The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Underdog tag will be good for us: Sourav

Mumbai: Despite the loss in the one-day series to the West Indies, Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly thinks India’s preparations for the World Cup are on the right track and the upcoming tour of New Zealand would be the proper build-up for the big event.

“We have a balanced side and with two Test matches and seven one-dayers to follow it should be the right kind of a build-up for the World Cup in South Africa,” Sourav said Monday night at a function here.

Asked whether the 3-4 loss to the Windies in the one-day series had hurt the team’s preparations, Sourav said: “I don’t think so.”

“We are playing seven one-dayers in New Zealand and I hope we do well there so that we can be confident of good performance during World Cup.”

He said the team was not concerned about the fast and bouncy tracks in South Africa since it has done well on foreign tours in the last year. “However, it is good to start as underdogs as there will be no extra pressure. We have done well in England, West Indies and Sri Lanka and how well we adapt ourselves during the World Cup will count in the end,” he said.

Sourav said injuries continued to remain India’s biggest concern before the quadrennial showpiece. “That is a major fear for us. Our trainer Adrian le Roux has worked hard with the players and I hope we will be lucky enough to go without injuries till the end of the World Cup.”

Sourav said the absence of left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan due to injury had affected the team’s bowling during the just-concluded home series. “Zaheer is a strength to our side. His spell with the new ball and also during the death overs would have saved us lot of runs and once we get together to full strength, we should be doing better,” he said.

The skipper said he was satisfied with the team’s performance even though India lost the one-day series. “It was a very close series. I think we did pretty well to win the three-match Test series 2-0.

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