The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Sachin as deputy a good move’
- Our Cup performance will depend on how we fare at home: Sourav

Calcutta: Dilip Vengsarkar may have sprung a surprise the other day by naming Sachin Tendulkar as Rahul Dravid’s deputy for the first two ODIs against the West Indies, but former captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday welcomed the move by the selection committee chairman.

Asked to comment on the decision, Sourav — who has made a comeback to the ODI side after 16 months — took a long pause and replied with a smile: “It was a good decision.” However, he did not elaborate further.

At the moment Sourav has his eyes set on the first two one-dayers against the West Indies, for which he will be leaving for the Nagpur camp on Tuesday. The Nagpur one-dayer, which will kick-off the four-match series, will be five days later, that is January 21.

The West Indies and, then, another home series against Sri Lanka will be the two crucial ones in the build-up to the World Cup, felt the former Indian captain.

According to him, much of the World Cup performance will depend on how Team India fare in these series’. “World Cup is still a long way to go… but much will depend on how we perform in the home series’,” Sourav told The Telegraph, when asked about India’s chances in the showpiece event.

Having played in tough South Africa conditions, Sourav maintained that India stand a good chance in the forthcoming challenges. “Conditions here are much easier… If we score anything between 270-280, we will have a good chance.”

Asked whether Ramnaresh Sarwan’s absence will make the West Indies weaker, Sourav said: “They would still be a competitive side…and it will be a tough series.”

The West Indies series may well see the hottest opening pair — Sourav and Sachin — back in business again. And as Sourav sounded, he was eager to play any role according to the need of the team. “I’m okay to do anything…If they want me to open, I’ll be happy as well. I’ve opened in more than 200 matches for India…I’m ready to play anywhere in the batting order.”

Tata Indicom earlier felicitated Sourav, the brand ambassador, following his stupendous comeback to the national side in both forms of the game.

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