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Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- ~~India will not think about past in Pakistan~~

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Kolkata:The Indian cricket team will not carry any baggage from the past and start their tour of Pakistan with a clean slate, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly asserted.

"Past has no meaning. There are two new teams and two new sides," Ganguly told reporters when asked to comment on the fact that India did not have a good record in Pakistan and had yet to win a Test match in that country.

The Indian skipper said like in Australia, the results in Pakistan would depend on how much runs his team puts on the board.

"All 11 players have to contribute. It is how much runs you put on the board that will matter," he said while admitting the players needed to be a "bit more disciplined in all aspects of the game." "I hope we can keep up the good show of our last one and a half years," Ganguly said.

The Indian team, which will play five One-day Internationals and three Test matches on their first full-fledged tour of Pakistan in 15 years, is scheduled to leave for Lahore via a special Indian Airlines flight later in the day.

Asked how much the players would be affected by the unprecedented security mechanism, he said, "we will have to go there and assess the situation. We have not been to that country before except for a short three-week stay in 1997 for a One-day series.

"It is difficult to pass a statement right now as the tour has not started. Our concerns will always be there but we trust what has been told to us by the Governments. We will try and give our best and hope the best happens."

Ganguly said although the team always travelled as ambassadors of the country, "Pakistan would be a bit different. But we will try and keep our focus on the game."

The stylish left-handed batsman said the three-day camp in Kolkata had been good for the players. "We had been playing non-stop cricket for the last six months. The boys needed to get fresh before a big series."

On the inputs given by bowling consultant Kapil Dev, he said, "in three days one cannot effect any big changes. But yes, I thank him for all his advice to the young bowlers."

Coach John Wright said the tour posed a "unique challenge" and there was a real sense of excitement among the players. "The players know that it is a great opportunity for them as they have got a chance to achieve what they could not earlier.

"I think it is a real challenge for us to do well in Pakistan. The series has a great significance as it will improve the relationship of the two countries," he added.

"I personally feel that the team will do well in Pakistan as the boys have taken up the challenge well on previous tours. I am sure they will do the same in Pakistan as there is lot at stake," the former New Zealand skipper said.

"After their fine showing in the last series against Australia, I am hopeful of the team doing well in Pakistan as well," Wright said.

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