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Not fatigue, Sehwag's absence badly hurt India: Ganguly

cricket Updated: Jun 18, 2009 12:36 IST

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Former captain Sourav Ganguly has rejected coach Gary Kirsten's claim that fatigue was a reason behind India's early ouster from the Twenty20 World Cup and said Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men missed Virender Sehwag badly in the tournament.

While Kirsten had blamed an overdose of cricket and Indian Premier League as the cause for the World Cup fiasco, India skipper Dhoni continued to differ with his coach, saying the team's early exit has nothing to do with 'fatigue factor'.

Ganguly bluntly disagreed with Kirsten on the cause of the debacle and said for a young team like India, fatigue can't be an excuse.

"I don't agree with this because they are young boys. They are just 22, 23 years old and have just started their career. I know they have played a lot of cricket but not all of them.

"Probably people like Dhoni, Yuvraj (Singh), Harbhajan (Singh) and Zaheer (Khan) have because they are part of consistent Test team and have done a lot of traveling on the road," he said.

"This is the age to play, they are 25, 26. Even if you are fatigued, you have to find ways out to get yourself up and going," he added.

Ganguly felt Sehwag's absence made a major difference in realising the fortune of the team in the biennial event.

"Sehwag makes a major difference in the team. Rohit (Sharma) was opening the batting for the first time but he didn't do well in the last three matches.

"Sehwag, Sachin (Tendulkar), and Gambhir (Gautam) are key part of the Indian team in the shorter format of the game. With those two (Sehwag and Tendulkar) missing, obviously there was a bit of weakness," the former India skipper said.

Ganguly, however, refused to draw any adverse conclusion from the World Cup debacle and feels the real test for India is five-day game and One-day Internationals, not Twenty20.

"This things happen in sport. Just like any Indian supporter you feel bad, but this team has done well in the past one, one-and-a-half year. This tournament has been a bit of poor show but that happens in sport," Ganguly said.

"I think we should not be swayed too much up and down with it because the real Test for our cricketer is Tests and 50 over game. India has done well in Test in the recent past," he said.