England tour of India - Cricket: Ganguly refuses to accept blame for defeat
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Refusing to accept that it was his dismissal, which sparked a middle-order collapse and saw India narrowly lose the fifth One-day match on Thursday, skipper Saurav Ganguly said his team could have won the match even after he was out."There were six wickets and about 60 runs to get but we lost four wickets in the space of about 20 runs and that turned the game in England's favour," Ganguly told reporters.He also denied that he played an irresponsible shot and threw away his wicket. "I wanted to play straight but the bat turned in my hand as I went for the shot," Ganguly said. "I was unhappy with the way I got out," said Ganguly who also defended his decision to put England in to bat after winning the toss."The sole consideration (in making that decision) was that in north Indian centres, it is cold and damp in the morning. I thought the conditions would help the bowlers."We did a good job in restricting them to 270-odd since it was a fast outfield and a very good batting track," Ganguly said while dismissing that chasing a total put a greater pressure on the team."One-day cricket is all about pressure. There is pressure in every game irrespective of whether you bat first or second. And this is what pressure does to you. We were 210 for three at one stage and then we lost the game by two runs," he said.The skipper was all praise for Ajit Agarkar and newcomer Mohammad Kaif. "Kaif played very well. He was playing only his first One-day knock and I think he did well. He will get better for experience. Agarkar is also a very good One-day cricketer."Asked whether he missed the services of spinner Harbhajan Singh, Ganguly said, "Its not about missing someone at all. Sarandeep Singh bowled well. He has been performing very well in domestic cricket and he deserved to be given a chance. You do not become a champion after just one game."These are the best players we have right now and we have to stick with them till the World Cup." On Giles' performance, the skipper simply said, "He won the game for England." Ganguly had thrashed Giles for three sixes before he spun the game in favour of England. PTI