Ganguly shrugs injury, certain of good outing

Published: Sunday, March 10, 2002, 1:50 [IST]
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Mohali: Shrugging off a minor injury to skipper Saurav Ganguly and the stunning loss in the opening game, India goes into the second One-dayer against Zimbabwe here on Sunday with "a positive mind", and is expected to retain the same side.Ganguly looked quite calm and composed as the Indian team went into the practice session on Saturday evening. But a minor injury on his right knee prevented him from taking full part in the nets. "It is not something serious. I have a blood clot in my right knee and it is swollen a bit.

But I should be playing tomorrow. It is much better today and I think it should be perfectly fine tomorrow," he said. The relative non-seriousness of the injury also enabled Ganguly to declare that he did not expect any change in the squad for Sunday's game.

"The final 11 is not yet decided. But I doubt whether there would be any change. We played well in Faridabad and there was nothing wrong with our performance," he said. Ganguly said the team was no more thinking about the shock defeat inflicted on them by Marillier's pyrotechnics. "We have got over it. We have four more matches to go and we can't keep thinking about it," he said. "It was truly amazing. Some of the shots he played... we couldn't have done anything about them. But you can't play such shots everyday. It is simply not possible."

The captain also ruled out any experimenting with the opener's slot. "Dinesh Mongia did well in Faridabad. He will open tomorrow with me," he said. In fact, in the absence of two of the star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, Mongia and Mohammed Kaif, who also came in for praise from the captain for his gutsy knock towards the end of the Indian innings in Faridabad, would have a major role in shaping India's fortunes on Sunday. "We can't keep harping about the absence of Tendulkar and Sehwag.

They are injured and there is nothing we can do about it. But those who are in the team have to play to their potential. Both Mongia and Kaif did well in Faridabad and I expect them to do well here too," he said. Left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan is likely to have another good day with the wicket expected to have a lot of bounce. Immediately after the two teams arrived for practice, Ganguly had a close look at the wicket. "It looks good. But I cannot commit on what we will do if we win the toss. We will have another look at the wicket tomorrow before deciding," he said.

Rival captain Stuart Carlisle however was sure, saying he would definitely like to bat first. "We are hoping to get a total of around 250 to 260 and then we will be in a position to be able to put pressure on India," he said. Carlisle also ruled out any major changes in the winning team but did hint at a minor shuffling in the batting order.

Though Marillier is strongly tipped to be promoted in the order, Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh said he would like to see him bat around the same number 10 position at which he came in Faridabad. Marillier is the centre of attraction here and expectations from him have soared high. But it also gives the Indians an opportunity of putting pressure on the young batsman.

The teams (from): India: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Rahul Dravid, V V S Laxman, Dinesh Mongia, Mohammed Kaif, Sanjay Bangar, Ajay Ratra (wicket-keeper), Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Shiv Sunder Das, Sharandeep Singh and Tinu Yohannan.

Zimbabwe: Stuart Carlisle (captain), Alistair Campbell, Douglas Marillier, Andy Flower, Travis Friend, Grant Flower, Heath Streak, Dion Ebrahim, Tatenda Taibu (wicket-keeper), Gary Brent, Craig Wishart, Pommy Mbwanga, Charles Coventry and Douglas Hondo.

Umpires: S K Tarapore and A Bhattacharjea.

Third Umpire: Pratap Kumar.

Match referee: John Reid.

Hours of play: 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm and 6:45 pm to end of play (all times in IST).

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