Sharjah: Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said that he would like to rely on seamers for the rest of the matches on the morose track at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and himself bat at number four to bolster the middle order to charge up the scoring.''Of course you cannot approach One-day cricket with fixed ideas, but we would like to play three seamers. That's the reason we are winning,'' Ganguly said after India beat Zimbabwe by 13 runs on Sunday after surviving some scare in the middle.
With the win, India came back in the tournament after having lost to Sri Lanka by five wickets in the inaugural match of the first phase league. The second phase league in which all the three teams meet each other once will begin after a two-day rest on October 25.Zimbabwe with two consecutive losses have bleak chances of making itto the final slated for October 29. ''On these kind of wickets, you bowl a spinner and leave it to the God,'' the Indian captain said though praising left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, a replacement in the match for ace leg-spinner Anil Kumble who is nursing a sore shoulder.
Ganguly made it clear that once fit, Kumble would be preferred over Joshi.Though Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar today form the most formidable opening pair in the world, the Indian skipper surprised all by sending Rahul Dravid to open the innings with himself coming at number four. Questioned about the experiment, he explained,''In the matches here, I have not done well as an opener. I wanted Dravid to see through the initial overs so that I could strike in the middle while aiming for a score in the vicinity of 260-270.''I do not want to be selfish to score centuries as an opener. A century has no meaning unless the team wins.
I want to win matches and not score the 25th or 26th One-day century.''He said he would like to persist with the strategy in the rest of the matches here unless the situation warranted otherwise, but added, ''I won't bat at number four in places like India, Nairobi or Dhaka.'' Regarding struggling Vinod Kambli, Ganguly said, ''As long as we win we can carry him.'' Gaekwad added, ''He looks good but is not getting runs.'' The comments are enough to send signals to Kambli to perform with the bat. Ganguly said he wanted to send Joshi ahead of Vijay Dahiya as India required some pinch hitting in the slog overs to step up the scoring, but Gaekwad wanted otherwise.
''Dahiya needs some time to play the strokes while Joshi can do it from ball one,'' Gaekwad explained.Both Ganguly and Gaekwad welcomed the change in cricketing rules which allow the bowlers to deliver up to the height of the head in normal stance (instead of the earlier shoulders) in one-dayers. ''Short balls should be allowed in one-dayers. Otherwise it is too harsh on the bowlers,'' both said.Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak and their Australian coach Carl Rackemann said the team would have to focus on bowling to do well. ''I am quite satisfied with the batting,'' Rackemann said. The weather (humidity and heat), they said, had also taken its toll on the players.UNI