हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

I want to make India a good Test side

Published: Friday, October 27, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sharjah: Saurav Ganguly has led India admirably in One-dayers and wants to win the next World Cup. But as captain, his main ambition is to make India a good Test side in a short span of time.Ganguly's tryst with the classical version of the game as the Indian captain will materialise in the inaugural Test match of Bangladesh to be played at Dhaka from November 10.''I want to make India a very good side in Test cricket, which fascinates me more,'' Ganguly told UNI during an interview in the midst of the team's campaign here for the Coca Cola Cup tri-series title.Twenty one-year-old Ganguly took over the mantle from Sachin Tendulkar after the Test series at home against South Africa earlier this year and led the side to a 3-2 victory in the One-dayers, which however came under a cloud because of the match-fixing scandal involving Hansie Cronje and some of his teammates.In the absence of Tendulkar last year, Ganguly was made the stop-gap captain and won the three-match series against West Indies in Toronto (Canada) after the India-Pakistan Sahara Cup series was cancelled in the aftermath of the Kargil War.''As captain, the most satisfying moments for me have been in Kenya and also beating South Africa, a good One-day side, at home,'' Ganguly said while aiming to add the Coca Cola Cup under his belt.Though rating his unbeaten 141 off only 142 balls (6x6, 12x4) in India's 95-run win against South Africa in the semi-final of the ICC Knock Out tournament in Nairobi as his best innings, Ganguly said, ''Personally I find the Test hundreds more satisfying.'' India, however, lost the coveted title losing to New Zealand by four wickets in the final, which saw the Indian skipper score another century (117) and put 141 for the opening stand with Tendulkar.What was the impact of the scandal on the morale of the team? Ganguly gave a guarded reply, ''I kept quiet and let the game go on. It was not fair for me to pick up that topic (with the players) as nothing has been proved. We played one tournament immediately after that in Dhaka (Asia Cup) and played badly.''During one of his routine interactions with the media here, Ganguly had said that the players themselves would have to be honest to avoid any stigma as no amount of measures (like the provision of signed declarations for cricketers made by the ICC) would help.How does he plan to effect a turnaround? Ganguly said, ''we have a superb side with a splash of youngsters. Now, the togetherness of the team is remarkable which led to the fine show at Nairobi and if we stick to these boys, we can prepare well for the 2003 World Cup (South Africa). I want to be part of a World Cup winning side, either as the captain or as a player.''The skipper remained tightlipped about the moves by the BCCI to get a foreign coach for the Indian team. ''Please, do not ask me that question now. Let him (coach) come first,'' he said.Ganguly mentions Kapil and Sunil Gavaskar as his childhood idols and among his contemporaries he likes the batsmanship of Tendulkar and West Indian Brian Lara. ''I also liked the style of David Gower (former England captain) though I like to play my own game,'' he said.And his favourite past time? ''Watching Hindi movies. I do not like to watch English movies.''Asked about the between Saurav as an 'individual' and Saurav as a 'cricketer', he said, ''basically I am a soft and straight person. Sometimes I am mistaken, but that's how I like to be. Representing India is a dream come true. This is the game I wanted to play as well as earn money and fame.''

UNI

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