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We can?t blame people for criticising us

Eden Gardens was another disappointment. After the loss of the World Cup final, this was a big occasion for us to level the score, writes Sourav Ganguly.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2003 23:25 IST

Eden Gardens was another disappointment. After the loss of the World Cup final at Wanderers, this was a big occasion for us to level the score here but we lost a game which we should have won with a little more application.

The boys were really heartbroken in the dressing room after the game but to be honest, it is time for us to do a bit of soul searching. The World Cup and the season of 2002-2003 are stories of the past and if we have to remain a good side, a team that wins consistently, we have to move forward.

Our performance in the recently concluded Test and one-day series has been below par. If people point fingers at us they will not be doing anything wrong. Our performance has definitely gone down and the situation requires for everyone to put up the hands and be counted.

Although Australia are the only side in the world we have not controlled in the recent past, this was one team which we should have beaten in the final at Eden Gardens.

The toss plays a vital role in the day-night games, but I think our bowlers did a fantastic job to restrict Australia to 235. It is not a big score in one-day games in modern times and with the amount of dew on the ground at night we should have achieved the total with ease.

The batsmen showed little application and that we did not manage to play 50 overs on a good batting strip just shows that we were losing mental battles in finals.

Our batters need to be more consistent and if we have to be a steady side they have to carry on and finish the game. Lot of them got set and threw it away. Our lower order also needs to pull up its socks in terms of building partnerships.

No often expects them to smash the ball around but they should at least be good enough to hang around and provide support to the batters.

We did a good job by playing five bowlers but it does weaken our batting and it was a day when we required a seventh batter the most. I was a firm believer that it makes a big difference in pressure games and we missed one dearly at Eden.

Although it was a disappointing series for us there were some positives to come out. Murali Kartik and Ajit Agarkar have stood out in this series. Kartik was unlucky to miss the tour to Australia but he has a bright future and will serve Indian cricket for a long time.

Hemang Badani also looked good with the bat in this series but all of us have to remember that if we want to be automatic choices in the team, we have to win games on our own. Otherwise, we will always remain borderline cases.

First Published: Nov 19, 2003 23:25 IST