July 9, 2001

It was good exposure for youngsters: Chauhan

Indian cricket team manager Chetan Chauhan feels the Zimbabwe tour had been a very good learning experience for some of the young players despite the team's failure to win either the Test series or the triangular one-day tournament.

India had to be content with a 1-1 draw in the two-Test series with Zimbabwe and lost to West Indies in the final of the triangular oneday tournament after winning all their league matches quite comprehensively. However, Chauhan said it was not a disappointing tour and the team was looking at the positive aspects of it.

"We drew the Test series one all and then in the one dayers, we won the league matches quite comfortably, but went down fighting to the West Indians in the final," Chauhan told reporters after the team's arrival here from Zimbabwe early on Monday morning.

"I personally feel this tour has done lot of good for youngsters like opening batsmen Shiv Sundar Das, who won the man of the series in the Test matches, medium pacers Ashish Nehra, Harvinder Singh, Debashish Mohanty, all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi and wicketkeeper Samir Dighe," Chauhan said.

"Unfortunately, we had one bad day and the West Indians grabbed the opportunity fully and I would like to give credit to the West Indian batsmen for the way they played and also to the Indians for the way they fought till the end, losing by just 16 runs," he said.

Asked if the Indians were over-confident after recording easy wins in the league matches, Chauhan said, "Not at all. In fact, we discussed at length the strategy for the final. But I can only say that the West Indies batsmen applied themselves very well and did not allow us to make early breakthroughs like we did in the league stages. They played good cricket on that particular day and scored 291 which I thought was a bit too much in the end for us though our players fought well till the end," he said.

Chauhan admitted that reports of drug abuse had upset the players but said it did not affect their performance.

"Some players whose name figured in the article were very upset. However, I spoke to them and they seemed to be alright. It is a common practice for the players to take energisers in public view and these energisers are supplied by the host nations," he added.