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Harbhajan may be picked: Wright

Source: PTI
March 14, 2005 16:55 IST
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The Indian cricketers were hungrier for a win at the Eden Gardens after failing to give the final push for victory in the Mohali Test despite having Pakistan on the mat, coach John Wright said on Monday.

Wright said it was "disappointing" how the Indians let go the golden opportunity and remarked that his players needed a killer instinct.

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"It was very disappointing to get to the situation we were in and then lose the opportunity. We have to start again, but it will make us more hungry,'' Wright said in Kolkata.

Asked about the bowlers' failure to polish off the Pakistan tail on the concluding day of the series opener at Mohali, the coach said, "Great sides would have done it. We also have to get it done. It is an area we are looking into".

"We need a killer instinct. We are getting better. We hope to show that in the remaining matches of the series," the former New Zealand skipper said.

On whether off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was dropped at Mohali to make way for a three-pace attack, would be recalled into the playing eleven, Wright said "I think he has a good chance. He has done well at the Eden. But we have to wait for the selectors and (skipper) Sourav (Ganguly)".

To a query whether India would go to the Eden Gardens Test with five bowlers, Wright said "that chance is always there. But I don't know whether we will do that because we have Ganguly, (Virender) Sehwag and (Sachin) Tendulkar, who are capable of taking the responsibility of the fifth bowler."

Wright also parried a question on the player who could face the axe if Harbhajan made his way back. "I won't speculate on that. We need to have the right combination in place."

Wright said all members of the side, including pacer Irfan Pathan, were fully fit.

"We just have to ensure that we play to our potential," he said.

Asked about the pitch, the former New Zealand opener replied "It's a normal Kolkata wicket. There are no surprises.

"Its a good ground. The conditions suit us. We have a good chance," he said.

He did not agree that the Indians frittered away the chance to win the first Test because their batsmen batted too slow. "I'll say after Ganguly got out, we were not in a position to go for quick runs."

The coach said that he was happy with Dinesh Karthik's performance behind the wicket. "Though he conceded a few byes, he kept well to (Anil) Kumble and took all the catches."

Asked whether the Indian team was finding Pak leggie Danish Kaneria a dangerous proposition, Wright said "He bowled well. But then our boys usually do play leg spinners well."

He said that the Indian team would have a light workout on Tuesday after going through a heavy drill on Monday.

On whether the current engagement was his last as coach of the Indian team, Wright said "This series is much important to me. So, I'm not thinking about anything else."

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