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Ganguly no different: Chappell

At Lahore, the India coach played with a straight bat on the Ganguly issue.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2006 00:02 IST

Indian Coach Greg Chappell on Fridayasserted that he does not have any difference with deposed Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.

Addressing the media during the Indian team's first press conference at Lahore, Chappell played with a straight bat on the Ganguly issue.

"I don't have any differences with Sourav," said Chappell.

"He understands, and I understand, what is expected of all the players in the group. The commitment to excellence still stands. The players understand what is expected of them and Sourav is no different," he explained.

Asked whether Ganguly will get a look-in in the playing eleven for the first Test match starting here January 13, Chappell said, "Ganguly is a part of the touring squad and we will decide on the best playing eleven for the first Test after watching their performance in the warm up games."

The Indian coach also made light work of the seaming pitches and the cold weather conditions here saying that his team was well-prepared to tackle any adversity.

"India is well-equipped for whatever conditions we come across in the series. We have got good seam bowlers, we have got a good spin bowlers, and we have a fairly-balanced attack. Again, I don't have any concerns for what sort of pitches are prepared for the Test matches because we will be able to cope up with whatever comes our way."

Chappell, however, agreed that the poor form of the Indian openers was a concern and that it needed to be sorted out at the earliest.

"We didn't get great starts in the last series and we can't rely on the middle order and the tail to do all the work. We will need good starts and that's what we have to look at."

"We will discuss the composition of the side and will pick the best players suited for the job. The good openers and good starts will be important for us in the series," he said.

Talking about the customary India versus Pakistan clashes, Chappell agreed that, in terms of sheer number of fans following the India-Pakistan series, it was way ahead of the Ashes rivalry between England and Australia.

"India versus Pakistan is one of the great contests in world cricket. Through the history the Ashes series has been one of a kind but probably now India-Pakistan series has taken over. The number of people who follow this series around the world will far outnumber anything that happens in cricket," he said.

Chappell also reckoned that handling the pressure of expectations would be key to the series.

"It's a great challenge for both teams. There will be a lot of external pressure applied to both teams and it will be the team that handles all the expectations and plays the best cricket that will win.

First Published: Jan 08, 2006 00:02 IST