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Wins in first two matches crucial for India: Ganguly

Published: Saturday, February 1, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Kolkata: Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly has said that his team needed to carve out emphatic victories in the first two World Cup matches in South Africa to pep up its stock after the dismal showing in New Zealand. ''A lot depends on what we do in the first two matches, we have to win both. If we can manage to do so the tempo will change,'' Ganguly said in an interview to the television Sports Magazine programme.

The interview was taken shortly before the Indian team left for the World Cup. India begins its World Cup campaign against Minnows Holland on February 12 before bumping into title holders Australia on February 15. Disagreeing with a comment that his team, touted as one of the favourites for the Cup earlier, was now only a dark horse after the humiliating defeat to New Zealand in both the Tests and One-dayers recently, Ganguly said that New Zealand tour has woken his team up.

''We have to improve our performance particularly batting.'' The Indian skipper once again brushed aside a query on whether the New Zealand drubbing would adversely affect his team's World Cup prospects. ''In One-dayers any team can win on a given day if it plays well. I feel the past has no meaning. A side which exhibit a wonderful run earlier, can suddenly fail in this version of the game and vice-versa,'' Ganguly said in the four-part interview to be telecast on the private TV channel Akash Bangla starting on Saturday. PTI

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