We are confident of wrapping up series: Ganguly

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2002, 21:59 [IST]
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Chennai: India skipper Saurav Ganguly on Wednesday sounded a warning to the West Indies, saying his team was confident of wrapping up the three-match series with a win in the second Test. "We are pretty happy with the way we have been playing for the past six months and keen on maintaining the momentum," said Ganguly ahead of Thursday's match at the Chidambaram Stadium. India leads the series 1-0 following their victory by an innings and 112 runs in the opening Test at Mumbai last week. "We played extremely well at Mumbai and hope to do the same here. We know it's a do-or-die game for them and want to keep pressure on them," Ganguly said. He said it was too early to think of making a clean sweep, but promised his team would play positive cricket and try to win. Ganguly is just two victories short of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin's Indian record of 14 Test wins. "I think it's too early to think about a 3-0 result," said Ganguly. "Let us take one match at a time and try to win it. What matters is that we have to maintain a winning streak." India will again rely more on their spinners than seamers to catch the West Indian batsmen on the wrong-foot, for the newly-laid pitch here is similar to the one at Mumbai. "The track looks good, but I think it'll help spinners as the match progresses," said Ganguly. Indian slow bowlers struck it rich at Mumbai, with off spinner Harbhajan Singh grabbing eight wickets in the match and leg spinner Anil Kumble seven to script an emphatic win. The West Indies faces more or less the same conditions here - hot and humid weather and a slow turning track - but hope to put in a better batting performance this time. Skipper Carl Hooper told team mates to deliver in the crucial match in order to keep the series alive. "Nobody can take his place for granted," said Hooper. Poor batting was the main reason for the West Indies' first-ever innings defeat against India in 76 Tests as the tourists managed just 157 and 188 in the previous match. Barring left-handed Shivnaraine Chanderpaul who scored a solid 54 and an unbeaten 36, none of the batsmen could cope with the Indian spin duo on a turning track. "We're a young team and need time to settle down, but the players should share responsibility. They need to show they're maturing. They can't get away with poor performances," said Hooper. The West Indies captain conceded the spinners would again play a decisive role here, but said he was confident his team was capable of bouncing back. "We're confident of beating India," said Hooper. "We'll have to bat really well and I'm looking forward to a better performance this time. He (Chanderpaul) has shown it's not difficult to play Indian spinners." Hooper's West Indians have yet to show the patience required to succeed on slow tracks in the sub-continent, having already lost six Tests in a row. The West Indies were thrashed 2-0 by Pakistan at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and 3-0 in Sri Lanka last year before losing the last Test against India. The teams: India (from): Saurav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sanjay Bangar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkat Sai Laxman, Parthiv Patel, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, Shiv Das, Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra. West Indies (from): Carl Hooper (captain), Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Darren Ganga, Ryan Hinds, Ridley Jacobs, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Pedro Collins, Mervyn Dillon, Cameron Cuffy, Jermaine Lawson, Marlon Samuels, Gareth Breese and Darren Powell. Umpires: David Shepherd (England) and Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka). TV umpire: K Hariharan (India). Match referee: Mike Proctor (South Africa)

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