|Player:||G Kirsten, V Sehwag|
|Event:||Compaq Cup 2009|
DateLine: 9th September 2009
Indian cricket coach Gary Kirsten said that the team would draw inspiration from its past success in Sri Lanka as it copes with the "huge" loss of not having explosive opener Virender Sehwag for the tri-series in the island nation.
The Indian team left for Sri Lanka for the tri-series that also features New Zealand today, and Kirsten said not having Sehwag, who is ruled out due to a shoulder injury, in the side is quite a blow. The Indians will play their first match tomorrow against the hosts.
Asked who would be opening the innings with Gautam Gambhir, Kirsten said, "We are not sure about the combination. We would decide it on the day of the game. But obviously, missing Sehwag is huge. He is a high quality player and any team would love to have him in the mix. But we have got a lot of depth in the team."
However, Kirsten was quite excited about Rahul Dravid's return to the team after being out for close to two years.
"It's great to have him. With the sort of experience he brings, it's going to help the team. It's great," he said.
A clean-sweep in the short series would catapult India to the top of the ICC ODI rankings and Kirsten said being the best in the world is high on the team's list of targets for the next eight months.
"We have set our goals. One of them is to be the best cricket team in the world. We are headed that way and we are very excited. We know we have to perform well as we continue the quest to be the best," Kirsten said.
Asked about the team's chances in the tri-series, Kirsten said, "We won the last two series in Sri Lanka and we are confident. But we think ahead and don't harp on the results of the past."
"We have got a good batting line-up which is quite flexible in the middle. We would like to mix it up during the series," he said.