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Pressure on both teams: Ganguly
M R Mishra |
March 20, 2004 19:56 IST
Pakistan is worried by the extras conceded by its famed bowling line up while the Indians are missing their three top bowlers, injured Ashish Nehra, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh as the two teams prepare for another high-voltage duel in Lahore on Sunday, a match the visitors will have to win to level the series.
Who will be under more pressure is a question on which the rival captains differed strongly on Saturday but both confessed to problems, the Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq said he was worried by the wide and no balls which had made significant contributions to the Indian totals in the first three one-day internationals.
For the Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, bowling is a worry and he pointed out that his team was without three of his frontline bowlers -- Nehra, who bowled splendidly in the first two matches, and Kumble and Harbhajan who could not make the tour.
Down 1-2, it will be the visitors who will be under more pressure according to Inzamam-ul Haq who told reporters at the Gadaffi Stadium that with his team ahead in the five-match series, Indians fans would expect their team to win and thereby create additional pressure.
But the combative Ganguly dismissed this view saying that international cricket was all about pressure.
"There is bound to be pressure on both teams. There is always pressure in international cricket and tomorrow's match is crucial," he said.
Asked whether the presence of a few thousand Indian fans at the Gadaffi Stadium would put pressure on his team, Ganguly said, "it is good for us but we have to play good cricket. That is important".
Ganguly believed that his team had the ability to come back into the series as they have done so on a number of occasions in the last two and half years.
"Yes, we are lacking in giving the finishing touches here. We have come back from such situations earlier in the past. We are hampered by the absence of Harbhajan and Kumble. We missed at least one of them in the last match.
"When we don't have four key bowlers, it is tough," he said.
Ganguly said he missed a spinner in the last match at Peshawar. "Honestly, we missed a spinner. I bowled about six overs, Sachin bowled well. Both of us covered up for Powar. The wicket helped fast bowlers right through the game."
On pace spearhead Zaheer Khan's form, Ganguly said, "he is coming back from injury, we have seen him bowl much better. I am sure he will do better".
Asked whether the team has planned a specific strategy for the match, he said "we have our own strategies. It will keep changing as the game goes on."
Ganguly said the track at the Gadaffi Stadium looked better than the one they had played on in a warm-up game against Pakistan soon after arriving on the tour.
"It looks to be a good wicket, it has got some grass. The track for the match against Pakistan 'A' was much too flat."
Rival captain Inzamam said the presence of Indian fans will have an affect on the Indian players as they were already trailing in the series. "It is an important game tomorrow, the pressure will be on them. They have to win the match to stay in the series."
On the number of extras being conceded by the Pakistan fast bowlers, he said "it is a big problem. We will have to sort it out. The slow over rate is also a problem and it does keep me under some pressure".
Asked why Mohammad Sami did not open the bowling attack in the last match, he said: "he was not being able to control the new ball. So we decided to bring him on first change".