Ganguly rules out changes in 2nd Test batting order

Published: Monday, December 16, 2002, 21:02 [IST]
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Wellington: Despite the failure of Indian batsmen in the first Test against New Zealand last week, which the visitors lost by 10 wickets, captain Saurav Ganguly on Monday ruled out any changes in the batting line-up for the final match of the series starting at Hamilton on Thursday.

"You cannot pick or drop players on the basis of just one innings. They have been successful with their style. It is just a matter of one game," Ganguly said after his side had a rigorous session at Basin Reserve on Monday. The Indians suffered a collective failure in both the innings of the first Test here but the deficiency of opener Virender Sehwag and middle-order- batsman V V S Laxman against moving deliveries led to speculation that they could yield their places to two reserve batsmen in the squad, Shiv Sunder Das and Mohammad Kaif. "It is a matter of who gets picked up, one who is averaging 34 or one who is counting 48 plus in Tests," said Ganguly in an obvious reference to the batting records of Das and Sehwag respectively. The Indian captain backed his batsmen but asked them not to be complacent if India was to draw the two-Test series 1-1 at Hamilton. "There is no panic about the batting yet but they can't sit on the past and it's time they did well at Hamilton. "These guys have put us in winning position in the past. They put the team in a hole in this Test and it is up to them to pull us one in the next game. Their bowlers bowled in right areas but the fact is we batted very, very poorly. We played poor shots. "These guys are averaging 40 to 45 in Test cricket which I think is great at this level over a certain period of time," the Indian captain said. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V V S Laxman and Ganguly himself are amongst the top 10 scorers in world cricket in the current calendar year. While Ganguly admitted that his batsmen were found wanting in the first Test, he backed his bowlers, who restricted New Zealand to 247 in the first innings. "At the end of the day our bowlers did a good job to get them out for 240. We were in a good position on the third day but we just threw it away with our batting," Ganguly said. On New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond, who was largely instrumental in the first Test win taking seven wickets in the match, Ganguly refused to believe he was exceptional. "He is sharpish but there are bowlers who bowl at that pace around the world," said Ganguly as he sought to dismiss his batsmen could be shell-shocked after their experience at Basin Reserve.

Double headache for India ahead of 2nd Test

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