Waugh stands firmly behind under-fire Ganguly

Published: Friday, May 13, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Cricketing legend Steve Waugh today said the Indians were close to the Australians talentwise, but needed to play more as a team to achieve success and a consistency level.

"They are a talented side, close to Auastralia. But they need to play more as a team, which Australians do," Waugh told newspersons on the sidelines of a function here.

Describing the slump in the performance of the Indian team as a temporary affair, Waugh expressed confidence that the Indians would return to their best soon.

"At times things just don't work out. But this is only a passing phase," he said.

Waugh felt that John Wright, who relinquished his post as India's coach three months back after a four and half year stint, had done a good job.

"I believe India will continue to improve at the hands of the right man."

Waugh stressed that he was not keen on taking up coaching now due to his business commitments. "I am at present not even in a position to accept short term coaching assignments, leave alone long term ones."

On the prolonged drought of runs from Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly's blade, Waugh said "I have lot of respect for him. I am sure he will come back to form."

Waugh felt the Indian selectors and Ganguly's team should back the beleaguered skipper strongly.

"Of course, you need to back your captain. But I also believe that the selectors will have to make their own decisions. No one's spot is guaranteed. I myself was suddenly dropped from the One-day side when I was playing fairly well. Such things can happen in any field. You have to take these in your stride," he said.

Waugh felt that the constant criticism and the mounting pressure should serve as a wake-up call for Ganguly. "It's a good wake up call for Sourav. He is under pressure. If he is the sort of player that I have known him for long, I am sure that he will rise to the occasion."

Waugh, who was accompained by high officials of Mcquire Bank, said he was looking at business opportunities in India.

One of the projects was setting up a Cricket City, on which Waugh has already had discussions with Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. He was scheduled to hold parleys with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee during the day, but the meeting would now take place tomorrow as Bhattacharjee was away from the capital.

Waugh would leave Kolkata tomorrow night and go to Delhi, where he has an appointment with Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit on Sunday.

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