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Ganguly admits his team got a fright

The Indian captain admitted Zimbabwe's late charge had given his side a fright and said the rain helped the opposition get "close".

india Updated: Jan 21, 2004 12:01 IST

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday admitted that Zimbabwe's late charge had given his side a fright in the tri-series cricket match and said the weather played a big part in allowing the opposition to get "very close".

"I didn't expect it to be this close when they were hundred for four after 30 overs," said Ganguly after his side squeezed out a 24-run win over the African minnows under lights at the Gabba.

"After the rain the ball became very wet and runs were coming easily in the last 12 overs. They were able to get eight or nine runs per over because the bowlers were not able to hit the length and spinners were not able to grip the ball.

"The weather did affect and somehow they got very close."

Ganguly was not harsh on his fielders as they struggled to stop the Zimbabweans from running twos whenever they hit in the outfield.

"It's a big ground and even when we were batting, we were getting a lot of twos hitting in the deep.

"I admit they (fielders) have to get to the ball quicker but then they are all young boys - Pathan, Balaji and Rohan - and they would learn."

Ganguly still made a mention of the good catching and strong throwing arms of his fielders, putting it down to good preparation they had before coming on to the tour.

"We had a good camp in Bangalore. We told ourselves if we wanted to be successful in Australia we needed good throwing arms. We were aware if we drop important catches against a good side (like Australia), we might struggle," Ganguly said.

"So far (catching and throwing) in the Test and one-day series has been outstanding."

Ganguly said it was more or less decided Australia and India would be contesting the finals but he did not want to drop the guard against the world champions in the remaining two league games against them.

"We have had two close games in Melbourne and Brisbane against Australia. When two good sides play, it happens. It always boil down to 95-96 overs of equal exchanges before three or four overs decide the games.

"It has happened in the first two games and we expect it to happen for the rest of the tour.

"I guess we know who are going to be the finalists. But it is important how we play against them before the finals. We are looking at next two games at Sydney and Perth as critical."

India have four league games remaining with two scheduled against Australia at Sydney (January 22) and Perth (February 1).

First Published: Jan 20, 2004 20:05 IST