The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I need to be consistent, accepts Sourav Ganguly
- Former Team India captain sweats it out again on an off day

Durban: Sunday was a day off for Team India, but Sourav Ganguly again chose to have nets, at Kingsmead. Also sweating it out was Munaf Patel.

“In Johannesburg, I’d worked out on an off day because I’d only arrived in South Africa a few days earlier... I’ve come today because the bounce here is going to be different... It’s about getting used to conditions,” the former captain told The Telegraph.

The second (and penultimate) Test begins on Tuesday.

Sourav’s nets session, overseen by physio John Gloster and biomechanist Ian Frazer, lasted for almost half-an-hour. “As the bowlers keep coming at you, 30 minutes is like batting an entire session in a Test,” he remarked.

Asked if his confidence level had risen appreciably after the first Test, Sourav replied: “I’m feeling good, but two matches remain and I need to be consistent... I’d said it after the first innings at the Wanderers and I’m saying so again...”

Munaf Patel

Munaf, who bowled in the two-dayer (against the KwaZulu-Natal Invitation XI) on Friday, maintained he was feeling “fine... theek lag raha hai...” He’d been off cricket for a month owing to an ankle injury.

It’s not confirmed, but it’s almost certain that Munaf will take Vikram Rajvir Singh’s place in the XI. Wasim Jaffer, though, may get one final chance. Should that happen, Gautam Gambhir has to wait for his comeback.

Meanwhile, interacting with the Media, former captain Shaun Pollock insisted that the 123-run defeat in the first Test was a thing of the past. “Durban is one of our favourite grounds and the guys are motivated... It’s not often that we fall behind in a series at home... We don’t want to lose... That’s there on our minds...”

He added: “We’re disappointed with our effort at the Wanderers, but aren’t focusing on that disappointment... That defeat hurt our pride and the guys are keen to improve 20-30 per cent...”

Pollock, whose roots are here, laughed at a suggestion that South Africa’s attack lacked variety and was uni-dimensional. “We definitely don’t lack variety... All of us (quicks) bowl differently...”

Coach Mickey Arthur feels much the same way. “Generally, we’ve been playing good cricket... But, yes, we’ve got to get it right (at Kingsmead) to stop people from jumping on our backs,” he pointed out.

Despite Monday being Christmas, the South Africans are going to have nets. A team dinner was planned for Sunday.

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