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Sachin's loss of form temporary: Greg

The India coach says Sachin is a champion and a champion can get back to form any time.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2005 18:36 IST

Strongly backing Sachin Tendulkar, India coach Greg Chappell expressed confidence that the highest run-getter in one-dayers can get back to form at any time.

"He is a champion and a champion can get back to form at any time," Chappell said on Monday about Sachin's recent failures with the bat on the eve of the third one-dayer between India and South Africa.

"I marvel the number of matches he has played and I am amazed with the amount of enthusiasm he is showing. He is as enthusiastic as a school boy," Chappell added.

On the ongoing one-day series, Chappell said it would be tight series.

"If the third ODI is washed out, then it will be a tight series. So let's wait and see," he said.

The coach, however, said that he could not single out any South African player as the opposition's strength.

"Their team is full of batsmen and bowlers and they have players like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini," Chappell said.

Indian captain Rahul Dravid, on the other hand, made it clear that he would like to keep the tourists guessing.

"We have not decided on the playing eleven and we will decide it tomorrow morning. We will keep changing the batsmen's positions as per the matches and maintain the flexibility. We want to keep the rivals guessing," Dravid said.

Dravid, however, said that the lack of practice due to rain will not affect the players in any way.

"We are playing a lot of cricket and missing one or two days of practice will not affect us. We are professional enough to cope with the loss of practice," he added.

He said the pitch was good enough for one-day cricket.

"The pitch looks firm and good, but we are prepared to play in any condition," he said.

On the Proteas' capability of playing spinners, the Indian skipper acknowledged the fact that the visitors will be under pressure to negotiate the Indian tweakers.

"Harbhajan is a key and critical member. He is a match-winner and has bowled very well in this series. Kartik has also bowled beautifully. They can put the South Africans under a bit of pressures," Dravid remarked.

First Published: Nov 21, 2005 18:14 IST