Sri Lanka tour of India 2005-06 October 22, 2005

Sreesanth to be given the new ball

Cricinfo staff

S Sreesanth will open the bowling for India if given a chance to play © AFP

Greg Chappell, the Indian coach, has said that opening the bowling with S Sreesanth, the Kerala fast bowler, would be among the new tactics and methods tested during India's forthcoming one-day series against Sri Lanka.

"The objective was really to try a few things we are planning to use against Sri Lanka. We looked at a few different tactics and a few different bowling combinations," Chappell was quoted as saying by PTI. "More than likely that Sreesanth would open the attack in the games that he plays. But we are likely to try different combinations at different times. But at this stage, we would be using him as an opening bowler, yes."

Chappell was happy with the preparatory camp at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and said that the team had got a lot out of it. "We are in pretty good shape, mentally and physically. The group is looking pretty good. We will only find out when we get there. But from the point of view of preparation, everyone is quite happy."

Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag missed the camp because they had only just returned from the Super Series in Australia. They will join the team in Nagpur ahead of the first one-day international against Sri Lanka. Chappell said that Dravid's and Sehwag's poor performance in the Super Series did not affect India's chances against Sri Lanka or South Africa. "I don't think any of them [World XI] performed all that brilliantly. So, it was one of those things. I don't think it has big bearing on what's going to happen in the next few weeks."

Chappell also stressed the importance of disciplined bowling because of the batsmen-friendly pitches in India. "It's a matter of bowling the ball in the right areas, accepting that some overs, some balls, some games are not going to work out very well. What we need is to make sure that we have four or five bowlers bowling well each day. From the young bowlers' point of view, they have to learn from their experience."

Chappell added that Anil Kumble, Ashish Nehra and Mohammed Kaif, all of them currently undergoing rehabilitation, were a few weeks away from returning to competitive cricket. He also said that Yuvraj Singh and Murali Kartik had come down with fever over the last two days.