January 17, 2021
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'John's Been A Hit'

'The Indian players have showered praise on John (Wright) leaving him with a sweet taste in the mouth.'

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'John's Been A Hit'
'John's Been A Hit'

After Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer's praise of Virender Sehwag by describing the swashbuckling Indian opener as a modern-day Don Bradman, Sehwag got encomiums from top New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns.

"Sehwag is an amazing batsman. People talk mainly about his attacking batting forgetting that he has got a sound defensive technique too. Without a good defence, he could not have done what he has achieved," Cairns said in Mumbai.

Cairns also praised compatriot John Wright for the way he handled the Indian squad as coach till his departure at the end of the high-profile series against Pakistan.

"The success or otherwise of a coach is determined by what the players think about him. The Indian players have showered praise on John leaving him with a sweet taste in the mouth," said Cairns whose career has been plagued by injuries.

Asked to compare the captaincy styles of current Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and his predecessor Steve Waugh, Cairns brought smiles on the faces by saying "Even my mum can captain the Australian team."

"They are such a great team that it is not difficult to captain the squad. I found no difference between the two (Ponting and Waugh as captains)," said the top all-rounder who has decided to quit international cricket after the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.

Cairns sympathised with Indian captain Saurav Ganguly for the six-match ODI ban slapped on him due to the Indian team's slow over-rate at Ahmedabad against Pakistan.

"My sympathies are with Saurav. It was a harsh decision, but that is what has been prescribed in the ICC code of conduct. I hope he comes back soon," Cairns said.

About the series, Cairns said Pakistan, usually a bunch of talented individuals, displayed team spirit in abundance for which he praised coach Bob Woolmer.

"They played good cricket and I was impressed with Rana Naved-ul Hasan. He is a very good bowler. The team culture (in the Pakistan squad) looks stronger now. They always had talented individuals, but now look to be a cohesive bunch. Woolmer has brought them together," Cairns said.

He also described as erratic the statement by former Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg that in the aftermath of the Aussies thumping win over New Zealand, Test cricket was no longer a sport because of his country's continued dominance.

"It's a bit erratic like his bowling was. The Australians are arrogant. They are fortunate to be having two of the all-time great bowlers in the history of the game -- Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. When they were absent, the Australian team struggled against India (Down Under)," he said.


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