The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
We are not disappointed: Sourav
-First test vs New Zealand - Indian skipper defends bowlers, considers fielding five specialists in Mohali

Ahmedabad: Sourav Ganguly wore a very despondent look as he struggled to answer queries on the slowness of the wicket at the post-match media conference here on Sunday.

“I don’t know what message to send out to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding preparation of pitches. It’s the responsibility of the ground and pitches committee to see and prepare wickets,” he said.

“The pitch was sporting but the bowlers were not getting much turn,” he added, trying to hide the disappointment.

He felt the bowlers had done a decent job. “I thought we bowled pretty well. The pitch got slower and slower as the game progressed, and there was not much help for them. I thought they tried very hard,” he explained.

New Zealand also seemed not too happy about the pitch but were content to have drawn the game. “It was a pretty flat wicket, although the footmarks were getting rather nasty in the closing stages. It’s my first Test in India, and I don’t know much about pitches here. It had both spin and bounce,” said Lou Vincent.

Sourav said he is still keen on playing five specialist bowlers. “Playing five specialist bowlers is definitely on our minds. With Agarkar coming in for Salvi, we can afford that. But we’ll have to wait and see the pitch before deciding,” Sourav said.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the thinktank is toying with the idea of keeping Akash Chopra out of the XI in such a situation. V.V.S. Laxman or Rahul Dravid may then be pushed to the opening slot to accommodate an extra bowler. A decision will only be taken after having a look at the Mohali pitch.

Sourav did not agree that the team will be under pressure to perform and win the series in Mohali. “I thought we dominated them here, so there won’t be too much pressure. It will be a different surface in Mohali, and if we can put up the runs on the board, we should win. We’re not disappointed, but to win the series, we have to win there. That’s the bottomline. As a team you’re supposed to win.”

He was all praise for debutant L. Balaji. “There wasn’t much help for the spinners, and I thought Balaji bowled well. He troubled Paul Wiseman a few times. He brought the ball into the batsman too. I thought he was unlucky not to get wickets.”

Sourav seemed a bit bothered by the infection near his waist arising out of a boil. “The infection has not healed completely, but is definitely better. We’ll have to wait for a couple of days to see.”

Man-of-the-Match Rahul Dravid felt that his double hundred had failed to create much of an impact since the Test ended in a draw. “I wouldn’t rate it very highly since India never won the match. The Headingley hundred, in comparison, will always remain special,” he said.

But the India vice-captain felt that it was achieved under very challenging conditions, considering he had to battle the immense heat and humidity.

Vincent made a queer statement when asked how he tackled the heat. “I don’t know how you Indians live here! It’s so uncomfortable! But it’s important to adjust.”

Email This Page