the weather conditions should work to India's advantage.

"Though the heat is more or less the same as in Lahore, where it was 27 or 28 degrees Celcius, it's the high humidity here that would make the difference," Pakistan team's non-palying captain Rashid Malik said on Wednesday.

Aisam Quereshi, at 416 Pakistan's highest ranked player in the tie, Aqeel Khan, Asim Shafik and Jalil Khan from across the border form the playing quartet which takes on India in Cup tie after 33 years.

The last clash between the sub-continent rivals occurred in 1973 in neutral Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Saying that his two main players Aisam and Aqeel have played against the two Indian youngsters Prakash Amritraj and Rohan Bopanna, ranked 230 and 235 respectively, on the circuit and knew their games, the Pakistan coach conceded that the Indian doubles team of captain Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are a different kettle of fish altogether with their past record.

"We are not targetting any of your players. But our players know your singles players.

"The doubles team of Leander and Mahesh, with their record, make India a complete team. We have practiced hard over the last few days and I hope on April 7 we would go out there and give them a good fight," the Pakistan coach said.

He also rubbished Paes's comments that his team was a one-man squad with only Quereshi to be worried about.

"A Davis Cup contest is never a one-man tie. It comprises five matches. It was not the right thing to say as it's a team game," he said.

The coach was, however, wary of Paes's abilities on grass even in singles play when asked about the possibility of the Indian captain playing one of the two singles on the first day.

"Leander, if fit, can be quite dangerous on a grass court. Aisam has a 1-1 record against him. We are ready to face the challenge (posed by Paes)," the Pakistan non-playing skipper said.

Asked about the behaviour of the courts at the Cricket Club of India lawns, Quereshi said the practice courts had low bounce but expected the match court to be fast, offering better bounce.

"The practice courts have low bounce, but the match court appears to be faster with better bounce. Both teams will have a chance to practice on it tomorrow," he said.

"The conditions would be the same for both the teams and we are prepared to make the most of it," he said, adding, "We are here to give a good fight and hopefully win the tie."

First Published: Apr 05, 2006 15:59 IST