Ganguly declares himself fit for Ind-Pak ODI

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly today declared that he was fit to play the Platinum Jubilee One-day International match against Pakistan here on November 13, but a final decision about him would be taken by team physio Andrew Leipus.

"I am feeling ok but Andrew (Leipus) will have to judge," Ganguly told newsmen immediately after the Bengal-Karnataka four-day Ranji Trophy cricket match in which the Indian skipper played.

He also indicated that his fitness test may take place on Thursday when Leipus would arrive here and emphasised that after the Ranji outing he was ready for the important match on Saturday.

To a query whether he pushed himself for the Ranji match to prove his fitness, he said, "Yes, I did push myself into the match and I ran around a couple of times. I opted to play this match as I was injured for the last two weeks and was not sure of going into a high pressure match without some match practice".

Although Ganguly failed with the bat in both the innings of the match he expressed satisfaction at the match practice he got in the four-day tie after a long lay-off.

"I have got good match practice. It is good that I played this match ahead of the Pakistan match and the important series against South Africa," the Indian skipper said.

When asked to comment on his batting blues, Ganguly said, "If you consider the Ranji match you are right, but I was top scorer in the last two One-day series".

Ganguly, who had scores of 45, 5 and 9 in the three innings he played in the test series against Australia, had scores of 90 and 0 in the two Champions Trophy matches and 24, 7 and 90 in the three NatWest Trophy matches against England in September this year.

"My only failure with the bat was in Chennai," Ganguly said.

Asked about the chances against Pakistan the Indian skipper said, "In One-dayers it depends on how you play on a given day. I hope we play well in the Eden Gardens".

When reminded that India had lost to Pakistan at the Eden in the last match, he said, "It is all in the past".

He went on to say, "It is just like that we won against Pakistan in Pakistan, they have now won three back-to-back matches against us".

On a query whether he would prefer opening in the match against Pakistan, Ganguly said, "I have not decided yet, I have to speak to John Wright in this regard. But I have mostly opened in the One-dayers. It is only after Sehwag came and the way he plays that I went down to number three spot".

Ganguly, who could not play the last two Test matches against Australia due to injury, had surprised everybody with his last minute decision to play in the Ranji match.

He had been included in the Indian squad subject to his passing a fitness test which was originally scheduled to be held here today.

When the Indian skipper was asked whether senior players should regularly play domestic matches, he said that it should depend on their availability.

"I think whenever they (senior players) are available, they should play," he said.

Asked for his reaction on the comments of former Aussie skipper Mark Waugh that he was dependent on pitch, Ganguly said, "That is his opinion. When we went to Australia the series was tied at one-all and the Sydney pitch was supposed to turn, but it never happened. Wickets are always tailored to favour the home side".

The Indian skipper went on to add, "There are always two ways of looking at it depending on which side you are on".

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