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Streak looks for positives in defeat

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak on Saturday said the performance of his team would go a long way in boosting the morale of his young players.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2004 18:48 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak on Saturday said the performance of his team, which came close to upsetting India in the tri-series match, would go a long way in boosting the morale of his young players in the long run.

Streak admitted the loss was a disappointing result for his team but praised the efforts of Stuart Carlisle and Sean Ervine who added a record 202 runs for the fourth wicket.

"To lose was obviously disappointing. We kept telling that we just needed a great partnership, and tonight we got out there and almost did it," Streak said after his team lost by a narrow three-run margin in a cliffhanger here.

"Carlisle and Ervine did a great job. We knew once the ball stopped swinging there would be lot of runs," he said.

"It is a big positive. We know that as long as we keep trying and keep fighting we can do it."

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said playing four matches in seven days was beginning to take a toll on his players who did well today to withstand the pressure of a tight match.

"It has been a tough week, and all the four matches have been keenly fought. It has been a hectic two months' cricket. The five-day break will be a welcome one," he said.

Ganguly praised the batting of Laxman and vice-captain Rahul Dravid who revived the Indian innings today when they were three wickets down for four at one stage. "When you have a score like 280-290, you win eight out of ten times.

"But Laxman and Dravid have been in superb form throughout this tour. Laxman's in particular was a tremendous performance, to score three hundreds after not being part of the one-day squad was fantastic," he said.

Man-of-the-match VVS Laxman, who made a career-best 131 besides taking two crucial catches, said the disappointment of his own poor catching in a triseries final at home late last year had spurred him on to do well as a fielder.

"I was disappointed with myself after the final which we lost (to Australia) in Kolkata. So it served as a motivation to improve my fielding," said Laxman.

"My philosophy had always been -- work hard and the results will come. I am happy that my catching came good today," he added.

Laxman dropped three simple catches in the final of a triangular series involving Australia and New Zealand at home in October last year. India suffered an agonising defeat that day as they faltered while chasing a modest Australian target of 225.

Today at the Adelaide, however, Laxman dominated the day with his third century in four matches besides taking a difficult skier in the final over.

The Hyderabadi said the experience of the 1999 tour of Australia also contributed to his present run-making form. "The 1999 tour helped me prepare well. I knew what to expect.

"Also, I have always enjoyed playing in Australia. Even in 1999, when I did not make many runs except for one century, I always felt good on these tracks where the ball comes on to the bat and one can play his shots," he said.

The stylish right-handed batsman reiterated that being dropped from the World Cup after being termed unfit for one-day cricket would "always be a disappointing phase of my career".

"It will always be there at the back of my mind, it did hurt a lot."

First Published: Jan 24, 2004 18:48 IST