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December 15, 2002
WELLINGTON, Dec 15 AP - Despite two glaring batting collapses, India coach John Wright is expecting changes in the bowling attack ahead the second Test against New Zealand.
Fast bowler Tinu Yohannan is likely to replace leftarm seamer Ashish Nehra at Hamilton as India bids to regroup and level the two-match series.
After a 10-wicket hammering inside three days, Wright refused to give his demoralised Indian side a break, putting them through a rigorous four-hour pitch session today.
Yohannan, who impressed in the only tour match before the first Test at the Basin Reserve, was in the calculations, Wright said.
Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan bowled outstandingly to claim his maiden five-wicket Test haul, but the lack of support compounded India's hopes.
Khan's new-ball partner Nehra went wicketless while Ajit Agarkar and Sanjay Bangar shared three wickets.
"That's one good thing about this session," Wright said, after watching Yohannan beat fellow teammates for pace and bounce on a fourth day Test pitch.
"He's making great strides, and he's done a lot since he's been out of the side."
Skipper Sourav Ganguly and Venkatsai Laxman struggled against Yohannan, and so did Mohammed Kaif, the spare middle-order batsman in the tour party.
"He bowled well in the warm up match and it was a difficult decision for this Test match. He'll be in the running for the next Test," Wright conceded.
Wright, the former New Zealand opening batsman and captain, reiterated the importance of reigning in the attacking instincts of the free-hitting Indian batsmen.
Despite containing some of the best batsmen in the game, the Indian top-order was vulnerable against the new ball in both innings against an inexperienced New Zealand attack, and collapsed to 5-55 and 5-36 in the respective innings.
Only Rahul Dravid (76) and Sachin Tendulkar (51) - the two senior most batsmen - were rewarded for their patience on a wicket that offered good bounce and sideways movement.
"It happened very quickly," Wright said.
"The boys were shocked by it (pace and bounce).
"We really need to get through the new ball phase. Because of the two-match test series, the opportunity of winning the series is gone."
© 2002 AAP
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough