Todays win was only 80 per cent of our ability: Ganguly

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare: Though happy with his team's convincing win against Zimbabwe in a World Cup league match, skipper Saurav Ganguly on Wednesday felt India performed to only 80 per cent of its ability and there was scope for improvement. "It was good to see some of our batters come back to form but I still feel we performed only 80 per cent of our ability," Ganguly said as the team pulled off a 83- run victory against Zimbabwe to keep itself on course for a berth in the Super Six.

"Our performance was much better than in the last two games but the batters are still not at their best form," said a relieved Ganguly whose side was under tremendous pressure from fans back home to get its act together after dismal performances in the first two matches. "But we have shown signs of improvement." Ganguly said the total was at least 25-30 runs short of what his team should have achieved after Sachin Tendulkar (81) and Virender Sehwag (36) had given it a whirlwind start of 99 runs from 16-odd overs.

"We had a good start and then we struggled in the middle overs. The total (255) was a fighting total but I believe we were at least 30-runs short of what we should have achieved. "Still we won comfortably in the end. In that sense the total was enough." Ganguly said winning the game against Zimbabwe was very important for his team's chances for a Super Six berth but added that it was even more important to do well in the key games against England and Pakistan. "Winning is important. England didn't come to Zimbabwe so in that sense winning four points was important," Ganguly said.

"Qualifying for next round is important but it is vital that we qualify with some points. "The intensity of the team in the field was good and it made our total appear bigger than it was," he said, complimenting the fine fielding performance by his team. Man-of-the-match Sachin Tendulkar was happy with his effort and the fact his assurance to Indian fans back home on Tuesday came good on Wednesday. "We got together and pulled our socks in this game. We put up a disappointing show against Australia but it didn't mean we would do it in the following games as well," Tendulkar said.

Tendulkar made a breezy 81off 91 balls with ten fours before being clean bowled by a beautiful delivery from Grant Flower. "It was a good ball and turned a little bit. It also bounced more than I expected," Tendulkar said about the ball which got him out. "Indeed, it was the first ball which turned so big. Till then it wasn't turning. I just wanted to nudge it around for a single." Losing captain Heath Streak was disappointed with his team's batting performance while acknowledging the fine bowling by Indians. "Their medium-pacers bowled very well and didn't give us the width to score runs," said Streak.

"Our batsmen were always under pressure." Streak felt the difference in the match was the way his bowlers bowled in the first 15 overs and allowed India a good start. "I thought we bowled poorly in the first 15 overs and it helped them a great deal. Given the discipline with which we bowled later, I thought we could have restricted them to 25-30 runs less." Streak also commented on the form of Andy Flower which came as a surprise to most, as the left-hander has always done well against India. "He was not in good form and was trying his best to get the scoreboard going. His failure didn't help us either," he said.

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