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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

'We want to win the World Cup, not
just beat Pakistan'

Our Correspondent in Centurion | February 28, 2003 20:39 IST

Any match between India and Pakistan is big. But a World Cup encounter between the two countries is huge. Under Mohammad Azharuddin, India had the better of its neighbour in all its three World Cup outings. For Sourav Ganguly that is an especially difficult act to follow. The India captain fielded questions from the vast media contingent in Centurion on the eve of Saturday's crucial Pool A match. Excerpts:

Do you feel any extra pressure and responsibility on you for this game?

No, not really. It is a game after all and that is how it should be viewed. I don't want to go into the politics involved, but for us it's a match like any other against any other nation.

Wasim Akram once said that India does not play Pakistan in Pakistan because they are scared. Are you scared?

Those are his opinions and he is free to say what he wants. I am not keen to comment on that.

What frame of mind will you go into the game with?

It is India versus Pakistan for sure, but for us in the team it is just another game. We will go in that frame of mind and play like we did against England, Zimbabwe and Holland. We just need to display the same intensity against Pakistan.

You played here during the India-Australia encounter. Have you had a look at the wicket? Is it any different?

No, it's the same wicket.

Are the youngsters looking forward to this game?

I think they are very keen to play against Pakistan because they have some great names in the side. It is a much-hyped game between the two countries and the boys want to do well.

How much of a factor will bounce be, considering the fact that Pakistan have a very good bowling attack?

We played Australia and England on wickets that had considerable amount of bounce. So, obviously, it will help us when we play the match.

Since the last time you faced Pakistan, how do you think the teams have shaped up?

They are pretty much the same side that we last played in England. I can't see any changes in their side except Ijaz Ahmed being replaced by one of the younger members. For us, we have had a lot of changes in the side and I think we are a much better one-day side than when we met them last time. The fielding is much, much better and bowling attack is very superior too.

In view of the way Pakistan have performed in this tournament, what will your approach be tomorrow?

We have to win tomorrow and our approach will be the same as in other games. Pakistan is one side that can be hot one day cold the other and you don't want to be on their wrong side. That is the reason you have to be on your toes right from the beginning.

How big is this game for the millions of fans back home?

It is a big game and that is a fact that we have to accept and get along. If we start thinking it is a big game, we are putting too much pressure on us. We are here to win the World Cup not just do well against Pakistan. So we are looking at the World Cup as a whole.

Your views on Wasim Akram.

He is a legend and I have always been a fan of his. His records speak volumes for his ability. It always feels good when you score runs against him.

We have been bowling and batting very well. Is there any one area that you feel we can still improve?

I think we can play the middle-overs a bit better but our game plan is to keep wickets in hand and try to get as many runs as possible in the last 10 overs. That's why the momentum goes down a little bit but it's always something that we can work on.

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 22

Sub: all the best

well done saurav.V all know ki u'r boys can win the cup n u will win the cup. we believe ki TUM KAROGE DUNIYA MUTTHI ...

Posted by diksha jhingran

Sub: Well done SACHIN

Best wishs to your win agnist pak All the best. we want WORLDCUP.

Posted by BlakoteswaRa Rao.Parimi

Sub: Well Spoken Saurav

The way Saurav thinks is right.Its just another game and so u came out with flying colors.I wish to make this point clear to the ...

Posted by Ravi Menon

Sub: Dinesh Mongia

He is having some pressure, bec of the big games he is a natural striker of ball, he has to stop thinking of others and ...

Posted by prashant

Sub: Some humility pl!

For all those flying high at the win.Pl keep your head straight, it is a long way to go! The problem with the indian team ...

Posted by Venki


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