By Sarb Johal in Amstelveen 24/08/04
Here’s what Indian team Captain Sourav Ganguly had to say to Sarb Johal at the post match interview after the abandoned match against Australia in Amstelveen.
On how frustrating it was for the game to be called off given how well the team had performed on the field.
Ganguly - “It is, but we needed to win this game to be in any position to qualify. But we can’t help the rain.”
Performance of the bowlers.
Ganguly - “Yes it was good, but I still think we need to improve, especially the way we are bowling in the last few overs. We all need to bowl well together if we are to win consistently. At present, it’s happening in patches. Two out of three, probably three out of four are bowling well, we need to lift our game so that we are all bowling well, batting and fielding – which we did today.”
Injury record of the Indian team over the last 5 years.
Ganguly - “Yes, it’s really been a worry. But we do have to realise that we do play a lot of one-day cricket – we probably play more one-day cricket than any other country in the world. I think that’s pretty hard on the body. We’re travelling and turning up playing one-day games which are probably harder on the body that Test cricket. But, yes, we have been in positions where we have struggled to find a proper eleven, but at the end of the day you get on with the game, and at times we have done very well with guys who have not been in the team. It just goes to show that at the end of the day you pick guys who are hungry and are keen to do well.”
The playing conditions in Amsterdam as preparation for English conditions.
Ganguly - “No, I don’t think we came to Amsterdam for that. We came to Amsterdam to play well in this tournament and try to win it, just like any other team. England will be a completely different competition – that’s why I say we take one competition at a time. We didn’t play well against Pakistan and we don’t deserve to be in the final.”
Will this experience help you in England?
Ganguly - “Maybe yes. I hope it’s an eye-opener because we need to lift our game up. We’ve played in England before, so I don’t think the conditions are anything new to us. It’s a fact that we have to lift our game.”
The Australians and their batting performance.
Ganguly - “A 30 over game, you can’t read much into it. Batsmen don’t get time to settle down, they’re playing shots – it’s not one of the easiest wickets to bat on as well. So I really wouldn’t make much of this, over 30 overs.”
Thoughts about the upcoming Australian series.
Ganguly - “That’s three times in a year we’ll have played them, and I think that’s enough. We played them in Australia, now here and then back in India – I think we’ve played them enough (laughs)… It’s going to be probably the biggest series of the year – I think we all know that. They’ll definitely be looking forward to coming to India, and we’ll also be looking forward to that series. I think it’s an important series for both teams – we did well when we went to Australia, we won in 2001 and if we can do it again, it will be very good for our team.”
Confidence of the team at Test level after the earlier tour of Australia.
Ganguly - “I think the confidence at test level is very high. We’ve performed well in Test cricket for the last two years - we went to Pakistan and won in Pakistan, and that’s obviously because of the way we played in Australia in the Test matches, and I hope we carried it into the series when they come to India.”
Expectations of Australia without Steve Waugh.
Ganguly - “I don’t know - we’ll actually have to play them to see how different it will be. Steve was a legend and people in India respected him. Obviously this is a new side of young boys, and they did well in Sri Lanka, so …we’ll have to be up for it.”
Shane Warne re-appearing in the Australian team.
Ganguly - “He’s their key bowler and he’ll make a difference to any side. But you also have to realise that we’ve played him well over the years – he was in India in 2001 – but he’s still a great bowler, the type that can win matches on any day so, we’ll really have to play him well.”
Ganguly - “I’m happy – he has a lot of character because he did not have a good season in Sri Lanka, I’m very happy with the way he’s come back. He had a good series in Australia, and outstanding against Pakistan – and he’s done well here again which is good for the team.”
Thinking about the wicket-keeping position.
Ganguly - “I think Rahul’s doing well – he’s not dropped a catch in this tournament … I think that’s worked for us. I know we’ve got a young guy who’s very talented and very good (Karthik), but looking at the combination of the side and the depth, I don’t believe in fixing things that are not broken, and to be honest, Rahul has done well. And when we go to England where the ‘keeping won’t be as difficult as in the sub-continent where the bounce is variable and the ball probably spins a bit more – so it will probably be relatively easier in England, and he’s done well, so we’ll probably continue with Dravid.”
On possibly changing the order of the batting line-up.
Ganguly - “We’ll have to wait and see. Sehwag’s done well as a batter – it would not be fair to put him down the order on the basis of one or two series. I would love to open in one-day cricket, but looking at the combination of the team we’ll have to decide.”