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Loss will not affect morale: Sourav

Captain Sourav Ganguly was sure India's five-wicket defeat to South Africa will not affect the morale of his team for the final.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2003 11:45 IST

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly was sure his team's five-wicket defeat to South Africaon Fridaywill not affect the morale of his young side when it takes the field against the same opposition in the final on Sunday.

"I don't think it will affect our morale. We did not play very well today. We lacked a bit of experience but I am sure the boys will tighten for the final," Ganguly said after India crashed to its first defeat in the TVS Cup one-day tournament.

Ganguly said what mattered most was how his team played on the day of the final and was confident that his teammates would go into the important clash in a positive frame of mind.

"I don't think one defeat should affect us. It is how you play on that particular day which matters," he said.

"Our batting did not come good today. That made quite a difference," he said.

Asked whether the team missed the services of Yuvraj Singh and paceman Zaheer Khan, who were not fit enough to take the field today, Ganguly said it did make a difference in the end.

"Our batting was a bit brittle. But it also gave other people a chance to prove themselves," he said.

South African captain Graeme Smith said the victory against India will give his young team a lot of confidence ahead of the final.


"It was a good victory. We are slowly getting things right. But there is a lot of hard work to be done. We are on the right track now," Smith, the youngest player to lead South Africa, said.

"We had some good partnerships and our bowlers also put up an improved performance. It showed that we have adapted to the conditions. We are now looking forward to the final," he said.

"We have to keep this winning habit. The more we play, the younger members in the team will get experience and it will help the team," he said.

Asked whether the South Africans had the advantage before the final by winning this match, Smith said "The Indians are still the in-form team going into the final. We have imroved a lot since the first match and it should be an interesting contest."

Man-of-the match Neil McKenzie, who kept his cool to score a responsible 84, said it was a difficult track to bat on as the ball often tended to skid through.

"You had to be careful because some of the balls tended to skid through. But I am glad to have played this knock which give me a lot of confidence."

First Published: Apr 18, 2003 22:50 IST