Kirmani says India lacked a proper game plan

Published: Tuesday, August 3, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Chairman of the selection committee Syed Kirmani believes lack of application and a proper game plan led to India's loss in the finals of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Kirmani said in Bangalore on Tuesday that Rahul Dravid or V V S Laxmanshould have come at number three instead of skipper Sourav Ganguly, who seemed to be doing experimentation. He made a veiled criticism of Ganguly, pointing to "spur of the moment decision to change the batting order".

"The players did not believe in their capability and lacked application. They did not play to their potential," he said.

Kirmani said 229 was a reachable target but after the early dismissal of Virender Sehwag, the team instead of playing cautiously with a positive attitude, buckled under pressure.

Instead of settling down by taking singles and playing straight and their natural game, the players played across and paid the price. Tendulkar, who top-scored with 74, did not get "enough support". Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif virtually threw their wickets away.

It was disappointing that India could not break the "jinx". Out of the 13 finals in which they featured, they won only once, Kirmani pointed out.

But he gave full credit to Sri Lanka, saying the island nation players outplayed India in all departments of the game and deserved to win.

Kirmani also personally favoured naming 16-member squad, instead of 14 as per ICC ruling, saying the move would benefit teams in an era where players get injured frequently and also ensure that there is enough bench strength.

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