India well prepared to tackle pace: Ganguly

Published: Friday, April 5, 2002, 18:44 [IST]
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Georgetown: India skipper Saurav Ganguly said on Thursday his team was well equipped to deal with fast bowling in the upcoming Test series against the West Indies. "We've come here well prepared to win the Test series," said Ganguly, who joined the squad two days late as he had to attend to his ailing wife. West Indies captain Carl Hooper had earlier said his team would rely more on pace than spin to put pressure on the Indians, known for collapsing against fast bowling. "I know they are not going to give us spinner-friendly tracks. Why would they?" Ganguly asked.

"No team would like to give an advantage to the visiting side. I know we have to play on grassy and pacy pitches because West Indies is known to rely on its fast bowlers." Ganguly said his team had the best opportunity to win a Test series outside the sub- continent in 16 years if it plays up to its potential. "It's the best opportunity for us to win a Test series in the West Indies. They're a good side at home, but we are well-prepared too," said Ganguly, who is yet to lead India to an away Test series victory since taking over the captaincy from Sachin Tendulkar in 2000.

India, under his leadership, drew 1-1 in Zimbabwe and then lost in Sri Lanka and South Africa last year. "We'll have to be at our best," said Ganguly. "We've to take care of all aspects of the game if we've to win in the West Indies. "Our batting, bowling and fielding will have to be organised. We have to excel in all departments of the game to win the Test and One-day series on this tour." India, who play five Tests and as many One-day Internationals, open its two-month tour with a three-day game against a second-string Guyana Board President's team here on Friday.

The Indian captain said his squad would have to make the most of the only warm-up match before the first Test, starting at Bourda on April 11. "It can't be helped if Guyana is playing the Busta final," he said. "We've to get the maximum advantage of this game. We've to get used to the weather and playing conditions. The batsmen will have to spend as much time as possible in the middle." The Indian skipper, however, conceded the opening and wicket-keeping slots remained a big problem. "We'll play the best option possible," he said.

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