We are happy with match schedule: Ganguly

Published: Monday, November 10, 2003, 23:33 [IST]
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Bangalore: India's cricket captain Sourav Ganguly defended the scheduling of the ongoing Limited Overs series, saying day-night matches had their own disadvantages. "As far as India is concerned we are happy with the way the tournament is being scheduled," Ganguly told reporters on Monday. "In Australia we have played back-to- back games. India is a vast country and there is obviously a lot of traveling involved." New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming last week lashed out at the scheduling of the series, saying it favoured the hosts.

The tourists were critical that all matches between Australia and New Zealand had early morning starts, where seaming conditions favour the team bowling first, while India play only day-night games. Ganguly said it was for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide on the touring schedule and the time of play. "Even in day-night matches there are advantages and disadvantages," said the Indian captain who will play against Australia here on Wednesday after recovering from a thigh injury.

"In Cuttack where we lost to New Zealand, the ball was wet and it was difficult to bowl with a wet bowl towards the end." Australian captain Ricky Ponting, whose world champion side is assured of playing the November 18 day-night final at Calcutta after four wins in five games, agreed the early starts made it difficult for batsmen before the wickets dried out. Ganguly said he was looking forward to playing the remaining two league matches on Wednesday and against New Zealand at Hyderabad on Saturday.

"I have fully recovered and am fit to play. I cannot guarantee a good performance, but I will try my best. That New Zealand game at Hyderabad is like a semi-final, we have to win," Ganguly said, adding that vice-captain Rahul Dravid will continue to keep wickets. "Dravid has done a good job keeping wickets for the last one-and-half years. It gives us depth in batting and bowling."

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