India may go in with three speedsters
Having learnt a lesson from the hard-hitting Aussies, India may go into tri-series final with 3 pacemen.india Updated: Nov 17, 2003 23:13 IST
Having learnt their lessons from the Australian mauling in the first 15 overs, India hinted of going into the tri-series cricket final on Tuesday with three pacemen to plug the bowling loopholes.
India have twice conceded over 100 runs in the first 15 overs against the Australians, the last time in the tri-series match at Bangalore, and captain Sourav Ganguly does not want a repeat of that in the final at any cost.
"We have to bowl well in the first 15 overs. This is an area which is in our mind. We have not bowled well against the Aussies in the initial overs in the tournament so far," Ganguly said here today.
Although the Indians are yet to finalise their playing eleven, Ganguly gave enough indication that a third speedster may be included in the team for the first time in the tri-series. "There is a good chance of India including three pace bowlers in the playing eleven," he said.
The Indian skipper also brushed aside speculation over his fitness saying "there is not really any chance of me not playing the final".
Ganguly, who pulled his groin muscle during the November 15 game versus New Zealand at Hyderabad, said he was "improving every day" and was hoping to regain full fitness before the start of the match.
Ganguly also scotched reports in a section of the press that left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan was injured and the team management was considering flying in Irfan Pathan as a replacement. "Zaheer is fully fit," he said.
Ganguly said tomorrow's encounter was between the "two best one-day sides in the world" and should produce a "keen contest".
On the Eden wicket, Ganguly said the strip looked good for a one-day game but added he was not sure whether the track would turn as the game progresses. "The wicket looks well rolled and well prepared."
The Indian skipper also did not think that the game would be decided by the toss. "There is a lot of dew here at this time of the year. So whatever advantage the team batting first gets, will be nullified by the dew factor. I think the conditions are even for both sides."
Ganguly did not agree to the suggestion that India had failed to keep the momentum against the Aussies after winning at Gwalior. "One-day game is anybody's game. Whoever plays well on the day of the match wins. Australia batted well at Mumbai and Bangalore. In the last match we did get 290. In limited over games, there is not much chance of making a comeback once you fall behind at the start."