Ganguly warns of over-hyping World Cup prospect
Published: Sunday, October 6, 2002, 20:33 [IST]
Thatscricket Special: World Cup 2003
New Delhi: skipper Saurav Ganguly said on Sunday the country should treat next year's World Cup in South Africa as "just another tournament" in order to avoid pressure. "The World Cup is not life. It is, like the rest, just another tournament. It is too far-fetched to raise hopes too high and it is too early to start thinking about winning it (World Cup)," Ganguly said of cricket's biggest One-day event. Ganguly, 30, denied he was under pressure to win the World Cup despite leading his team to remarkable successes in recent One-day tournaments. "There is no pressure on me really. It is nice to lead a side that is doing well and winning, but that does not bring in additional pressure. The aim should be to do well in any tournament, be it a Test or One-day International series," he said in an interview with an English daily. The dashing left-handed batsman said the team's immediate priority was to perform well against the West Indies at home and then in New Zealand in December. The West Indies is currently in India for three Tests and seven One-day internationals, while India tours New Zealand in December to play two Tests and seven One-dayers. "Of course, we want to do well (in World Cup), but at this moment we must take things as they come," Ganguly, who has scored 4,022 runs in 62 Tests with nine centuries and 7,950 in 206 One-dayers with 19 hundreds, said. "First, there is a series against the West Indies and then we go to New Zealand. We will look at the World Cup when we get there." The Indian captain said bowlers would have to work harder and improve faster in order to enhance the team's chances of doing well in the World Cup. "Zaheer (Khan) has improved, but I do agree that our other medium-pacers need to work hard," he said. "We have been able to achieve pretty steep targets with the bat, but that may not always work. So, a consistently good bowling attack is without a doubt necessary. If the seamers can come good, we will have a very good attack." Ganguly welcomed Javagal Srinath's return to Test cricket, saying the veteran fast bowler was still good for both Tests and One-dayers. "At this moment, there is absolutely no scope of leaving either Srinath or (leg spinner Anil) Kumble out of the Test side. With their experience and skill, they are still good enough to play Tests and One-dayers," the Indian skipper said. "I don't think motivation should be problem for Srinath. He has a lot to contribute to Indian cricket and I think it will be a good move to have him back. He can still serve the game for a while."