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Without Bond, Kiwis will come unstuck: Ganguly

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | September 25, 2003 18:28 IST

Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly expects the going to be tough for the New Zealanders without the services of pace ace Shane Bond.

He, however, expects the contest in both the Test matches and the ODIs to be keen.

The skipper, who was in Delhi to launch a new ESPN-Star Sports programme called 'Cricket Show', said, "I have played with most of them so I know them well."

"But Test match is a different game. It is going to be a good series. New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming has said that it is tough to beat us on Indian soil. We would have to do well and do things in the right manner to give a good account of ourselves," he said.

Ganguly agreed with Sunil Gavaskar and Geoffrey Boyocott, who were also present at the press meet, that there has been too much emphasis on one day games in recent times.

"I think the number of one day games should be restricted to between 30-35 in a calender year," he said.

"I too feel that since one day games bring in money we are over playing one day games and trying to kill the Golden Goose," Boycott added.

Gavaskar said playing too many one day games meant the players had to travel more than they would when they play Test cricket. He added the extra travel tells on the health of the players.

Asked if he missed playing domestic cricket, the Indian skipper said, "Where is the time to play in the Ranji Trophy?"

"Test match cricket is the real cricket. I would have loved to have a few knocks before the series but due to some reasons I would not be participating in the warm up games. I was all ready to take part in the first game at Vizag, but I had to cancel my ticket at the last minute," he explained.

Gavaskar and Boycott had a dig at some of the Indian stars for batting lower down the order in Test cricket.

"I know the Indian team is having a problem in finding a good opening pair. Finally people realise opening the innings is the most difficult job in Test cricket," Gavaskar said.

"Well some of the leading Indian batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Ganguly prefer to come lower down the order in Test matches. They do not want to face the new ball. In one day it is a different thing to open the innings because there are no slips. You slice the ball and it goes through for a four and you say what a shot. But when you cut in Test cricket you end up giving a catch in the slips and it is time to say good bye," he said.

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