India Plans Session with Psychologist before III Test

Melbourne, Jan 1: Convinced that the problem lies in the cricketers' minds and not their skills, the Indian think-tank is planning to rope in a sports psychologist to boost the team's sagging morale.

Both captain Anil Kumble and assistant coach Lalchand Rajput felt India lost the mind game to Australia in the Boxing Day Test but both vowed to make a strong comeback in the series.

Rajput told The Daily Telegraph that the batsmen, who cut a sorry figure in the first Test, might consult a shrink at some stage of the tour because there was hardly any time for such a session before the second Test that gets underway at Sydney from Wednesday.

"It's unlikely to happen now but it's something we will look at later in the summer," Rajput said.

After Australia thumped the side by 337 runs in the first Test, Rajput had described the defeat as an outcome of India's defensive mindset, rather than any technical flaw on the players' part.

"They do not have any technical problem. It's the one in the mind. They need to apply and believe in themselves. Self-belief is very important and it can help you survive in any field," Rajput had said.

India's new coach Gary Kirsten is expected to join the team for the third Test in Perth and incidentally, he too have stressed on having a sports psychologist.

During the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, India had roped in Australian sports psychologist Sandy, while Rudy Webster also worked with the bunch in the West Indies.

"The players have had this before and it was good," Rajput said.


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