Ganguly exhorts team to show character, remain focused

Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2003, 3:57 [IST]
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Harare: With his team having put up a dismal show in the World Cup so far and facing the wrath of the fans back home, Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly on Tuesday exhorted his players to remain focussed at the job ahead and show their 'strength of character'.

There is no reason for the heads to be down in the camp. No team in the World Cup has won without ups and downs. It's not going to happen in any World Cup," Ganguly said ahead of India's crucial game against Zimbabwe on Wednesday. "It s a long duration for the tournament. Things are going to happen in One-day cricket."

Ganguly said the team's strength of character would be on test as it sought to reverse the disappointing trend of losses over the last two months. "It s been not a good spell for the team. There are periods when teams go through such spells. This is a moment when the strength of character is judged," he said. Ganguly said the team deserved criticism but was determined to bring smiles back on the faces of its fans.

"We still have got four games and there are lot of opportunities to qualify for the Super Six. We are disappointed but will try our best to bring smile on the face of our supporters," Ganguly said. He asked his batsmen to cut out on aggressive shots in Wednesday's game and play according to the requirement of the situation. "Our batsmen were guilty of playing too many reckless shots. We have to get our act together. We have to understand the importance of this game.

"I had talks with the batsmen and stressed that proper mindset was important. But all seven batsmen have been match-winners, some less and some more, and they should be firing on Wednesday." Ganguly picked out left-handed batsman Andy Flower as the key man in the Zimbabwe team but said it would be wrong for his side to concentrate on just one player. "Flower is the key player for Zimbabwe but we are concentrating on the team as a whole."

He said India had a good record against Zimbabwe but the team needed to be in its top form to register a convincing victory on Wednesday. "The last time we came here we beat them. We played five and won five games against them. But then records are alright. We need to be at the top of our game to win on Wednesday."

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