Gavaskar's passes on batting tips to Ganguly

Published: Saturday, September 6, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore: Skipper Sourav Ganguly on Saturday said batting legend Sunil Gavaskar shared with him a few tips on footwork and technique and expressed hope that it would enable him to bat better.

"He (Gavaskar) showed me a few things on footwork and technique which he feels could make me a better player. I have been working on it. Obviously, it's going to take some time. It's not going to happen overnight. I hope I make use of it to play better", Ganguly said. Meanwhile, Ganguly hinted that Vice-Captain Rahul Dravid could keep wickets in the upcoming triangular One-day series involving New Zealand, Australia and India. Asked if Dravid is going to be "relieved" of his duty as wicket-keeper, he replied in negative". "He kept (wickets) in One-day cricket. We think we are pretty much in our mind in One-day games".

Asked if speedster Munaf Patel, rated highly by pace guru Dennis Lillee, appeared sharp at the nets, Ganguly said: "He looked sharp at the nets. (But) we have to watch him at the centre (in the middle) his temperament how he performs under pressure when being hit hard all these contribute to be a complete bowler". One needed to watch Munaf, who has never played in Ranji Trophy, on how he plays in One-day and five day games, he said.

To a question, Ganguly said the competition for the opener's slot would be between Wasim Jaffer, Gautam Gambhir and S S Das, (all of whom) who had a great India "A" tour in England. But he hastened to add that "we are also looking at others (for the opener's slot)". "Middle-order slot is tight", he said in response to another question. On opener Sadagopan Ramesh being left out of the list of Indian cricket team probables, Ganguly said personally he would like to see the batsman back in contention.

"I am sure he will get his opportunity and we hope it's not too long". "I think he (Ramesh) is a good player. He has got a decent record as an opener. Somehow, he was not selected for the India A team that toured West Indies and England. I was not part of the selection process", he said. Ramesh has done well for India, Ganguly said, adding, he and Coach John Wright have spoken to him and his fitness level has also improved.

Asked about V S Thilak Naidu, a contender for wicket-keeper's slot, Ganguly said he does not judge anybody at the nets. Performance at the nets and in the middle are a different ball game altogether, he commented. Ganguly said the fact that Naidu has scored some 900 runs last year showed that he has some calibre, adding, Dravid has also spoken very high of the Karnataka wicket-keeper. "We have to see how he plays in the Challenger series".

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