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Sourav sure of team’s batting form recovery

Mumbai: Sourav Ganguly is confident his side can regain their best batting form on bouncy South African pitches and ensure success at next month’s World Cup.

“The first thing is the batters need to get going against the Dutch,” the Indian captain said referring to their opening Group A game against unheralded Netherlands on February 12. “I am very confident about our batsmen. I don’t see any reason why they won’t strike form,” he told a news conference as the team prepared to leave on Tuesday night for South Africa.

“It is going to be a challenge for all of us,” he said.

All questions in the run up to the World Cup have centred around the failure of India’s much-touted batting in New Zealand, where they lost the Test and one-day series on seaming pitches.

But Sourav said the batsmen were experienced and talented enough to fight back in the showpiece event.

India will be based in Durban for their final preparation and will play two warm-up games before facing the Dutch side. “We effectively have three matches before our first big game against Australia,” Sourav said. They play the defending champions at Centurion on February 15.

Coach John Wright said there could still be some uncertainty over batting positions following the debacle in New Zealand. “We need to go with a settled batting order in the warm-up games. But it is too early to predict,” he said.

In New Zealand, Sourav pushed himself down the order after failing as opener while leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar was subdued after suffering an ankle injury earlier on the tour. “I have opened for India in more than 200 games and I’d like to bat there,” Sourav said. “But it depends on how (Virender) Sehwag and Sachin play.”

Second dope test

Meanwhile, the Indian cricketers underwent their second dope test in 18 days in Mumbai on Tuesday as a precautionary measure. According to a BCCI source, all the samples will be collected here before being sent to the Sports Authority of India laboratory in New Delhi. The Indians had undergone their first ever dope test on January 10 at Auckland during their 43-day tour of New Zealand. The urine samples of the players were sent to an International Olympic Committee-accredited laboratory in Sydney.

IDI approves new logo

The Indians will sport a new logo, Amby Valley, a part of the Sahara India group, in the forthcoming World Cup adds a Staff Reporter in Calcutta. The logo was approved by the IDI Limited on Tuesday.

While expressing satisfaction, Dalmiya observed that the “wrongful” rejection of Sahara as the Indian Team Sponsor in the ICC Champions Trophy and the upcoming World Cup would be agitated by the BCCI before arbitration at a later date and appropriate damages would be claimed.

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