Dhaka series a good challenge: Ganguly
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Dhaka series a good challenge: Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly said the triangular series in Bangladesh would be "a good challenge" for his young wards considering the strength of main rivals South Africa.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2003 11:42 IST

Indian skipper Sourav Gangulyon Wednesdaysaid the triangular series in Bangladesh would be "a good challenge" for his young wards considering the strength of main rivals South Africa.

Ganguly also said the team would miss the services of physio Andrew Leipus during the triseries starting in Dhaka on Friday.

"We will miss Leipus. It will be hot there so we needed a physio," Ganguly said.

Leipus, who was slated to accompany the team, was forced to change his plan after his wife met with an accident in Johannesburg. Physical Trainer Adrian Le Roux will double up as the physio.

Ganguly, who was speaking to newspersons minutes before emplaning for Dhaka, said the triangular tournament would offer a lot of opportunities to youngsters which both India and South Africa have in plenty.

"Both India and South Africa have a lot of youngsters and the tournament would be good challenge," he said.

The 15-member Indian squad, sans several big names, fields new faces in Avishkar Salvi, Gautam Gambhir, Abhijit Kale and Amit Mishra while offie Sarandeep Singh has got a national recall after a fairly long gap.

Ganguly said despite all the matches of the tournament being day-night affairs, heat and humidity would be crucial factors. "But that will not affect us that much as we are used to such conditions," he said.

Asked about his back problem, the skipper said he was struggling with it. "But, somehow it is okay with me".

Ganguly had initially expressed the desire to skip the tournament to recuperate from the back problem, but changed his decision following a request from Cricket Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

The stylish left-hander, who will be accompanied by wife Dona and one-and-a-half year old daughter Sana in Bangladesh, said the batting order of the team was yet to be finalised.

While vice-captain Virender Sehwag would open the innings, his partner was yet to be decided.

"Let us see how it goes. Sehwag's opening partner would depend on conditions there," he said when asked whether he himself would open the innings.

Ganguly said he did not think the mantle of vice-captaincy would put additional pressure on Sehwag, a free wheeling stroke maker. "Sehwag should play the way he plays".

On whether players like Yuvraj Singh would have to take some additional burden with a number of seniors opting out, he said "why only Yuvraj? All of us will have to shoulder the responsibility".

The Indian team left onboard a Bangladesh Biman flight from the NSC Bose international airport at 11.00 a.m. Asked about newcomers like pacer Salvi and Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir, the skipper said he had neither seen nor spoken to them as yet.

"I read about Salvi's exploit with the leather in West Indies. That impressed me and I wanted him in the team," he said.

The 21-year-old Mumbai speedster figured in the India 'A' side during the recent tour to the Caribbeans and finished as the highest Indian wicket taker with 31 scalps.

Commenting on the composition of the new-look Indian side, team manager Goutam Dasgupta said "it is a good blend of youth and experience and should do well. Alongside the youngsters, we have a number of players who did duty in the recent World Cup".

"I am hopeful that we will win the tournament," said Dasgupta, who was manager of the national squad that toured West Indies last year.

Dasgupta said the newcomers like Salvi, Gambhir and Abhijit Kale "have been rewarded for their superb display in the West Indies".

First Published: Apr 09, 2003 14:06 IST