India chief eyes revenge at home

New Delhi, January 16, 2012 (AFP) - India's cricket chief gave a robust defence of the national team Monday after the humiliating Test losses in Australia, saying players would soon set the record straight on home soil.

"Australia played better in their home conditions, it will be different when they come to India," Narayanaswamy Srinivasan, president of the under-fire Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said.

"New Zealand is coming to India next and that will be followed by England and Australia. We will beat these three teams on our own soil. They cannot beat us here and we will feel very happy," he told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Australia smashed India by an innings and 37 runs inside three days in the third Perth Test on Sunday to clinch the four-match series, after winning in Melbourne by 122 runs and Sydney by an innings and 68 runs.

It was India's seventh successive Test loss abroad, following their 4-0 rout in England last year, in a dismal run that has taken the shine off their limited-overs World Cup victory at home last April.

Srinivasan, who owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the Indian Premier League, cited the example of India's 5-0 rout of England in a one-day series last October. "England won in England, but they came here within a month and lost 5-0," he said. "After our loss in England, I had said we will beat them when they visit India. That's what happened."

India are not due to play an overseas Test series until the tour of South Africa in late 2013 and the next home series against New Zealand in September is still eight months away.

Former captain Kapil Dev had on Sunday slammed the cash-rich BCCI for its short-sighted policies, saying its obsession with profits was ruining the game in India. "They (BCCI) are doing extremely well when it comes to making money and controlling world cricket," Dev said. "But what is the use if your team fails to win matches abroad?"

India's chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth said he was "totally devastated" by the defeats in both England and Australia. "The batting has failed to click," Srikkanth told reporters. "It is the same problem we had in England. In the last two series, the batsmen have struggled to find form. This defeat is saddening."

Srikkanth parried questions on the future of its ageing batsmen, especially Venkatsai Laxman, who has managed just 102 runs in six innings so far in the series at an average of 17. "Our next Test series is in September. We do not know what will happen at that time," he said. "If Laxman decides to retire, I cannot say anything. But we will take stock of the situation only in September."

The fourth and final Test starts in Adelaide on January 24, which Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will miss to serve a one-match ban due to slow over-rates in the previous Test. Vice-captain Virender Sehwag will lead in Dhoni's absence.

The Test will be followed by two Twenty20 matches against Australia and a one-day tri-series also featuring Sri Lanka.

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