Kiwis in India - 'India is the biggest hurdle in the sub-continent'

Published: Thursday, November 13, 2003, 21:39 [IST]
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Ganguly again iterated that there were one or two vacantslots in his team. ''So, its good that youngsters are pushingthrough''. Ganguly also expressed his satisfaction with theperformance of S Bahutule. ''He played a leading role forMumbai, and then did a good job in the Challenger, where hebowled well and contributed substantially with the bat''. But Ganguly admitted that India were yet to find asolution to the wicket keeping problems, though three stumpersTilak Naidu, Parthiv Patel and Ajay Ratra were seen in acitonduring the Challengers. ''Dravid has done a good job as wicketkeeper in the onedayers. Now, for the Tests we have to find someone who can bat well and also keep well as lot of balls will be travellingbehind the stumps,'' he said.

''To win a Test we must have five specialist bowlers. Ifwe have a wicket-keeper batsman, we can fit in a fifth bowlereasily,'' he added.

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Ganguly said the idea of choosing Sanjay Bangar andVirender Sehwag as openers for the Rest of India team was also to facilitate inclusion of a fifth bowler. ''Though a team like Australia can afford to play with four bowlers, we need to have more options. So, in order to create a room for a fifth bowler we either need an all-rounderor a wicketkeeper batsman,'' he said. ''If a first bowler knows that he has to bowl at least 15to 20 overs a day, he is going to hold some of his fire back.This is where an allrounder like Bangar can take the pressure off a bowler,'' Ganguly said.

On the injury to speedster Ashish Nehra, who is doubtful for the Test series against New Zealand, Ganguly said ''He hasbeen coming up well for the last five-six months. But he stillhas to fulfil his potential in Tests. However, his absence gives good opportunity to pacers like Salvi, Munaf Patel andAmit Bhandari to prove their mettle.''

He also expressed satisfaction for the side's preparationfor the coming battles. ''Our preparation now, compared to the past, has gone toa different level. A lot of the credit must go to (coach) John(Wright), (physio) Andrew Leipus and (physical trainer)Gregory (Allen King). ''The fitness and the bowling camps have made the tune upa different ball game. India will definitely benefit if thisis continued,'' he added. ''You play the way you prepare,'' the Indian skippersigned off. PTI

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