May 15, 2001

Ganguly expects to strike form with the bat against Zimbabwe

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said on Tuesday that his lean phase with the bat was over, and expressed confidence of striking form again in the coming Zimbabwe series. "I failed in only one series (in the recent one against Australia)...there is a lot of talk going on....I have been around for five years. It's the first time I have struggled. This is bound to happen...it's past now," Ganguly said.

Stating that he was now looking forward to the series against Zimbabwe, Ganguly told reporters after the morning session in the ongoing conditioning camp at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore that he was working hard on his cricket the same way as he used to do before. "I am pretty positive about the next series," he said.

"It is important to take forward the good work done against the Australians. We played well against Australia. We hope to continue that in Zimbabwe. If we play well, I don't think there is any reason why we should not win."

Stating that the Zimbabwe series was going to be challenging, he said "Zimbabwe is a good side. They are a much improved side than what they were. They are a formidable side at home."

Asked if the Test series win over the mighty Australians had given the Indians a new confidence, he said "Every win gives you confidence. It's important winning abroad."

Ganguly indicated that Samir Dighe was going to be the first choice as far as wicket-keeping is concerned. "Samir Dighe has done well in the series against Australia. He has probably won the series for us. He has also scored important runs. He should be a handy prospect for Zimbabwe."

Ganguly said the team would be picked on May 17, but its final composition would be decided only after reaching Zimbabwe.

On the preparatory camp here, he said "it has been organised well and the players are working hard. The facilities are fantastic and the climate is superb." The players were also practising yoga in the camp. "I think yoga is good for the body and the mind. You stretch a lot better."

Declining to compare coach John Wright with any other coach, he said "He (Wright) is a good man. He is gelling well with the team. All the boys have a good rapport with him." Ganguly also refused to discuss India's prospects in the tri-series involving the West Indies, saying "it is too far (away)."

He said he did not see any problem if the wicket favoured seamers in Zimbabwe. "That's going to help us. We have some fast bowlers in the team. It is important to put enough runs on the board for seamers to take wickets."

On the Indian team's hectic international schedule in the next few months, Ganguly said: "You got to accept it. You are playing professionally for India. The itinerary is fixed. You play ten years of international cricket and should make the most out of it."

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