Ganguly asks his team to stay focussed for final
"It is easy to get carried away by the pressure and atmosphere," Ganguly said on the eve of the first final against Australia.india Updated: Feb 05, 2004 15:44 IST
Indian cricket captain Sourav Gangulyon Thursdayexhorted each of his teammates to focus on the game at hand and think about how he could make a difference to the side with his performance.
"It is easy to get carried away by the pressure and atmosphere (of the finals). It is for each individual to focus on his game and talk to himself what he could do to make a difference," Ganguly said on the eve of the first tri-series final against Australia here.
The Indians carry bad memories from a couple of finals against Australia last year, losing in the summit clash of the World Cup in South Africa and then coming a cropper against the world champions in the triangular series finals in Kolkata before the present tour where they have already lost three of the four games to the hosts in the league round.
In the two finals last year, Indians did seem uptight and it showed when Zaheer Khan completely lost the plot at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and VVS Laxman dropped three catches in Kolkata.
But Ganguly was not dwelling on the past.
"Past does not matter. We didn't have a great record in Australia in the past but in due course of the summer, it took a special effort from us to change that. We have all improved over the last couple of months. If we can finish it off well, it would be a nice way to go back home," he said.
Ganguly admitted he held high hopes from his team.
"You never know when somebody stands up and delivers. I have always believed you are only one evening away from greatness in the game of cricket."
The Indian captain was dismissive of recent suggestions by Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie that the law of averages could catch up with the Indians.
"The point is when does the law of averages catch up. It has been four Tests and nine one-dayers for us so far on the tour. If it had to catch up, it would have caught up by now. By this very token, it could be the same for Australia. They have put on a lot of runs on the board. It could well be the same for them as well.
"But it doesn't work like that. It is how hungry and intense a team is on the field which would make the difference."
Gillespie had also mentioned that the Indians were lucky to have got away with some unorthodox strokeplay but Ganguly said they would not tamper with their styles.
"I don't think we are going to make any changes in our batting styles. It has served us well with whatever approach we have chosen to adopt in the middle. There is no need for us to meddle. Why fix a thing which is not broken!"
In fact, Ganguly was banking on his batsmen to make up for bowling glitches.
"We have played so well in the series and it is because we put a lot of runs on the board. That gave the chance to the bowlers to bowl their heart out and get away with a little bit of mistake here and there. Batting still remains the key."
First Published: Feb 05, 2004 13:24 IST