Indian cricket team arrives in Colombo for tri-series

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Colombo, Sep.9 (ANI): The Indian cricket team arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport here this afternoon to take part in the tri-nation Compaq Cup one-day international tournament.

A special Air India flight brought the 15-member team from Bangalore after their scheduled Jet Airways flight was cancelled due to a pilots' strike.

Air India operated the special flight from Chennai to reach Bangalore on Wednesday from where it picked up the Indian cricketers.

Before boarding the special flight, team coach Gary Kirsten said the team would draw inspiration from its past success in Sri Lanka and also cope with the "huge" loss of explosive opener Virender Sehwag during the the tri-series involving Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the island nation.

The Indians will play their first match against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

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."

Kirsten also said that he 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.

He said that the six week long break for the team was great.

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 ofthe 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." (ANI)

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