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Australia not invincible: Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly said Australia were not invincible and contended that his team suffered as the 'excited Indian youngsters' probably could not handle the pressure.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2003 00:10 IST

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly tonight said World champions Australia were not invincible and contended that his team suffered as the 'excited Indian youngsters' probably could not handle the pressure and put in 'too much effort' in the final.

"The youngsters in my team handled the pressure well in the Super Six and the semi-final. But they probably got too much excited in the final and put in too much effort," Ganguly told mediapersons at his residence on his return here from South Africa via Mumbai.

The Indian skipper said the Indian pacers had bowled poorly and Australia benefitted greatly from the 37 extra runs.

Asked whether Australia were beatable, Ganguly said, "I think so."

"They are a very good side. But one should not forget that they had two close games also," he said.

Referring to India's defeat to the Aussies in the league stage at Centurion, Ganguly said India batted and bowled poorly there.

Ganguly also defended his decision to field first after winning the toss in the final saying, "we had a gameplan. But it did not work out as the match progressed."

Asked whether he intended to open the batting again in near future, Ganguly said, "Viru (Virender Sehwag) is playing well.
However, batting positions are always changeable. And who will come at number three or four depends on how we fare in future."

On whether he was satisfied with his own batting, Ganguly reminded the scribes that he had scored 465 runs including three hundreds.

"But for me, what is more important is that the team has played well," he added.

The Indian skipper also lavishly praised batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who was adjudged Man of the Tournament.

Expressing satisfaction with India's performance in the Cup, Ganguly said the team had won eight matches consecutively.

"We had lost just one game in the early part of the Cup but unfortunately there was too much of a reaction on that back home."

Asked if he now regretted more the loss in the final after receiving such a warm reception on returning home from South Africa, Ganguly said, "of course, it would have been great to win the Cup. But nobody regrets the defeat in the final more than the 15 members of the team."

Earlier, talking to scribes at the NSC Bose International Airport here, Ganguly said his team had achieved all its targets in the World Cup except for winning in the finals.

"It was a happy tournament for us. The only disappointment for us was that we did not win the finals... I think we played very well. We won nine out of 11 games."

Asked whether the Indian team planned to continue with sports pschologist Sandy Gordon, whose services definitely benefitted the team in South Africa, he said "let's see what happens."

To a question whether India needed a bowling coach, Ganguly said it was yet to be decided.

On India's preparations for the tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh next month, Ganguly said "there is still time left" and confirmed that he was available.

But he said there was some doubt over the Bangladesh event with one of the participating teams - South Africa - having refused to travel to United Arab Emirates for the Sharjah Cup because of the Iraq war.

South Africa were supposed to play the Dhaka meet after participating in the Sharjah Cup.

However, Ganguly said he was looking forward to some rest right now after playing continously for two years.

First Published: Mar 26, 2003 00:10 IST