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Ganguly confident ahead of 'semi-final'

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday put up a bold face ahead of the make-or-break TVS Cup triangular series match against New Zealand.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2003 19:16 IST

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday put up a bold face ahead of the make-or-break TVS Cup triangular series match against New Zealand, saying his team had enough firepower to beat the Kiwis despite the absence of star spinner Anil Kumble.

"I think we should win. We are looking forward to the match and will go out with a positive mind," Ganguly told reporters here.

Ganguly said his team were in no mood to take their rivals lightly despite his New Zealand counterpart Stephen Fleming pulling out of the match due to an abdominal strain.

"Fleming is a good player and they will surely miss him. We have no injury worries, but (Anil) will not be playing as he will be attending to ceremonies in connection with his father's death," he said.

The Indian skipper said his team will go into the crucial match with an "open mind" and tackle the situation accordingly.

Both India and New Zealand have an identical ten points from five outings and the hosts have no option but to win their last match tomorrow to make it to the final against Australia at the Eden Gardens on November 18.

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was also quite confident that India will make it to the final.

"I hope we do well tomorrow. We need to improve, I am confident that we can do that," Tendulkar said at a function before the Indian team's practice session.

Tendulkar said the defeat against Australia in the last match in Bangalore will not affect the team.

"We must learn to gear up to tackle bigger scores. It is just not bowling, the need is to make an overall improvement," Tendulkar said.

New Zealand coach Ashley Ross said his team had the capability to beat the hosts and make it to the final.

On Fleming's injury, Ross said: "It is a chronic injury and keeps creeping up at times".

Ross said the threat perception affecting the upcoming tour of Pakistan had not lowered the morale of the team which was eagerly looking forward to the contest.

The Kiwis coach said the tracks used during the triangular series have "appeared to change its behaviour very quickly" and his team had devised a strategy to counter that factor.

Ganguly, who had a close look of the track at the Lal Bahadur stadium, said "the wicket looks good and the little grass on it would not matter".
Both the teams will announce their playing eleven only on the morrow after having another look at the pitch.

First Published: Nov 14, 2003 18:49 IST