Friday, August 28, 2009

Kirsten counsels of India risk at Champions Trophy

India will pull through swiftly from their early exit at the Twenty20 World Cup and are sure to grow a sober challenge at the Champions Trophy in South Africa next month, coach Gary Kirsten said.

India have summon up Rahul Dravid to the one-day team for the first time in almost two years to strengthen their batting on pacy South African pitches at the Sept. 22-Oct. 5 Champions Trophy.

A young Indian batting unit struggled against short-pitched bowling in the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

"We have had a good run right from the tour of Australia and there is great team spirit, though the World Twenty20 was a setback," the former South Africa opener told reporters after the national team's training camp in Bangalore on Thursday.

"We are very positive and all of us want to move on," Kirsten said.

India, who will also participate in a tri-series in Sri Lanka that featuring New Zealand from Sept. 8-14, have not lost a one-day series in the past year following a surprise tri-series victory in Australia last February.

"We take pride in our consistency over a long period. It is a quality team and the players are mentally fresh and look good physically too," Kirsten said.

"It is good to have Rahul Dravid back in the team. He adds massive value to the team," Kirsten said of the former captain, who is only the second Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to score over 10,000 runs in both test and one-day forms.

Tendulkar has also returned after opting out of the one-day series in the West Indies, which the tourists won 2-1 last month, but explosive opener Virender Sehwag will miss both tournaments after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Ishant Sharma will spearhead the five-man pace attack in the absence of experienced left-armer Zaheer Khan, who has been ruled out of action until the end of the year after undergoing surgery on an injured shoulder.

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