ICC Champions Trophy 2004 August 31, 2004

Ganguly pins hopes on Reid

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Reid with the Indians in Australia last year © Getty Images

Bruce Reid, the former former Australian fast bowler who had assisted the Indian team during its last tour to Australia, has rejoined them for another stint to help India's fledgling pace bowlers during the NatWest challenge against England and the ICC Champions Trophy. Reid, who took 113 wickets in 27 Tests before spinal injuries wrecked his career, will spend three days with the Indians before the NatWest Challenge against England, and then return for another stint before India play Pakistan in a crunch match at the ICC Champions Trophy on September 19, the Press Trust of India reported.

The report quoted Ganguly as saying, "We are not bowling well as a team. Someday one or two bowl well and others don't, and on other days, it is someone else who is bowling well and not the others." And after a string of poor displays since the start of the season, the Indians turned to Reid, who worked with the bowlers on the tour of Australia last winter.

Initially, Reid focussed his attention on Lakshmipathy Balaji and Irfan Pathan, scrutinising their actions and follow-throughs, and also making sure - with the help of three pegs - that Pathan didn't run on the pitch. Similar exercises were also done with Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra, neither of whom has been able to command a regular place in the side in recent times.

As the team practised in hot sunshine, they were also joined by Sachin Tendulkar - ruled out of the games against England with tennis elbow - who bowled some legbreaks to his team-mates. No replacement has been called up for the Champions Trophy, and the team remain hopeful that Tendulkar will recover in time for India's opening game against Kenya on September 11.