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Ganguly banking on Umar Gul in Shoaib's absence
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April 14, 2008 19:43 IST

With speedster Shoaib Akhtar's [Images] chances of playing in the Indian Premier League looking dim, Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Sourav Ganguly [Images] is banking on another Pakistani pacer, Umar Gul, to deliver the goods in the tournament beginning on April 18.

"Umar Gul is in our team. He will serve us well," Ganguly told newspersons in Kolkata when asked about the Rawalpindi Express' absence from his side.

Shoaib is fighting a five-year ban slapped on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board and the IPL authorities made it clear that the speedster would not be allowed to play unless he gets the ban lifted.

Meanwhile, Ganguly, who shone with the bat in the third and final Test against South Africa, said he would have no problem adjusting to the Twenty20 format of the IPL.

"I'll get to the Twenty20 mode once I practice for a couple of days," he said soon after landing at the NSC Bose International Airport.

Ganguly also did not foresee any difficulty in captaining a mixed team comprising stars from various countries in the IPL.

"Look, it's after all the same game of cricket. Here also one plays with the bat and the ball," he said.

The left-hander was disappointed at missing two hundreds in back-to-back Tests but expressed happiness at the team managing to win the third Test at Kanpur to level the series 1-1.

Playing at his best, Ganguly got out at the same score of 87 in the second innings of the second Test at Ahmedabad and the opening essay of the third Test at Kanpur.

"I have missed two centuries. This disappointment is there. But both the innings helped the team, which needed these knocks," he said.

"But I'm very happy that we could draw the series," he added.

Asked about Dhoni's [Images] captaincy, Ganguly replied "He did a good job. We won at Kanpur under him."

Dhoni became the stand-in skipper for the final match after regular Test captain Anil Kumble [Images] was forced to sit out due to groin injury.

Today being the Bengali New Year Day, Ganguly was asked how he visualised the next 12 months.

"I did well in the year that is now history. I hope to do even better in the current year," he said.

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