Spinners have been a problem
It?s an important game for both the teams. It?s virtually a semi-final as whoever wins will qualify for the final at Kolkata, writes Sourav Ganguly.india Updated: Nov 15, 2003 00:11 IST
It’s an important game for both the teams. It’s virtually a semi-final as whoever wins will qualify for the final at Kolkata.
It’s an important game from a personal point of view as I am desperate to play at my home ground.
Playing in front of a hundred thousand people is special and Kolkata has been a favourite hunting ground for India.
The Kiwis in Hyderabad will be without the services of Stephen Fleming.
It's always difficult for a side to play without the captain and I am sure the Kiwis will miss Fleming’s presence.
The last time we played New Zealand, it was a one-sided game.
Sachin and Rahul were involved in a record-breaking second-wicket partnership. They bettered the previous record at the World Cup by Rahul and myself, and to be involved in a similar performance won't do the team any harm tomorrow.
Both are in perfect touch and have become better players than what they were. The two are the most important members of the side.
Although India have won here a number of times, the track here at the Lal Bahadur Stadium is not conducive for one-day play always.
The simple reason being that this is a multi-purpose stadium and international cricket is the only form of cricket which happens here.
As a result the wicket varies every year, as it does not have enough games to settle down.
Our performance has been disappointing so far in the series. We did not bowl well in Bangalore and it needs a turnaround for us to win this crucial game.
Ashish Nehra, who has been the strike bowler in the past, had to be released for the Ranji match in Delhi as he has not had much cricket in the last six months due to injury.
And we need him to get into the rhythm for us to do well in Australia.
The spinners have also gone for a few in this tournament. They were always our strength in India and their lacklustre performance has created problems for us.
We need a disciplined effort tomorrow. The New Zealanders are a very good one-day side and it will be hard game.
There is a chance for Hemang Badani to play this game as he has been in good touch right through this season. Avishkar Salvi will get a break and there'll be a dilemma over the number of spinners to play.
First Published: Nov 15, 2003 00:11 IST