Videocon Tri-series 2005 August 26, 2005

Ganguly seeks to rejuvenate India


Sourav Ganguly will need to lead from the front in India's first game of the Videocon Cup © Getty Images

Sourav Ganguly has completely dissociated himself from the Indian team's scheduling mess which forced the squad to spend two days in Harare on their way to Bulawayo for the first match of the Videocon Cup triangular tournament.

Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain, had termed India's late arrival at Bulawayo, less than 24 hours before their match against New Zealand, as surprising. But Ganguly said that they were only following the schedule provided to them. "That's the itinerary we have been provided with. We just followed the schedule which we were given," Ganguly said. Ganguly's statement puts the blame squarely on the BCCI's shoulders. The board was reportedly unhappy with the attitude shown by some of the players before their departure from Mumbai. "We were not aware of it till we landed in Zimbabwe," said Ganguly. "I don't know who did it, the board or anyone else, but when we landed in Harare it was told to us that we were going to go to Bulawayo today [August 25]."

When asked for his opinion on the BCCI's comments regarding the late arrival of some of the players before their departure to Zimbabwe, Ganguly said that he was held up because of personal reasons. "I didn't have a discussion with the board on this and perhaps that's the question which they can answer best. But I came in the evening because that's what I was told. I didn't receive any official intimation," said Ganguly. "I came late because that was my wife's birthday on 22nd. I had to stay back to be with her for at least some time."

Ganguly also added that he wanted to look ahead to the triangular tournament rather than dwell on the issues that have arisen over the last few days. "We can't bother about it as we have a game tomorrow," he added. "There could have been a lot of things but they are best left to the past. We can only draw some consolation from the past where we played immediately on arrival and did well. One instance was in Toronto in the 1990s and then against England in Mohali in 2001 we played a Test within 72 hours of arrival from South Africa."

He blamed the poor approach by the players and the inability of the batsmen to convert starts into centuries as the major causes for India's dismal one-day form. "We have not done well in ODIs and that's a fair criticism. We are aware of it and need to change the process. I believe that players need to be a lot more determined. They need to change things around," said Ganguly. "If you look at the past, we did well because a lot of hundreds were scored by our batsmen. Now we are making 40-50 and not converting them into big scores. It is an area of concern. Obviously it is how we approach [the situation] and it must be the mind. We have also to address the issue of how we play in the finals."

Ganguly lauded New Zealand as a quality one-day side but did not criticise Zimbabwe's dismal run in international cricket. "New Zealand are a good one-day side, have always been. We have had a few successes against them and they against us so it would be a keen game tomorrow [August 26]. Now that we are here we have to live up to the challenge. A few guys are coming from South Africa so they know the conditions. The ones coming from Sri Lanka would have to adapt quickly. Zimbabwe have had a poor run lately in international cricket but they can only get better."