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Pathan low on confidence, says Greg

His dismal form could lead to the coach to rethink on his five-bowler theory.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 17:53 IST

Indian coach Greg Chappell accepts that Irfan Pathan is down in confidence and hopes the medium pacer can turn it around by the time the first Test starts on Friday.

"He is struggling because he is down in confidence at the moment. He is probably trying a little bit too hard which is easy to do when things are not going well. We are hoping he can turn it around quickly," Chappell said after the lynchpin of Indian attack went for 70 runs in his 11 overs against a sub-par Antigua XI on the opening day of the two-day practice match on Tuesday.

"Maybe he is trying to bowl a little bit quicker. It is confidence thing getting the ball in the right areas. You really don't have a big margin for error.

"If you get it too full or too short, these players will hit it."

Pathan's dismal form on this tour could probably lead to Chappell to rethink on his five-bowler theory.

"I still feel five bowlers is the way to go. But you want horses for courses and different conditions require different things," the coach said.

Chappell didn't want his team to repeat the mistakes which they did in the one-day series and ended up 4-1 losers.

"In the one-day series, I don't thing we adjusted to the conditions, batting or bowling. In bowling, we were just not consistent enough with the length. We varied too much."

"The West Indian bowlers bowled better than we did because they were more consistent with their line and length," Chappell said.

"Once you do so on slow wickets, it reduces the options the batting team have. We let them get too many runs and we didn't make too many runs ourselves."

The West Indian batsmen didn't allow the Indian bowlers to bowl a consistent line and length by dashing down the track time and again.

Chappell didn't think his batsmen were to follow the same method if they were to succeed.

"There's more ways than one to skin the cat. We don't all have to play the same way. Not two batmen are the same.

"We've got an experienced batting line-up. If we apply ourselves and bat as well as we can, our methods will be fine.

"When you try to play somebody else's way, it's then when you can get into trouble."

Chappell felt it was important that all of his main players contributed and built partnerships in the Test matches.

"Batsmen need to spend time in the middle and get runs as quickly as possible. For a four-match series, you want everyone contributing along the way."

The spectre of too much cricket has raised its head again on this tour with the Indian players distinctly looking jaded and tired.

"You look tired when you are not winning. When we start winning, we wouldn't look so tired."

"It's always tough touring, you are away from home, from the comforts of home, away from support structure and all those things," Chappell said.

"But if you want to be a good touring team, you would have to deal with all that about.

"In a way it's a good thing. We have to redress some key issues. We may have to look at different combinations. It will help us become a better team.

"It's the wake up call we needed."

Chappell confessed his side's fielding standards have dipped in the present series.

"We didn't do well, some of the intensity wasn't there. We started to do other things but now we can't assume they would continue to field well.

"We now have to keep doing it."

Chappell lauded Dr Rudi Webster in improving the mental strength of Indian cricketers and said there have been signs that Virender Sehwag has benefitted from it.

"Dr Webster in my opinion is one of the two best sports psychologists. We requested the board months before we came here. He has been doing one-to-one work with the players and he would continue to do so till Friday.

"As a coach and coaching staff, players are hearing it all the time from us. We may or may not be talking about anything different but coming from a different perspective, may be things click which help a player.

"Sehwag spent some time with Dr. Webster on Saturday and there were distinct signs that some of those discussions have been beneficial."