Ganguly plays opening slot with soft hands

Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi :Indian captain Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday sought to play down the raging debate on India's opening combination, saying there was no controversy and the matter would be sorted out before the Test series against Australia gets underway.

Ganguly, who had anointed the aggressive Yuvraj Singh as the new Test opener during the fitness camp in Bangalore recently, said a decision will be taken keeping the team's interest in mind.

"There is no controversy (about the opening combination). Even if it is there, it will be sorted out," he said after being conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award by the President A P J Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Ganguly, the country's most successful Test captain, said it was a great honour to receive the award.

"It is a great honour to receive this award. I am extremely happy about it," he said.

Asked whether the award would put additional pressure on him now, the stylish left-hander said, "The pressure of performance will always be there for any sportsperson".

Vice-captain Rahul Dravid, who also received the Padma Shri, said, "it is a great honour for me to receive this prestigious award".

Athletes K M Beenamol and Anju Bobby George and Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey were the other sportspersons to receive the Padma Shri award.

Anju and Tirkey, however, could not make it to the ceremony because of their overseas assignments. Tirkey is taking part in the four-nation tournament in Amsterdam while Anju is in Zagreb for an athletic meet.

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