Chennai:The hangover of India's acrimonious Australia tour may linger but Hyderabad coach Robin Singh would like to see the Indian crowd embrace Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist once the Indian Cricket League (IPL) takes off.
Robin, also Team India's fielding coach, has seen from close quarter the racism row in Australia featuring Symonds and Harbhajan Singh that threatened to polarise the cricket world.
Though sanity eventually prevailed, it left enough bad blood and it remains to be seen how the Indian crowd greet the Australian duo who would pull on the Hyderabad jersey in the IPL.
Robin, however, hopes that the crowd would embrace the duo and greet them with the same warmth bestowed on their Indian counterparts.
"I would definitely ask the people to treat them well. After all, we are popularising the game, particularly this form of cricket. I think they should be given the same treatment," the former player told PTI.
He also dismissed the view that both Symonds and Gilchrist would be under pressure once they arrive here.
"Absolutely not. These guys are thorough professionals. They have won a huge sum of money from the bid and there is no doubt about their motivation levels. I also had a long discussion with them," he said.
Talking about the Hyderabad side, Robin said it was a balanced team, even though they might need an additional pacer.
"Ours is a very good fielding side and a top batting side. May be we require an extra fast bowler. We have quality spinners in Shahid Afridi, Symonds and Pragyan Ohja. In the bowling departments, R P Singh and Chaminda Vaas are there. We have roped in Sanjay Bangar too and we will use him as well", he said. "We will be changing our combination according to the strength of the team that we will be playing," he said.
Asked which team looked most formidable in the tournament, he said, "In this format of the game each team is a good side. Some teams look formidable on paper. But the matches are not based on their strength on paper." He was also of the view that IPL would put adequate emphasis on fitness.
"There are a lot of professional fitness experts coming, which probably the state associations could not afford so far. Now you have franchisees and they can afford these. There will be lot of emphasis on fitness," he said.
"Even international players have to ensure that they take of care their fitness because the season is long. Fitness is one thing, which is important in this short game. Fitness is the key as Twenty20 is very demanding and the time to recover is very short," he added.
The former all-rounder hoped IPL would throw up new stars and on personal front, he said he was looking forward to coaching the Hyderabad side.
"It is a great opportunity for me. I have been involved with Indian cricket for long. From the international point of view, this is the second time that I will be coaching. Earlier, I have done it in the Asian Cricket Council, even though the standards were different, Robin said. "It helps your thinking and wide range of other aspects. It definitely helps to improve your knowledge much better. Your thinking patterns changes a bit and your experience will allow you to do that also," he said.
Asked about condition of pitches for both home and away matches, Robin said he had not seen the track in Hyderabad.
"One has to be careful about preparation of pitches but at the same time, pitches will not make much of a difference in the Twenty20 format," he said.