India has potential to win World Cup: Ganguly

Published: Monday, January 27, 2003, 21:02 [IST]
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Kolkata: Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly on Monday said that his team had the potential to win the World Cup but for that the batsmen would have to come good. "My team has lots of potential, I am confident we will come out successful," Ganguly said here hours before leaving for Mumbai where the entire team would assemble prior to its departure for South Africa in the early hours of January 29.

Ganguly, who was speaking at a book release function at his residence, further said that India's group was tough but, "this is bound to happen at this level of game and everybody has to perform". "If a country cannot perform it cannot nurture the hope of winning the World Cup," he said. The skipper, who himself is going through a bad patch, said that the Indian batsmen would have to come good because World Cup was a different proposition. India is placed in pool 'B' along with Australia, England, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Holland. The Indian skipper also said that the entire team would have to mentally gear up for the mega event.

"We have to go all out." To a query whether there would be any change in the batting order of the team following dismal performance in the New Zealand tour, he said, "We will decide about the batting order only after studying the conditions in South Africa." There has been suggestions from certain quarters to change the batting order following poor batting performance in the just concluded New Zealand tour by bringing in Sachin Tendulkar as opener with Virendra Sehwag. Ganguly has been opening the innings with Sehwag in recent times.

Ganguly said to get a time of 12 days prior to the World Cup was enough for acclimatisation and "our batsmen have to utilise this time to adjust to the local conditions". When his attention was drawn to the criticism of the Indian team for its disastrous campaign in New Zealand, he said, "In the past also our team has played badly.

Highs and lows are part of the game." But he expressed hope that the World Cup was going to be a different affair because, "a team cannot fail to deliver every time". Ganguly, however, avoided a direct answer to the query about the strongest contender for the World Cup title saying, "there are a number of contenders".

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