May 18, 2001

Ganguly justifies inclusion of five seamers

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday justified the inclusion of five seamers in the 15-member squad for the coming Zimbabwe series, saying the team has been picked keeping in mind the conditions there.

"That's good (five seamers in the side). It's (pitches in Zimbabwe) going to seam around. It has always been the case. It's winter in Zimbabwe and it's going to be cold and damp. So we have picked the team according to conditions," he said.

Speaking to reporters as the six-day conditioning camp for the Zimbabwe series was wound up at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, he said the Indian team was in a positive frame of mind and was determined to win.

"It's been a good camp. We have prepared well for the series. We hope to do well. We are going to Zimbabwe with a positive frame of mind. We want to win," Ganguly said.

Asked if there were any "nagging concerns" at the camp, he said: "I think we talk too many negative things. I am not that sort of person (who talks negative things)."

On his lean patch in the series against Australia, he indicated that it was nothing unusual. "I did not score much against Australia. That's past now. That was the first time I have not played well in the last five years."

Asked if he had taken any tips regarding his lean patch from coach John Wright, who is also a left-hander, Ganguly replied in the affirmative.

"I had asked John Wright and couple of other guys to share their experience. At the end of the day, I will play according to what I feel best and what suits me, since everybody has his own technique and own way of playing.

"I may nick a few balls outside the off stump. But 70 per cent of my runs were scored in that area (outside the off-stump," he pointed out.

"It's (lean patch) going to happen to a lot of cricketers in future. You are going to do well and sometime you don't. But it's important to keep your head high and come back."

Ganguly said two warm-up games are going to be a good preparation for the two Test matches.

On players practising yoga at the camp, he said they were trying to get fit."It's got a lot to do with stretching. The main reason is to get the body and the muscles to stretch. We have got a lot of cricket ahead. Nine months of non-stop cricket with just four weeks in between each series. It's important to keep fit and get strong. The team has been training hard. I hope yoga and the enormous amount of fitness that we have done will work."