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Veeru can do nothing wrong: Ganguly
April 02, 2005 20:00 IST
Last Updated: April 02, 2005 22:49 IST
India's comprehensive 87-run win over Pakistan in the first one-day international has come as a big relief for captain Sourav Ganguly, who confessed that his team's victory had relieved him of some pressure.
Ganguly, who received a big cheer from the crowd during the presentation ceremony, appeared quite relaxed and said it was important for his team to start the series on a winning note.
"For a change, I heard something different," Ganguly said referring to the cheer from the crowd.
When asked whether the win came as a relief for him, Ganguly, who is struggling with his own batting form, said "it does. That's important. But this is the way life goes."
Turning to the match, which India won to take a 1-0 lead in the six-match series, Ganguly praised his deputy Rahul Dravid and opener Virender Sehwag for their fine effort with the bat.
Riding on Sehwag's 108 and Dravid's 104, India posted 281 for eight before bowling out Pakistan for 194.
"Veeru and Rahul can at present do nothing wrong. Scoring hundreds in such condition is outstanding," he said.
"We were well placed at 220 in 35 overs before we lost the rhythm a bit after that. But it was difficult to bat in such heat."
Ganguly said although Pakistan got off to a flying start, his side was confident of checking the opposition.
"We knew we had to pick wickets. The wicket was getting slower and it was not easy to score runs. We quickly got three wickets that put us back on track."
Ganguly lavished praise on Sachin Tendulkar who returned with figures of five for 50 from 10 overs.
The Indian captain said his side was keen to continue the winning run.
"There is lots of cricket left. We have played well in the series so far except for the Bangalore Test. We hope to continue the good work."
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq blamed the top-order collapse for Pakistan's failure to chase the target.
Pakistan had reached 45 in the seventh over before losing four wickets for the addition of just 19 runs.
"India played very good cricket. But 280 was a chaseable score. The match turned when we lost four wickets by the 13th over."
He declined to give the intense heat as an excuse for the defeat and added that his side would bounce back into the series.
"The series is still open. The team that works hard will win it."
Sehwag, who earned the man of the match award for his 95-ball 108, admitted that he was in the middle of a purple patch with the bat.
"Of course I am. Touch wood. I am batting very well this series. I hope to continue it in future."
Sehwag said he had decided to stay at the crease for long after the fall of two quick wickets.
"When Sachin and Sourav got out, I had decided to bat till the end. There was a little extra bounce on the pitch, so I had to wait to play my shots."
The opener said the team was expecting a total in excess of 300 runs, but cheap dismissals of Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif resulted in the team falling short of the target.
"But Pakistan bowled well in the last few overs."