WC 2003 - Ganguly believes that India can hold the Cup aloft

Published: Friday, March 21, 2003, 19:46 [IST]
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Saurav GangulyDurban: India captain Saurav Ganguly eased his country into its first World Cup final in 20 years on Thursday and confidently predicted that his team has what it takes to beat Australia in Sunday's showdown."It will be important not to lose early wickets and get a big total. We must stay focussed and we need to believe that we can win the final," he said.Ganguly, admitted he would probably play the same team against the Australians in the final at the Wanderers but he wouldn't hesitate to make changes if the conditions demanded it. "We will have a look at the wicket and see if it suits a particular bowler or batsman, but it would be a tough decision to leave anybody out."I told the team today that we were playing the two most important games of our careers - now there is just one. We need to fire in the final," added the skipper. "We need to have a good day's rest ahead of the final and then believe that we can win the cup."Explaining his decision to bat first on a damp and seaming wicket, Ganguly said he knew the Kingsmead wicket helped the bowlers in the night. "I knew it does a bit in the evening. So even though the wicket was a bit damp in the morning and conducive to seam bowling, I decided to take the challenge," he said. "Our fast bowlers bowled fantastically. They put the ball in the right places," Ganguly said praising the efforts of Javagal Srinath, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan who shared six wickets among them. Zaheer was the most successful claiming three wickets while Nehra took two. Srinath had to be content with one scalp. Ganguly conceded he was a bit worried about rain interfering the game and said once 25 overs had been bowled in the Kenyan innings he felt "relaxed". "Immediately after the 15 overs, I brought on the spinners to hurry through the 25 overs. Once 25 overs had been bowled, I felt relaxed."Kenyan captain Steve Tikolo felt satisfied with his team's incredible run in the tournament which saw it beat much higher ranked teams like Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe apart from Bangladesh. "The boys played pretty well throughout the tournament. Hopefully, from here on Kenya cricket goes upwards," he said.Tikolo, who top-scored for his side with a fighting 56, said though his team was the underdog all his teammates sincerely believed that they could beat India. "You never know. Anything could have happened. It's a game of cricket after all."Tikolo hoped that the success of his team would result in more cash inflow in Kenyan cricket and the general development of the game in his country. Agencies

India storms into WC final, Kenyas dream run ends

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