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Ganguly seeks 'morale-boosting win'

Ashish Magotra in Hyderabad | November 14, 2003 21:03 IST

Absolute chaos reigned at the Lal Bahadur stadium in Hyderabad on Friday as Sourav Ganguly made his way into it. Not only the fans, but the media too was asked to stay away from the Indian skipper. Photographers too were asked to step outside the boundary line by security guards.

It did not stop there. When selector Pranab Roy tried to enter the ground, he too was stopped. It was only later that wiser counsel prevailed.

When Ganguly finally did address the media, he was confidence personified. The thrashing against Australia in the last match in Bangalore appeared forgotten.

"It looks like a batting wicket and we have to make the best of it," said Ganguly, before dashing off and having a chat with the groundsmen.

New Zealand are without their skipper, but Stephen Fleming's absence has not made Ganguly overconfident.

"It is okay. They are missing their captain, but that is part of the game. It happens to everyone. It is a very crucial match. Who is playing and who is not does not matter," he said.

The pitch looks as if it will take turn as the match goes on, but Ganguly is unsure whether he will go into the match with three spinners or three seamers.

"It will be a morale-boosting victory for us if we manage to win the game. The pressure is always there for every game; it is how you perform under pressure that makes the difference. We have done it in the past, winning crucial matches to reach the final," he said.

India have played seven matches at the Lal Bahadur stadium, lost only once (to South Africa in 1996/97) and there was one no-result.

In the last encounter against the Kiwis at the venue, the Indians triumphed by a massive margin of 174 runs.

Ganguly will be hoping that the trend continues.

Talking about selection for the upcoming tour of Australia, he maintained that places are still up for grabs and the players need to give their best performance.

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Sub: Lead by example!

Please, give us a break. Just win and forget about your morale boosters. Your team is playing without any morale. From Sehwag to Zaheer with ...

Posted by Muralidhar Rao


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