In­dia set to bounce back in Twenty20

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

IN­DIA will re­cover quickly from their early exit at the Twenty20 World Cup and are cer­tain to mount a se­ri­ous chal­lenge at the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in South Africa next month, coach Gary Kirsten said.

In­dia have re­called Rahul Dravid to the one-day team for the first time in al­most two years to bol­ster their bat­ting on pacy South African pitches at the Septem­ber 22-Oc­to­ber 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 for mer 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 also fea­tur­ing New Zealand, from Septem­ber 8-14, have not lost a one-day se­ries in the past year af­ter 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.

DRAW­ING ON EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Rahul Dravid

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