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We must play to our full potential

Though satisfied with his team's performance on Sunday, Sourav Ganguly urged his boys to tighten up little things to their potential.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2003 01:23 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Though satisfied with his team's performance on Sunday, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly urged his boys to tighten up little things and do full justice to their potential.

The Indian captain said the team played very well to defeat South Africa by 153 runs, a margin that "surprised" him, but felt there were quite a few areas which needed improvement.

He is particularly livid at the manner in which his deputy Virender Sehwag gave away his wicket and and said a player of his potential should be doing much better.

"He played a very poor shot at that stage. He is definitely capable of doing better. I think he is not utilising his potentiall to the full. He should be getting bigger scores," Ganguly said.

Asked to comment on South African captain Graeme Smith's decision not to bowl Shaun Pollock till the 20th over, Ganguly said, "It's a new team and they may have wanted to try out new things. That is what I think".

He was not ready to dismiss the South African pace attack which put up a disappointing show today.

"It's too early to judge them on the basis of one performance. The conditions were tough for the bowlers. They have a young side and it will take some time for them to adjust," he said.

Ganguly said bowling under lights did favour his team on the slow track as the spinners obtained some turn. "It was a slow wicket and it did turn a little bit in the evening. But then, Harbhajan can turn the ball on most wickets."

Smith, leading his country for the first time, said his players made a number of mistakes and it was of utmost importance that they learn from those mistakes quickly.

"We have a young team and we are going through a transition phase. There is bound to be some mistakes. We have to learn and keep learning," he said.

Smith said his bowlers did not stick to the basics and conceded too many runs in the last ten overs.
"They did not bowl well. We had a lot of discussions on how to bowl but it just did not work out. They have to hit the right length."

The young skipper said his decision to hold back Pollock till the 20th over was a "tactical decision" but it backfired to a large extent.

"I thought holding back Pollock would be more useful. With his experience, he could have contained the runs and claim the wickets. I thought Charl Willoughby would be able to swing the ball if brought on early."

Smith refused to blame the hot and humid conditions for the defeat. "The conditions were difficult, but I can't blame the weather for the defeat. We just did not play well to win."

Man of the match Mohammad Kaif, who made an unbeaten 95, said he was waiting for this kind of a knock for quite a while and had no regrets about not being able to reach his century.

"I was looking for such an innings for quite some time. I am happy to have contributed for the team. Quite happy to do the job for the country," he said.

First Published: Apr 13, 2003 22:33 IST