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Ganguly upbeat about rest of one-day series

Beleaguered Indian captain Sourav Ganguly put a brave face on the sorry fate of his team on the eve of the fifth match on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2003 12:27 IST

Beleaguered Indian captain Sourav Ganguly put a brave face on the sorry fate of his team on the eve of the fifth match in Wellington on Wednesday.

"There's still a lot to play for," Ganguly said when he was asked by reporters how he could lift his side with the series already lost -- New Zealand lead the seven-match series 4-0.

"(There are) three matches still to go and we've got the World Cup ahead. We really want to get back into the winning streak which we've had over the last year and go to the World Cup in a confident mood."

Ganguly said he had confidence in his players, who had won more than they had lost over the past 12 months.

"Since they've done it in the past I don't see any reason why they can't now. We need to win before we leave this country and obviously get back to winning ways before we go to South Africa (for the World Cup)," he said.

The Indian skipper said they would not be experimenting to try and find a winning combination.

"We are going to play to our best strengths - the team that has won games," Ganguly said. "There are times when you lose and we've won a lot over the last 12 months."

Ganguly said it was the batsmen from both sides that needed to score some runs, saying both sets of bowlers had played a superb series.

He added that his batsmen, with him included after a poor series, had to get over the mental blocks caused by playing on the green tracks during the tests.

"We've been here before where we have scored a lot of runs, but we've had a pretty poor time this year," he said. "I think it's more for the minds to adjust and I don't see any reason why they can't."

Ganguly said Sachin Tendulkar would make a difference. Tendulkar is returning to the team after missing the first four matches of the series through injury.

"He's a great player and an important member of the side. His addition to the team will obviously strengthen the side. He'll do his job and at the end of the day it depends on the individuals."

Ganguly will open after coming in at number five in the last match "because my form was not the best".

He said it was imperative that India did not lose early wickets and bat 50 overs, which they have not done.

In the fourth match in Queenstown, makeshift opener Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag reached 38 before Sehwag was dismissed.

"With the wickets we have had we have to get to about 160 to 200, which I believe can be a winning total considering the fact that the New Zealand batters have not had many runs under their belt. That's going to be the key."

First Published: Jan 07, 2003 12:27 IST