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Time for Nehra to prove himself

Ganguly today said Nehra, who has not played a single match after the World Cup final, will have to prove himself for the Aussie tour.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2003 17:23 IST

Skipper Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra, who has not played a single match after the World Cup final, will have to prove himself to make the Australian tour.

"There is a possibility of Nehra playing tomorrow because he has not played much. We have a tour ahead and we can not take somebody who has comeback from injury for a big series like Australia without playing cricket," he told reporters here on the eve of the triangular series day-night encounter against Australia.

Taking over the reins after a gap of almost one month due to injury, Ganguly said the team morale was not down after two consecutive defeats.

"The morale looks okay. We know what we have to do to qualify for the final. We need to lift our game," he said.

"We need to play well in the rest of the tournament and get back into the winning habit. So every game is crucial."

Ganguly, who last played in the Mohali Test against New Zealand from October 16-20 before undergoing two minor surgeries to treat an abcess in his left thigh, said he was fully fit now.

"I'm fit now. There is no pain. I'm fit for the rest of the series," he said.

Looking ahead to the series Down Under, Ganguly said a lot has been made out of the gamesmanship between him and Australian Test skipper Steve Waugh during Australia's last visit.

"A lot was made out when they toured in 2001. Obviously, we play cricket the hard way. I have a lot of regard for Steve and I truly believe he is a role model for lot of cricketers.

"On the field we play hard. That series was a big one for him and a big one for me," he said.

"I have been captain for three years now and we mature as time goes on."

First Published: Nov 11, 2003 17:23 IST