Wright defends Ganguly

John Wright came out in defence of struggling Sourav Ganguly and said the return of Sachin Tendulkar could turn things in his team's favour.
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Updated on Jan 06, 2003 01:51 PM IST
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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Wellington

Indian coach John Wright Monday came out in defence of struggling captain Sourav Ganguly and said the return of Sachin Tendulkar could turn things in his team's favour for the remaining matches of the New Zealand tour.

"It's a difficult time for a captain when things are not working for you. I think you'll find he'll be opening the batting in Wellington (venue for fifth one-dayer), leading from the front," Wright said.

Ganguly failed to contribute much with the bat scoring just 29 runs from four innings in the two-match Test series against New Zealand and he followed it up with a sequence of low-scores - 14, 0, 4, 2 - in the first four one-dayers of the seven-match limited overs series.

"Sourav will be fine. Being the captain of India is a tough job and we're all under pressure. We haven't had a run like this before.

"It's upto the coach and the captain to supply some leadership and the players have to go out there and fight. That's one of the things which has helped us in the past year.

"The return of Tendulkar will clearly help. We can turn things around in the next few days," he said.

Tendulkar, world's leading run scorer in the shorter version of the game with 11,544 runs, is likely to play in the fifth one-dayer after missing the first four matches due to a twisted right ankle.

India will revert back to Virender Sehwag and Ganguly opening the innings in the fifth game, with Dinesh Mongia coming in at number three.

India will more or less play with a predictable line-up, though only Harbhajan Singh is expected to join the eleven at the expense of one of the four medium-pacers who played at Queenstwon. However, the off-spinner's inclusion in the side depends on the Westpac Trust pitch.

Wright said no one was taking the result as hard as himself.

"Coaching is a great job when things go well. But when it doesn't it presents the greatest challenge. It is your home country and we all wanted to have a good tour, particularly myself.

"But I'm not particularly worried what people think of me. I worry about the players, try to turn things around and do the best job.

"The guys are pretty low in confidence because they are touch players and they haven't come to terms with conditions they've been faced with," he said.

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