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We will win this time: Ganguly

Source: PTI
March 15, 2005 16:20 IST
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Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly threw the gauntlet at arch rivals Pakistan, saying that his side was all keyed up to win the second Test beginning in Kolkata on Wednesday.

"All my players are fit. We were close to winning the Test in Mohali. We will try to win here," Ganguly told a pre-match press conference.

"But there will be a lot of pressure. Its a series of three Tests. Pakistan will also go all out to win," he said.

Ganguly said that off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was kept out of the side in the first Test, stood a good chance of making a comeback for the second Test.

"There is a good chance of him playing. But we have to take another look at the wicket before deciding on the team composition," he said.

Despite coach John Wright giving clear indications on Monday that the Indians would go into the match with a two pacer and two spinner attack, Ganguly contended that the five bowler formula (three pacers and two spinners) could also be used considering the amount of grass on the wicket.

However, compared to yesterday, the wicket looked less green and the groundsmen said that more mowing would be done this evening.

But Ganguly, who contended that he was happy with the wicket, said the last time he had seen so much grass on the Eden track was six years back during the Asian Test Championship match against Pakistan. The visitors had won the tie by 46 runs.

When his reaction was sought on the Mohali track which did not turn on the final day, Ganguly said "It was a good wicket. I don't think the wicket can be blamed for what we could not achieve."

Ganguly ruled out axing pacer Zaheer Khan, who had put up a dismal show in Mohali, saying "You cannot drop successful players on the basis of one match. And I also do not see many changes in the side as we played well at Mohali."

Regretting that he did not bowl on the final day of the Mohali Test, the Indian skipper said he would definitely turn his arm over at Eden.

He said that the toss might not play a vital role as the heat would dry out the moisture on the wicket.

Asked whether the Indians were thinking of a game plan to tackle Pakistan leggie Danish Kaneria, the captain said, "He bowled well. But then he also went for 150 runs in a Test innings.

"But yes, he is a quality bowler and the main weapon for Pakistan," Ganguly added.

Asserting that he was satisfied with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik's performance, the skipper said, "He conceded a few byes, but then he is aware of that." 

Disappointed at India's failure to win the Mohali Test, Ganguly said "We were in a position where we should have won. But that did not happen. All credit to the two Pakistan batsmen (Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq) who saved the game."

He, however, did not agree with coach John Wright that the Indians lacked the killer instinct.

"Everyone has his own opinion," he said.

Ganguly also refused to buy the theory that the Indians should have gone for quick runs at Mohali.

"Other batsmen will always look slow when Sehwag is around. Moreover, they (Pakistanis) had set a defensive field, and also bowled defensively. And also in a Test match it is not possible to score at the rate of 5/6 runs an over for a long time."

The local boy said that he was not at all surprised by the gritty display of the Pakistan batsmen.

"Even before the series I had been saying that they are a better side than what some may think. I am not surprised at the way they fought back," he said.

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