The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav: Our batting needs improvement

Harare: Captain Sourav Ganguly Monday described India’s performance against Zimbabwe as “much better”, but said there was still room for improvement in the batting department.

“We batted better and it should improve further as the tournament goes on,” Sourav said after the 161-run victory here.

“The team needs to put partnerships together at the top of the order and batsmen need to get hundreds to win games for us.”

Sourav described the Harare Sports Club pitch as “soft and spongy” which did not allow the ball to come on to the bat. “The wicket in Bulawayo was quicker, but here the ball came slowly off the pitch.”

Greg Chappell defended the team’s batting performance saying criticism from outside was easier than performing in the middle.

“Sitting outside perhaps it is not easy to understand how difficult the wicket was. It was moving and slow as well and the bounce was spongy.”

Chappell was happy that batsmen were beginning to build partnerships and spend time in the middle.

“There has been some encouragement in the sense that all batsmen have managed to spend time in the middle, sometime or the other. It’s all a question of bringing it together and building on the start,” remarked Chappell.

Chappell was supportive of his captain. “I am pretty happy with the way he has shaped up. He was looking confident. On the ball he was dismissed, usually he hits it for a single, but today he wanted to hit it for four. These things happen in the game.”

Chappell also had a similar philosophical outlook to his side’s batting against New Zealand the other day when they were reduced to 44 for eight at one stage.

“Having played the game myself, I know how wickets can fall in a clutter. The best way to come out of it is to not yell at the batsmen. Maybe now that they have had the experience they know how to react to such situations in future.”

Venugopal Rao, too, enjoyed the coach’s support. “He is a fine youngster with good attitude and he knows that the team is behind him. Unfortunately, twice in two games he got two very good balls.”


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