August 6, 2001

Ganguly: You need something exceptional on occasions like that

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly after his side's humiliating defeat in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup where his side was beaten convincingly by Sri Lanka admitted that his side had been outplayed by Sri Lanka in all departments of the game. "We just didn't play well. We failed in all departments. We gave away too many runs, missed catches and never looked in the game when we batted. It was just an off day in every form of the game," said a disappointed Ganguly.

Sri Lanka's total was boosted by three half centuries from Sanath Jayasuriya (99), Mahela Jayawardene and Russel Arnold. The other batsmen Avishka Gunawardene and Romesh Kaluwitharana contributed with 30's while only Marvan Atapattu failed.

"It was a collective team effort from them. Not only Sanath, even guys like Mahela and Russell batted well to take the game away from us" remarked Ganguly on Sri Lanka's strong batting line up, which clicked in the all important final.

Sri Lanka ended up making the highest score recorded in the tournament and that took the initiative away from the Indians even before they started the run chase, "You never give up. But I thought 290 was a bit too much. You need something exceptional on occasions like that," explained Ganguly.

The Indian captain who lost the toss in the final felt that the turning point of the game was the dropped catch of Sanath Jayasuriya, "We missed a catch off Sanath with Sri Lanka on 120. I thought that was very crucial. That helped them to put up another 40 runs or so."

The Indians now have lost eight consecutive tournament finals. Ganguly has acted as the captain of the side on four of those occasions, "We've been not doing well in the finals. We have lost five finals in he last eight months or so," said Ganguly

When asked about the reason behind losing finals the Indian captain replied, "I don't know. Probably we are giving away too many runs. It was 290 plus in Zimbabwe, it was 290 plus in Sharjah and it was the same here. When you give that many runs away it becomes a difficult task" said Ganguly blaming his bowlers and fielders for giving away too many runs in the crucial match.