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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

I don't have any answers: Ganguly

Faisal Shariff at Centurion | February 15, 2003 20:57 IST

Post match conference

"I don't have any answers," admitted skipper Sourav Ganguly after a humiliating nine-wicket defeat to favourites Australia.

It has finally dawned on our skipper that it's not important just to have answers, it is equally important to score some runs.

On the last tour of New Zealand, the Indian skipper said that the wickets were unfit for international cricket; after being dismissed for 125 on a wicket that the groundsmen said was good enough for 220 runs even if the batsmen batted blindfolded, the same could be said of his side's performance on Saturday.

"I don't see any point in going on about the batting order.One or two batting changes don't make much of a difference to the side," he said.

Since the last three one-day series the batting line-up has been revised countless times. It is one thing to have a flexible batting line-up and quite another to have find the balance right.

The problem with India is simple. The batsmen just don't get the runs; the wicket does not matter.

Ganguly has been failing continuously at the top of the order, forcing former Indian skipper Krishnamachari Srikkanth to say that he should ideally be batting at number 14.

Ganguly however believes that he has scored all his runs at the top of the order and threw an interesting statistic that no batsman in world cricket had scored more runs than him in the last 200-250 one-day internationals.

"I am going through a phase where as captain need to score runs."

Before the tournament began, Ganguly said that Sachin Tendulkar would bat at number three because pushing Virender Sehwag at number five would make the middle-order too inexperienced with Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif at number 6 and 7.

Could he please explain how Yuvraj, Kaif and Dinesh Mongia make the order any better?

"This is the reason Tendulkar was pushed in the middle order because it was very young. But since he has a very good record against Australia for the first two games we have pushed him up the order. Maybe we might need to rethink about that again. The only major change has been Sehwag batting at number three."

Being critical of Sehwag, the skipper said that he came in the sixth over and had a huge opportunity to score runs.

Ganguly emphasized that it was important for the guys to score the runs first and then look at the batting order that is a huge mistake.

To score runs you need to first make sure that all the batsmen are comfortable and suited for the job. Instead of one following the other it is more important that the two objectives of scoring runs and sorting out the batting order run parallel to each other.

Ganguly needs to bat down the order. That is probably the only positive we can take from the game unless the Indian bowlers can make a miracle happen.

Coach John Wright said that the number five, six and seven slots were settled with Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj and Kaif doing well there.

After the nightmare of New Zealand, the Indians should have reverted to the template that fit them well. If Tendulkar, as Wright suggested should be allowed to bat where he wants to, returned to the top slot, it made little sense to push Sehwag to number three. Ganguly in woeful form should instead have batted at number three or four with Mongia filling the other spot.

The truth of the matter is, there is something amiss with the team. How can a team go into a premier tournament of this magnitude without its batting line-up sorted out?

Either the coach is talking to himself or the skipper isn't listening.

Besides affecting the morale of the team, this defeat won't hurt India's chances too much to qualify for the Super Six. Even if we lose to Pakistan, we could still make the next stage.

India only needs to ensure that they don't lose to Zimbabwe next Wednesday. As things seem right now if Zimbabwe and India end up with four wins each, the team that beats the other in the preliminary league gets through to the Super Six. Zimbabwe with eight points from two games will definitely put it across Holland and then will play Australia, India and Pakistan at home. Given India and Pakistan's now-hot now cold form Zimbabwe might surprise one of them.

Like they say it's not important how you start the tournament it is vital how you finish it. Australia might have peaked too soon; India might begin the process once they get to Harare.

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Number of User Comments: 31




Sub: Ganguly and his childish claims

When will we stop making comments like peaking too soon etc. It does not make any sense when people say a professional sports team has ...


Posted by Abe





Sub: Black Magic

Dear Sir, Ganguly at th top has a very impressive batting statistics,there is no dought about it.He is going through a lean patch.He belongs to ...


Posted by B.N.Shrinivas





Sub: Poor performance by india team

Indian team should be called back from tournment.They are just not capable of playing in world cup.Even kenya, holand or canada are better teams than ...


Posted by Milind Rode





Sub: Absolutely pathetic performance

The pathetic display of all aspects especially the batting clearly reveals that india does not deserve the faith ,the support and love of our nation ...


Posted by Sapna





Sub: HOPELESS

but for the last line the article was good. A long journey begins with the first step. if u keep tha wrong the path taken ...


Posted by gowri




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