The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Worst time since taking over: Sourav

Queenstown, Jan. 4 (Agencies): A demoralised Sourav Ganguly apologised to Indian cricket fans after another sub-standard display saw his team lose both the fourth one-day International against New Zealand and the seven-match series.

“We are just playing for pride now,” he said after New Zealand won by seven wickets to lead 4-0. “We feel we are letting everybody down — the coach, the physio, the trainer, the manager and all the people back home. This is the worst time we have had since I became captain. We have really been poor this series.”

Unable to explain the spate of humiliating defeats on the tour, Sourav added that he could only attribute it to the state of the mind of his players. “It’s got to be in the minds. We can’t be out of form for so long,” he said.

“It all boils down to personal accountability. None of us have managed to score any runs on this tour. A lot of us just picked the fielders. We just kept picking the fielders,” he said.

Asked about the mood of his team in the run-up to the World Cup, Sourav, however, said: “The World Cup is a new series and a new tournament. We’ll go there and play and put this stuff to the back of our mind.”

For a change, Sourav, who has been critical of the pitches in New Zealand, was happy with the track.

A triumphant Stephen Fleming said he was still waiting for his opponents to “fire”. Refusing to go into an analysis of the reasons for India's debacle, Fleming said, “It’s for them to do the thinking. We have to expose their weak areas and concentrate on the ones we can hit on.”

Man-of-the-Match Andre Adams, who took a career-best five-wicket haul, said it was a pretty satisfying return to international cricket. “It sprayed around a bit but I am pretty happy with the way I bowled,” he said.

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