~~I~~ve 9000 under my belt, I don~~t have to prove a thing~~

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2003, 18:49 [IST]
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Saurav raises his arm after his 3rd WC ton Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Tuesday that the players have done the country proud by reaching the World Cup final in South Africa where they lost to Australia by 125 runs. Dalmiya told reporters in a joint press conference along with skipper Saurav Ganguly, after the team's arrival from Johannesburg, that the team performed exceptionally well and that he was more than satisfied with the way they played. "The team played like a unit and won most of its matches convincingly. Unfortunately the Indians had a bad day against the world champions Aussies in the final but I would like to give full credit to Ganguly for handling the team well and to the team members for showing fighting spirit till the end," Dalmiya added. Ganguly insisted that he would stand by the decision to put the opposition in to bat first. "There was dampness on the pitch and I knew there was something for the seam bowlers. However, we had one off day which shattered our dreams of winning the Cup," he said. "Now we will have to leave the disappointment behind and concentrate on the triangular series in Bangladesh from April 10 as there is always a next time to win the Cup", the stylish southpaw added. When queried whether he missed the services of a fifth bowler, especially in the final, Ganguly replied in the negative. "I don't think we missed the fifth bowler as the most economical bowler in the final was Dinesh Mongia, who was used as the fifth bowler. In fact, throughout the tournament our part time bowlers kept the check on the run rate which was good enough", Ganguly added. When asked what he felt about his own batting form which came good after a long time, Ganguly said, "I have scored 9,000 plus runs in the One-dayers and I don't have to keep proving about my batting every now and then." To a question whether Javagal Srinath, who came out of retirement due to Ganguly's request, would continue to serve the country in the One-dayers, Ganguly said, "I think it should be his decision. It is his career and his life and let him decide about it. As far as I am concerned I wanted him to play in the World Cup as I knew he could contribute with his experience and he did not let me down." Meanwhile, Dalmiya, who insisted that the Indian players have had a hectic schedule from the past 18 months or so, said the Board had committed itself for the Dhaka tri- series, with South Africa as the third team apart from India and Bangladesh, but the players would get a three-month rest soon after the tri-series. PTI

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