The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav all praise for Agarkar

Dhaka: Satisfied with the team’s performance Sunday, India captain Sourav Ganguly urged his players to tighten up further and do justice to their potential in the on-going tri-series.

Sourav said the team played very well to beat South Africa by 153 runs, a margin that “surprised” him, but felt there were a few areas which needed improvement.

The captain was particularly livid at the manner in which his deputy Virender Sehwag threw away his wicket and said a player of his potential should be doing much better.

“He played a very poor shot at that stage. He is definitely capable of doing better. I think he is not utilising his potential to the full. He should be getting bigger scores,” Sourav said.

Sourav showered encomiums on Ajit Agarkar, who took two for 27. “Ajit bowled superbly. He restricted the batsmen in the initial overs, took two wickets and that set the tone for us to attack them,” the skipper observed.

Asked to comment on South Africa captain Graeme Smith’s decision to hold back Shaun Pollock till the 20th over, Sourav said: “It’s a new team and maybe they wanted to try ew things.”

Sourav feels Sunday’s hammering does not mean this South African pace attack is not good. “It’s too early to judge them. They have a young side and will take time to adjust,” he said.

‘Too many mistakes’

Smith said his players made a number of mistakes and must quickly learn from them. “We are going through a transition phase. There are bound to be some mistakes. We have to learn and keep learning.”

Smith said his bowlers did not stick to the basics and conceded too many runs in last ten overs. “They didn’t bowl well. We had a lot of discussions how to bowl but it just didn’t work. They have to hit the right length.”

The young skipper said his decision to hold back Pollock was a “tactical” move which backfired.

Man-of-the-Match Mohammed Kaif, who made an unbeaten 95, said he had no regrets about not being able to reach three figures. “I was looking for such an innings for quite some time. I am happy to have contributed. Quite happy to do the job for the country.” (PTI)

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