England tour of India - Cricket: Fit and fiery Ganguly ready for one-day challenge
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Kanpur: As he returns to lead India in the fourth One-day International against England on Monday, Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly on Sunday made it clear he doesn't like to be described as being out-of-form in the shorter version of the game at least."I haven't failed in the One-dayers," he said as the Indian team went into the practice session this afternoon. "I have been doing fairly well." Ganguly has been averaging around 44 in the One-dayers after taking over captaincy in 1999 even while his performance has dipped sharply in the Test matches.And he was hoping he would be able to put up a performance similar to the one he did the last time he played at this ground. "I had scored 70-plus and taken five wickets" in that match against Zimbabwe," he said. He did not forget to mention he was suspended after that match for showing dissent to the umpire. "I do not want that," he said. Ganguly, who had to miss the third One-dayer in Chennai due to a hamstring injury, also put to rest any doubts over his fitness and asserted that he would play Monday's game."I am fit and I am playing tomorrow," He also indicated that Mohamad Kaif would make his One-day debut on Monday. "After all, he has replaced V V S Laxman in the team and Laxman was one of the forces behind the team. Kaif has a very bright chance of playing on Monday." Ganguly was also sure that Laxman would be back in the side very soon. "It is very sad Laxman had to be dropped. He is a class player. He will be back, I am sure," he said. The captain ruled out any major changes in the team apart from the inclusion of Kaif but hinted that there could be some shuffling in the batting order now that Laxman was absent."Virender Sehwag played quite well in Chennai as an opener. But I think we will stick to our usual opening combination of Sachin Tendulkar and myself. Sehwag (who is batting at number five in this series) might be asked to come slightly up the order," he said.England coach Duncan Fletcher effectively ruled out the return of experienced batsman Graham Thorpe or fast bowler Andrew Caddick while expressing his satisfaction with the options available to him."Its a very pleasant situation to be in (as a coach). After a long time England has a number of options and we have guys on stand-by," Fletcher said. "We will have to see what can be done about Thorpe. We have two batters who are doing quite well and I don't see who can be dropped unless someone tires out or his form drops a bit," he said, adding that a similar case applied to Caddick. "What can we do? Drop Mathew Hoggard when he is doing so well?" he asked. "We had to make a decision (at the start of the series) between Caddick who is very experienced but hasn't played much international cricket in recent times and Hoggard who had been playing a lot of One-day matches. Now that Hoggard is bowling beautifully, well...," he said. PTI