The Indian cricket team, which returned after a disappointing tour of South Africa early on Monday, got a mixed reception from the fans at the Mumbai airport.
Coach Greg Chappell was the first to come out of the arrival terminal and the huge media gathering instantly surrounded the Australian as his wife made her displeasure obvious. However, none of the players including captain Rahul Dravid spoke to mediapersons and tried to make a quiet exit.
Sourav Ganguly, who emerged as the highest run-getter in the Test series with 214 runs from three matches, was a hit among the fans as they clambered to get his autograph and pictures.
On reaching his hometown, Kolkata, later in the day, Ganguly said that playing in challenging conditions in South Africa would stand him in good stead in the ODIs.
He, however, did not want to jump the gun vis-a-vis his World Cup chances. “Obviously playing in conditions like South Africa or Australia always help you in your game. If I get an opportunity in one-day cricket, I think it will help,” said Ganguly.
Asked if he was going for the World Cup, the former Indian skipper said, "I don't know. It is still a long way."
Looking back at the Test series defeat in SA he said, the team had indeed lost their “best opportunity” (to win a Test series). “It is Ok but it was the best opportunity to win a series in South Africa which unfortunately we could not do in the last two days of the game,” the Bengal left-hander said.
Karnataka to rest Kumble
Karnataka have decided to rest Anil Kumble for their Super League Group A tie against Saurashtra, to be played in Rajkot from Wednesday.
“We have decided to rest Anil,” Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) secretary Brijesh Patel told the Hindustan Times. “Rahul (Dravid) will play in Rajkot.”
Meanwhile, both Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will play Delhi's Group A tie against Haryana, while wicketkeeper Dinesh Kaarthick will don the Tamil Nadu crest against Baroda, who have Irfan Pathan in their side.
The Group B tie between Hyderabad and Punjab will see all three cricketers who have returned from South Africa — VVS Laxman (Hyderabad), Harbhajan Singh and VRV Singh (both Punjab) — in action.