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September 30, 2002
2200 IST

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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Ganguly, Jayasuriya disappointed to share the spoils

Faisal Shariff in Colombo

Skippers Sourav Ganguly and Sanath Jayasuriya expressed disappointment over having to share the Champions Trophy after rain forced the final to be abandoned for the second successive day.

However, India skipper Ganguly thought his team had a more realistic chance of winning the replayed final on Monday after restricting the Lankans to 222.

He felt that Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar batted well to score 38 runs in the first nine overs.

Explaining the revised number three position for Tendulkar, the Ganguly said, "Sachin didn't get too many runs in the last few games here [Colombo] and there was unnecessary pressure on him. With the ball being hard it made sense to get him in early and get some runs."

Asked his reaction to Tendulkar's statement of wanting to open the innings again, Ganguly said, "He has not expressed his desire to me yet."

He sounded disappointed about the excess pressure being put on Tendulkar every time he fails.

"That man has another 6-7 years to go and god alone knows how many runs he will score. I think the need is to get behind him and the team when we do well."

The clarification laid to rest the murmurs about Tendulkar's unhappiness over batting down the order. According to senior players in the side, the statement Tendulkar made was conveniently pulled out of context and sensationalized.

Ganguly explained the reason for sending Dinesh Mongia up the order, saying that Muralitharan was Lanka's main bowler and to combat him it made sense to send Mongia in early so he could get some runs before facing the offie.

"I did not want Mohammad Kaif, Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Mongia to face Murali upfront. I have played for 6-7 years and decided to take Murali on."

Sri Lanka Jayasuriya explained keeper Sangakkara promotion up the order ahead of Atapattu for the simple reason that the keeper is a better batsman against the seamers and would get some quick runs.

Jayasuriya, however, reckoned that 222 was not an easy target to get considering the fact that the wicket was getting slower and more difficult to bat on as the innings progressed.

Picking the grey areas in the team, Ganguly pointed towards the fast bowling department, saying there is need to work harder on that since Sehwag's success as a spinner provides more options to him.

Ganguly felt the earlier rain-rule, which allowed for a game to be continued from the point of stoppage, was a better option than starting all over again from scratch.

The last time it happened it worked for India, when they beat England in the league game of the 1999 World Cup to enter into the Super Six stage.

Had that rule been in place, the deserved champion would have been ascertained. As for now, the trophy though stays back in Asia.


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