Batsmen will have to win final: Coach

India coach Gary Kirsten is pinning hopes on his batsmen to win the Asia Cup as the bowlers have been struggling on the featherbed pitches.

updated: July 09, 2008 17:11 IST
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India coach Gary Kirsten is pinning hopes on his batsmen to win the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka on Sunday "as the bowlers have been struggling on the featherbed pitches".

"Bowlers have been struggling on these Karachi wickets which are probably the best batting pitches in the world. They have struggled across the board on these pitches as both fast bowlers and spinners have taken a stick. So batsmen will have to win (tomorrow)," Kirsten told reporters ahead of Sunday's final against Sri Lanka.

India had scored in excess of 300 runs on four occasions and more than 280 in one match so far, and Kirsten hoped that the consistency of his batsmen in the tournament would continue on Sunday also.

The former South African opener revealed that his side were keeping a close watch on young Sri Lankan bowling sensation Ajantha Mendis who has emerged as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament.

"We have been watching his videos and we have studied him. We have some plans and we have been looking around it. But we are taking this final as yet another game because we don't want to take extra pressure. Cricket is a game where one individual can change the outcome of a match," Kirsten said after an optional training session.

He also indicated that India would look to bat first in the final. "But it is a tough call and we have both the options. We can win the game batting first," he said.

Kirsten asked his charges not to lower their guards as Sri Lanka are a balanced side.

"They have experience in batting and a good balance in the team as Muttiah Muralitharan and Mendis have been bowling well. We cannot take them lightly," he said.

"I am hoping it (final match) to be a good game and hopefully we don't have a situation where it is not a good game and India wins the final."

India's only selection worry appears to be about left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan who has gone for big runs in the last two games after his comeback from a side strain injury.

But with the Indians playing with just six batsmen, they may not risk dropping Pathan who is a competent bat down the order.