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Kiwis in India - We are definitely the favourites: Ganguly

Published: Friday, October 3, 2003, 0:00 [IST]
 
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Kolkata: Displaying oodles of confidence ahead of the coming home duel against New Zealand, Indian cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly emphatically said that his side would be the favourites for the series. ''Yes, definitely,'' Ganguly said in reply to a query from sports commentator Harsh Bhogle at the shoot of the second episode of the ESPN 'Cricket Show'. ''If we don't win the series, I would think that we have seriously done ourselves something wrong. We will play at our best and try to win comprehensively,'' the Indian skipper said during the chat show shoot at a Durga puja pandala at a stone's throw from his house.

On the composition of the Indian team, Ganguly said that he was in favour of playing five bowlers, including two fast bowlers, two spinners and an all- rounder along with a keeper who can bat. "I've always been a guy who wants to have five bowlers in the side. A keeper who can bat and an all-rounder can give me the liberty to play five bowlers. At the end of the day, you need to take 20 wickets to win a Test match,'' Ganguly said in the programme. Ganguly also ruled out playing three spinners. ''If two of your frontline spinners cannot pick wickets, the third can't do much,'' he said according to an ESPN-STAR Sports release. Ganguly said that too much noise has been made about the contrasting pitches in India and New Zealand.

''In New Zealand (last year), the pitches were difficult and although we lost the series we did much better than the results show. We were in a good position in Hamilton, we batted and bowled well. So, I think we are making a big issue of the pitches,'' the Indian skipper said. Turning to the Indian wickets, he said that in Indian conditions, the pitches were always expected to turn. ''New Zealand knows and the whole world knows that it is going to turn. I feel it should be good wickets and should not spoil the game at the end of the day.''

''People come to watch the game and all of us need to perform. So, it should be a good cricketing wicket, and as usual in India, it will start turning from the third day onwards,'' he added. Ganguly, however, said that the Indian batsmen needed to play New Zealand seamer Darryl Tuffy well as he was a tough competitor. ''But he is not going to get that sort of wickets (as in New Zealand) anywhere in the world,'' he said. Former England legend Geoff Boycott and ex-Indian star Ravi Shastri also participated in the programme. PTI

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