Tuesday, Nov 18, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
By Our Special Correspondent
Skipper Sourav Ganguly gives a pep talk to his team members before their practice session on Monday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.
The Indian captain, who sustained a groin injury in the crucial Hyderabad day-night game against New Zealand, `is recovering fast.'
He told the media at a pre-match press conference that he would like to wait till Tuesday morning to know whether he would be fit.
"Unless I am fully fit, I will not play,'' he declared.
The absence of Ganguly, one of the few in the team who can clout spinners with impunity, would definitely weaken the batting to a great extent. More so with the pitch looking dry and expected to assist spin bowling as the game progresses, as claimed by his Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting on Monday morning.
The Australians, who were at the Eden Gardens for a little less than two hours, exuded confidence. "Everybody is available for selection,'' said Ponting. "This obviously makes the selection of the eleven very hard.''
It has been a hugely successful tournament for the Aussies. "We are quite confident given the way we played the last couple of games against India. Our performance was outstanding,'' he opined. Ponting felt the spectators would be pretty disappointed if Ganguly did not play. "He is an outstanding one-day player. His absence will be a bit of a gain for us,'' he said.
Like India, Australia will name the playing eleven before the start of the game. Surprisingly, both Ganguly and Ponting did not attach much importance to the toss.
Ponting felt that not too many games were decided by the toss. "You have to do well whatever you plan to do,'' he said.
Ganguly thought a one-day match was anybody's game and one needed to play well and get the basics correct. "Toss is not really important,'' he said. Yet, both captains said they would like to bat first.
The Indian captain cleared Zaheer Khan of any fitness problem. "He has recovered and will play the final,'' he said. He reiterated that India needed to improve its bowling in the first 15 overs. "This is an area where we have to work hard.'' Ganguly said that the three Indian pacers bowled well against Australia in the first 15 overs in earlier games.
Ponting did not think the huge crowd support to India would in any way deter his boys. "I know it can be a hostile environment with one lakh spectators rooting for India. We will do things to keep the gathering quiet,'' he said.
Ganguly aptly summed up the summit clash. "Both Australia and India are the best one-day sides. One can expect a keen contest between two strong teams.''
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of