It is the ball, fool, not the bowler!

Published: Monday, April 12, 2004, 22:31 [IST]
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Rawalpindi: Unfazed by the battery of Pakistan fast bowlers his team will have to tackle in the series-deciding Test starting in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, captain Sourav Ganguly said it was the ball and not the bowler which mattered and that the result would depend on how well his batsmen play.

Ganguly, whose absence due to injury from the first two Tests denied him the opportunity to become the most successful Indian captain ever, said winning the decider was a "big motivation" for his side and the players were undeterred by the prospect of facing the fast bowling brigade of the hosts.

"It is the ball which matters, not the bowler. What matters is how well we play the ball which comes out of the hand, not the bowler," said the captain, who is tied on 14 wins along with former skipper Mohammed Azharuddin.

Ganguly said his team's fortune in the series-decider will depend on how well his batsmen performed.

"The result will depend on how well we bat. We didn't bat well in Lahore, so we have to play well. That is what we are looking to do."

A win in the third Test will give Ganguly's team its first-ever Test series triumph in this country and the first away from home in 11 years.

But Ganguly was not allowing history or records to play up on his mind saying, "we don't look at it in this way. The series is levelled 1-1 and we have to keep our focus and play good cricket to win. If we play good cricket, the records will take care of itself. It is important that we keep our cricketing focus."

The skipper felt the pitch at the Pindi ground was similar to the one in Lahore where his team lost the second Test by nine wickets.

"I cannot say whether it will last four or five days. There is a lot of green grass but the colour is slowly changing to brown because of the sun. I think it will be a wicket like we had in Lahore."

On whether he would like to bowl first if he won the toss, he said, "we will see how much moisture is there, it would be useful to bowl first if there is a lot of moisture.

But it all depends. I have never believed that winning the toss is everything. It is how both sides play over a period of five days."

The elegant left-hander said he had fully recovered from the lower back injury and was looking forward to the series-decider.

"I have fully recovered. I have been training for the last one week and have been feeling good. I have also done some bowling."

Green-top may witness a cat and mouse game

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