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Ganguly must believe in his abilities: Wessels

The former South African captain feels Ganguly should practice hard in the intervening nine days before the start of the first Test.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 02:08 IST

Reinstated Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly has been asked to back himself against South African quicks by his coach - though in this case it is not Greg Chappell.

Kepler Wessels, coach of the Indian left-hander at Northamptonshire, has some well-meaning advice for his county protege, the foremost among them being the value of self-belief.

"Sourav must be prepared for some really, really hard go at him by the South African fast bowlers and it is his ability to hold his ground which would count the most," said Wessels who was instrumental in enrolling Ganguly in Northants this summer.

The former South African captain feels that a batsman can easily lose his bearing when confronted with incisive fast bowling and in these dire moments, only unshakeable belief will hold him in good stead.

Wessels wants Ganguly to practice as hard as he can in the intervening nine days before the start of the first Test, for he feels it could become an issue with the former Indian captain.

"When he came to England for the grind of county cricket, he took some time to get used to the conditions. He didn't adjust immediately so it could again be an issue with him in South Africa. The earlier he gets used to it the better for things could unroll quickly," said Wessels, always intense and nearly always precise.

Ganguly was an outright failure in county circuit and since then his form has been patchy at best. But he has the ability and the record - also in no small measure the willpower - to ride over the present storm.

Wessels, a left-hander like Ganguly during his playing days, said the former Indian skipper would be making a mistake if he goes to the crease with a pre-meditated plan.

"That would be a huge mistake. Sourav willhave to decide on his feet in the middle. He can't go with a set mindset that he would pull or hook short-pitched delivery. He would have to make instant decisions and be really decisive in his foot movement."

Before he left home, Ganguly had expressed confidence in his ability to handle South African quicks, stating that the attack he had faced on previous visits, comprising of bowlers such as Allan Donald, Lance Klusener and Brian McMillan, was far more lethal than the present one.

Wessels too said that the present South African attack pales in comparison to former quicks and is hence surprised how the Indian batsmen have come a cropper on the present tour.

"The attack previously was probably more vicious but Indian batsmen had then appeared in better control than the ones who are striding out in the middle on this tour," he said.