WC 2003 - Depth in our batting stood out against Kenya: Wright
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Johannesburg: Indian coach John Wright must be delighted, and relieved, the team's left hand knows what its right hand is doing.The Indians left their supporters sweating in Cape Town on Friday night when, chasing Kenya's modest 225 for six, they lost Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Kaif quickly to make it 24 for three.With the top three right-handers gone, including the master himself, India was steered out of the woods by two southpaws, captain Saurav Ganguly and the ever-improving Yuvraj Singh.Of course Rahul Dravid, a right-hander, did his bit, making 32 in a fourth wicket stand of 84 with Ganguly, but victory was still miles away when the vice-captain gave leg spinner Collins Obuya a tame return catch.It was left to Ganguly and Yuvraj to seal the six-wicket win with an unbroken 118-run stand for the fifth wicket. Ganguly's 107 not out lifted him to a 21st century, second in the all-time list behind team-mate Tendulkar's tally of 34. He also became the only batsman in this World Cup to score two centuries, having made 112 against Namibia during the preliminary league.Yuvraj smashed his second successive half-century, his unbeaten 58 against Kenya as valuable as the 50 not out against Pakistan last Saturday. "The depth in our batting stood out against Kenya, but I would prefer not have such days," Indian coach Wright said. India, which plays Sri Lanka next at the Wanderers on Monday, showed there is more to it than Tendulkar's genius alone."Batting on this beautiful pitch in the afternoon was easy, but the ball moved around a bit in the evening," Ganguly said. "I thought my partnership with Dravid was a key to the outcome of the match."With 12 points in the bag, India needs a win over Sri Lanka or against New Zealand at Centurion next Friday, to ensure its place in the semi-finals.