Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Sourav Ganguly defends Nehra~~s inclusion

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Rawalpindi:As the Pakistani media accused the Indian team of playing "mind games" over the fitness of pace bowler Ashish Nehra, skipper Sourav Ganguly made light of it saying he recovered overnight with the treatment he received.

"His ankle was swollen the day before the match so I was a bit surprised that he said that he would not play. But obviously with all the treatment, he recovered. His ankle responded well and he was able to play," Ganguly said.

"It was good for us because he bowled outstandingly. I did not know when Rahul made the announcement. I was not there.

On the eve of the second One-day International, vice-captain Rahul Dravid had ruled out Nehra's inclusion in the team due to a swollen ankle. "You also have to realise that some injuries may heal up or improve overnight. So it's not always possible to make the right statement at the right time."

The Pakistani media was very critical over the inclusion of Nehra in the playing eleven for the second One-day International on Tuesday and also alleged that India used Nehra's injury as an element of surprise against the host.

"Obviously, Nehra was in a position to play the second One-dayer and declaring him unfit a day earlier was just a stunt that aims at playing with the minds of opponents. Indian camp must have wanted to add an element of surprise as a tool to trap the opponents off guard," local daily, 'The News', said. "One wonders what kind of medicine Indian team has invented that saw Nehra getting fit in hours rather than days."

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