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Ganguly plays down pychological factor

PTI | ByAshish Shukla (PTI), Birmingham
Sep 18, 2004 09:43 PM IST

Sourav Ganguly does not believe the psychological advantage rests with Pak and termed the first 10 overs as key in the decisive clash on Sunday.

Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly does not believe the psychological advantage rests with Pakistan ahead of the decisive clash in the Champions Trophy on Sunday.

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"When we returned victorious from Pakistan and then went to Sri Lanka, we seemed to have the psychological advantage. But we all know it was Pakistan who won in Asia Cup," said Ganguly.

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"I don't count the Holland game because it was a 30-over bash, but the point is in one-day cricket things can change dramatically."

Pakistan have won two of their previous one-day outings against India, a comprehensive 59-run win in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka followed by the 66-run victory in Holland, prompting India's coach John Wright to remark on Friday that the arch-rivals would have an edge going into the match.

Ganguly of course does not think so and he termed the first 10 overs as key for either side in a match which will decide which team progresses to the semi-finals of this tournament.

"As an opener, you realise you need to get yourself in and must give yourself six or seven overs, you need to survive 10 overs to give your team a realistic chance," he said.

"One gets swing and seam and there is also something for spinners, it really depends from wicket to wicket."

He did not commit himself on the bowling combination he would field at the Edgbaston on Sunday, stating the wickets are under cover and till he saw it, he would not know if it was dry or wet.

"The wicket could be completely dry or it could be damp, only once you see it you can form an opinion on it."

Ganguly though committed himself on Rohan Gavaskar, saying the Bengal skipper would be preferred ahead of Dinesh Kaarthick.

He is hoping the two vital components of his batting line up -- Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh -- out of sorts in recent times, would regain their form before it is late.

"We would like to close this tournament on a high. Both Sehwag and Yuvraj are talented enough to turn a game quickly and we hope they hit the straps tomorrow."

Ganguly did not think the toss would play a critical role although his counterpart Inzamam-ul Haq said it could tilt a game 20 per cent either way who calls correctly.

"Toss has a vital role, I would say it could be a 20 per cent advantage to a team who wins it."

Inzamam took exception to Shahid Afridi being referred to as a part-time bowler. "It's a news to me, he has done enough in the last few games to get respect as a spinner."

Inzamam also sought to play down the hype which is usually associated with an India-Pakistan game.

"We are keen to beat India but our objective is far bigger. We want to claim the Champions Trophy."

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