India gear up for opening game March 14, 2007

Team confident and relaxed - Chappell and Dravid



Sachin Tendulkar and Co. have had a relaxed few days ahead of their World Cup campaign © Getty Images

Rahul Dravid and Greg Chappell, India's captain and coach, have said their team are gearing up for their World Cup opener in a confident and relaxed frame of mind.

"Whatever the conditions are, they will vary from venue to venue and that's going to be part of the challenge, as it is in any World Cup," Chappell said after his team's first practice session at Port-of-Spain. "We will have to bat [on different pitches] as every team will. Not every wicket is same and not all conditions around the world are same. That's what sorts out better teams from others. We are looking forward to our first game."

India open their campaign against Bangladesh at the Queen's Park Oval on Saturday. Sri Lanka and debutants Bermuda are the other sides in Group B. "We have looked at our group and we know what we have got to do," said Chappell. "We have got three good games coming up and that should help prepare us to go further. The guys have enjoyed a few days of peace and quiet before the tournament, so in a way that's been good. Now, everyone is keen for the tournament to start."

Dravid said he had told his team-mates to soak up the World Cup atmosphere without losing focus. "The World Cup is about working hard and preparing right," he said. "It's also about ensuring we have a downtime as well. We relax and enjoy the atmosphere. We enjoy the World Cup because it comes once in four years. I'd like my boys to soak up the atmosphere and to soak up everything that goes around the event, but obviously work very hard. We have to ensure we give the boys enough time to relax and take their minds away from cricket so that when they come back to the ground they are fresh and really keen to go out there and do well."

Chappell spoke of the non-cricketing activities that the team had enjoyed during the last few days. "We've have been practising, relaxing, swimming, sailing and snorkeling. We have been doing things you would expect to do in the West Indies, things that sometimes the guys don't get an opportunity to do. It's been a nice change of pace from the point of view of what happens on a normal tour, particularly in India where you are playing every three days. It's very hard to fit in some relaxation. So it's been good for the guys to have that opportunity to change of pace, but not so much that it distracts them from what they are doing."

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