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Ganguly pins hopes on batting
January 28, 2003 20:40 IST
Sourav Ganguly is confident his side can regain their best batting form on bouncy South African pitches and ensure success at next month's World Cup.
"The first thing is the batters need to get going against the Dutch," the India captain said, referring to their opening Group A game against unheralded The Netherlands on February 12.
"I am very confident about our batsmen. I don't see any reason why they won't strike form," he told a news conference as the team prepared to leave on Tuesday night for South Africa.
"It is going to be a challenge for all of us."
All questions in the run up to the World Cup have centred around the failure of India's much-touted batting in New Zealand, where they lost the Test and one-day series on seaming pitches.
But Ganguly said the batsmen aree experienced and talented enough to fight back in the showpiece event.
India will be based in Durban for their final preparation and will play two warm-up games before facing the Dutch side.
"We effectively have three matches before our first big game against Australia," Ganguly said.
They play the defending champions at Centurion on February 15.
Coach John Wright said there could still be some uncertainty over batting positions following the debacle in New Zealand.
"We need to go with a settled batting order in the warm-up games. But it is too early to predict," he said.
In New Zealand, Ganguly pushed himself down the order after failing as opener while leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar was subdued after suffering an ankle injury earlier on the tour.
"I have opened for India in more than 200 games and I'd like to bat there," Ganguly said. "But it depends on how (Virender) Sehwag and Sachin play."