Tendulkar to drop down the order

Updated: Jan 21 2007, 06:44am hrs
Sachin Tendulkar will move down the order in Sundays first one-day international against the West Indies in a bid to strengthen the batting of a side short of confidence after a run of poor results.

The experiment, if successful, is likely to lead to the regular one-day opener playing in the middle order at the World Cup in the Caribbean starting in March. We see the middle overs of the World Cup as being the critical part of the equation... who better than our best batman to be able to try and play that role for us, India captain Rahul Dravid told a news conference.

India is under tremendous pressure to perform well in the four-match series following a string of poor batting displays, and injured middle-order stalwart Yuvraj Singhs absence since October has added to the sides woes.

Tendulkar is batting in the middle order because we are not sure how Yuvraj is going to shape up for us over the next few days, Dravid said.

He added, We need to explore this option. We realise that finding a good middle-order player in the conditions that we are likely to experience in the West Indies is a lot harder than finding someone to open.

Dravid further said that it (batting in the middle-order) would be the toughest job in the World Cup, if the wickets are anything like those we saw in the West Indies a few months ago. The middle overs are going to be critical at the World Cup. We are going to try and get our best players in that position, said Dravid.