Ganguly hopes to square series by winning at Hamilton

Published: Saturday, December 14, 2002, 19:28 [IST]
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Wellington: Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly said on Saturday he still hoped to square the two-Test series against New Zealand despite his team's crushing defeat in the first match here.

"We've to do our best at Hamilton (venue for the second and last Test) and try to square the series," said Ganguly after his side's 10-wicket defeat on the third day of the opening Test at the Basin Reserve. "That's all what we can do now and I hope we bat much better than what we did in the first Test," he said. "Our batting in the second innings was much below par," Ganguly admitted. "We just did not bat well. We had fought back by getting them out for 247 and then we needed to score 250-300 in the second innings to have a contest, but we were all out for 121." Despite the humiliating performance reinforcing the theory that Indian batsman struggle overseas, especially on fast tracks, Ganguly maintained his team could perform outside of India. "Our batsmen have scored runs all over the world in different conditions," he said. "It was just one bad game, one bad Test for most of them. The important thing is to get the mindset right and try to bounce back into the next match. "There are bad days in cricket, but you have to think about the good ones and try to do better next time." Ganguly also denied that "too much cricket" was the main reason for his team's debacle. "We knew we had to play 16 Tests and 36 One-dayers this year," he said. "There's no purpose in giving an excuse of having played too much cricket. It can be hard touring, but that's the way life is. You get on with it." Indian coach John Wright echoed his captain's sentiments, saying he was looking forward to an improved performance from the batsmen in the second Test, which starts on December 19. "We've been beaten fair and square, but we still feel we have got a strong side. We certainly batted badly, but the batsmen have to turn things around," Wright said. Wright said India could have put pressure on New Zealand had it gained a lead of 150 to 160 runs on this wicket. "We had an opportunity to take 20 wickets here. If we had taken a lead of 150-160 we could have probably put pressure on them. Zaheer Khan bowled well, but we've got to find someone at the other end," he said.

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