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INDOOR CRICKET WORLD

World Cup 2000

The Indoor Cricket World Cup 2000 starts in October this year, in South Africa. This is the third time this event has been held - previous World Cups were held in the United Kingdom (1995) and Australia (1998).

India

This is the first time India has fielded teams in the Indoor Cricket World Cup. Indoor Cricket World wishes them well and hopes they go on to become a regular competitor in International indoor cricket competitions.

So, what can we expect from the Indians? The following observations were made on behalf of Indoor Cricket World. Keep in mind these observations are based on only two games, but they are a bit of a guide to the team.

Keen and young, and relatively new to the game. This is what strikes an observer most when watching the "new kids on the (World Cup) block". And reportedly a nice mob of blokes too, eager to learn as much as they can from their hosts and the other teams they will be playing.

A better bowling side than fielding or batting.

Hemant, the captain, is probably the best all-rounder in the side. He strikes the ball well, and is a good bowler.

Gaurav also batted quite well in the games.

Hemant and Madhuresh, the opening bowlers, did a pretty good job and reportedly bowled quite well.

Dahiya is a pretty quick bowler, and looks quite strong on the leg-side when batting.

They were reportedly quite nervous in both their games. No doubt this will restrict them a bit, but by the time the competition starts in earnest they may have overcome this.

India played again tonight (11th October), and our sources were able to report a noticeable improvement in the overall Indian team's performance. Here's a summary of their report-

India's batting strike-rate has improved markedly since the last game we saw. They still need to be more aggressive with their batting and go for their shots a bit more - they seem to be playing too safe, not following-through with their shots, and are therefore making fielding against them a lot easier than it should be. Their on-court communication could be a lot better too, and it's to be expected this will improve when they see just how the top sides do it.

The pick of the batsmen this game were Dahiya and Vipin. They were more inclined to play their shots than most of the others, batting quite aggressively and effectively.

Vipin also bowled well, but was unlucky, with quite a few catches and stumping chances missed off his bowling. He bowls mainly leg-spin, with quite a bit of turn and variation.

Impressive in the field was the fourteen-year-old Nalin Agarwal - always alert and active, and conceding only 6 runs from his two overs.

It was clear the nerves are starting to become controlled, and some players were more prominent in this game than the first - indicative that we have yet to see all of the players firing at the same time.

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It is particularly pleasing to hear that some of the locals have been giving the Indians a good deal of support, both by barracking for them and chatting to them and their support staff. I'm also informed this support has extended to explanations of some of the rules (with which they are not yet comfortably familiar). Sharon Stoltz and her mates are doing the South African hosts proud through their support and interest in the Indian team - Action Cricket are getting some great (and free) public-relations outcomes here. Perhaps Sharon should be offered some assistance to attend the World Cup itself by Action? :-)

2000 Indoor Cricket World (formerly the Australian Indoor Cricket Page) shel@indoorcricketworld.com