I want to score runs: Ganguly

The charged up Indian skipper vowed to silence critics by plundering runs off his blade.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2005 13:43 IST

A charged up Indian captain Sourav Gangulyon Mondayleft for Mumbai to join his teammates en route to Zimbabwe, vowing to silence critics by plundering runs off his blade.

"I want to score runs and runs," Ganguly said a short while before reaching the NSC Bose International Airport.

Ganguly has been facing all-round criticism for repeatedly failing with the bat but he did show signs of returning to form during the recent County tryst with Glamorgan and the matches he played in the Sri Lanka tri-nation tourney.

Ganguly, who will once again lead the side after briefly relinquishing the post to Rahul Dravid, said it was always a "great feeling" to lead India.

"It is always a good feeling (to lead the side). Who doesn't want to captain India? But whoever may be leading the side, it's more important that the team puts up a good performance."

The Indian captain seemed in great spirits, having spent the day celebrating wife Dona's birthday.

"I don't want to go into it (zaheer's absence) becuase it was the selectors' decision. In Lanka I thought our bowlers did very well but the batters were not upto the mark.

"Zaheer has been in great form for Asia XI in South Africa. I don't want to say anything more."

On dashing opener Virender Sehwag's continued lean patch in ODIs, Ganguly said the highly talented player must be hungry for runs in one-dayers.

"He (Sehwag) is a very important player in both forms of the game. He has set high standards in Test matches and I'm sure he is looking forward to contribute more in ODIs also."

The skipper was happy with his own form since returning to international cricket.

"I was happy with my batting especially in Dambulla. I was well set and I played to a strategy. In the final after Sehwag's flying start we played according to the requirement and had a good stand," he said.

Ganguly said the absence of players including Sachin Tendulkar has given the youngsters a great chance.

"The new boys have an opportunity in the absence of players including that of injured Sachin. I hope they will do well and we will settle into a right combination in the runup to the next World Cup," he said.

"Definitely any team will miss a player of Sachin's calibre. But I was not following his progress since I was away in England," he added.

India's first match in the tri-series is against New Zealand on August 26. They will play a warm-up match on August 24.

The squad: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, Suresh Raina, Venugopal Rao, M S Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, R P Singh and J P Yadav.

Coach: Greg Chappell, Manager: Amithabh Choudhary, Physio: John Golster, Trainer: Gregory Allen King.

First Published: Aug 23, 2005 12:26 IST