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India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Delhi

'It's same as any other Test' - Chappell

Anand Vasu in Delhi

December 9, 2005

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Greg Chappell thinks the Chennai Test was 'a wake-up call' © Getty Images
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Greg Chappell, India's coach, was in no mood to speculate on whether Rahul Dravid or Virender Sehwag would be fit to take the field on Saturday. Addressing the press on the eve of the match he warned against reading too much into the batting failure at Chennai, and said his team was preparing for the Delhi Test just as it did for any other.

On why Dravid's absence from practice

Just like we kept Viru at home as a precautionary measure on Thursday, it's the same with Rahul today. We are hopeful and expecting that both of them will play tomorrow.

On who will lead and who will open the batting (if Dravid and Sehwag are unfit)
It is a hypothetical question, it may not happen. The same goes with who will open the batting.

On the team's approach to the Test
Same as any other Test. We are preparing to the best of our abilities. We will go out with some strategies in place, and we hope to put them into practice in the middle.

On the Chennai batting failure
We must not get carried away. It was a wake-up call, a blessing in disguise. It took us out of the one-day mode and into Test match mode. But we are not going to panic because of what happened there. You can't get two emotionally attached. It is a cricket match, and we expect to do well here.

On the pitch
I saw the pitch three days back, and I am not in a position to say how it will play on the basis of having seen it three days back. When I was a player, I tended not to look at wickets early because you can tend to get a distorted view. My preference is to see the wicket on the morning of the game and decide accordingly.

On switching back and forth from Tests to one-dayers
Most of the guys are fairly experienced, they have done that before. Test cricket is a little different from one-day cricket. We were probably not as well-prepared as we could have been before the first Test because of the lead-up and the loss of the first three days due to rains. I think conditions were more difficult for batting when we batted as opposed to when they batted.

On Sachin Tendulkar's form
I am not sure he is out of form. He batted very well in Chennai. He was moving well, and he is batting well in the nets. He is not far away from being in very good form. If he gets good batting conditions, he will do well.

On whether Tendulkar was too defensive in Chennai
I don't think so. I thought under the circumstances, he batted extremely well on the fourth evening. He, Rahul and Sehwag had to bat in extremely difficult conditions, and if they had not been careful, we could so easily have been 60 for five at stumps.

On whether impending individual milestones can affect a player
It will, especially if it is in the media so much! You can't escape it. But speaking of Sachin, he is coping with it quite well. We have spoken about it, and he is aware that the focus has to be on the innings. He will be more relaxed if he finishes it (the 35th hundred). I hope he finishes it here, we will all be happy.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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