Ganguly lies low ahead of second Test
The skipper declined to speak after practice at Harare on Monday, with coach Chappell suggesting that the captain did not want to be grilled by the press.india Updated: Sep 20, 2005 19:52 IST
SkipperSourav Ganguly was lying low ahead of his side's attempt to win their first match at their fifth attempt in Harare when they face Zimbabwe in the second Test starting Tuesday.
Ganguly declined to speak after practice at Harare Sports Club here Monday, with coach Greg Chappell suggesting that the captain did not "want to be grilled by them (Indian press)."
His absence represented a break from tradition when captains talk pre-match about their team, state of the wicket, recent form plus expectations of play.
Despite leading India to an innings and 90 run win over hapless Zimbabwe with a day to spare in the first Test at Bulawayo, Ganguly is facing the prospect of his working relationship with Chappell plummeting to crisis point.
Ganguly, who hit a much-needed century in that game, caused a sensation by revealing that he had been asked to stand down as skipper with many in the game in India believing that his deputy Rahul Dravid should take over.
It was reported that Chappell hinted that Ganguly's form as a batsman might be better served if the captaincy was surrendered.
Chappell vigorously denied that the suggestion was made by him, and the India management are due to issue a statement on the matter later Monday.
Meanwhile, the India team were working off steam on the field and in the nets, even under a hot sun, following their break at Victoria Falls.
They are clearly determined to beat Zimbabwe in the final match of their tour and by as big a margin as possible.
Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran, in his usually optimistic mood, believes that India will find it much harder than they did in Bulawayo.
Curran said the Bulawayo wicket was more suited to the Indians, being fairly similar to the ones they generally find at home.
"We also played too many loose shots, which we have now tried to rectify. And hopefully this time we can build some batting partnerships," he said.
If Zimbabwe lose by an innings it will be their sixth successive Test defeat on home soil by this margin in the last 15 months.
Tatenda Taibu (capt), Brendan Taylor, Terry Duffin, Hamilton Mazakadsa, Dion Ebrahim, Charles Coventry, Heath Streak, Andy Blignaut, Blessing Mahwire, Anthony Ireland, Prosper Utseya, Keith Dabengwa, Gavin Ewing, Sean Williams, Waddington Mwayednga.
Sourav Ganguly, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, VVS. Laxman, Dinesh Karthik, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh.
First Published: Sep 20, 2005 19:52 IST