Ganguly plays down defeat

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly today sought to play down the disappointing loss to Sri Lanka in their last Asia Cup league match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly today sought to play down the disappointing loss to Sri Lanka in their last Asia Cup league match and said his team still had an opportunity to bounce back. "We still have an opportunity," Ganguly said after India went down to hosts Sri Lanka by 13 runs. "The points system is such that we start all over again and hence we will have the opportunity to make amends," the skipper said. India, who finished second in its pool, will now face off against Bangladesh on Wednesday before taking on Pool B toppers Pakistan on Friday and the hosts on July 29. Early setback Ganguly said the team lost too many wickets in the first 15 overs and could not recover from the setback. "I thought we gave lot of runs in the last ten overs and lost too many wickets in the first 15 overs. We then did well to reach 270, but I thought we lost too many wickets in the first 15 overs," he said. India lost its top four batsman for just 71 runs before the field restrictions were removed. When asked about the reasons for promoting wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel to the top of the order, Ganguly said, "Patel is a good player of fast bowling. The pressure on number six and seven batsman is very much, so I wanted Yuvraj and Kaif to play in that position." Fitness worries He also expressed concern over the fitness of fast bowler Zaheer Khan, who came with a runner to bat. "Zaheer's injury is a worry. Hope he recovers soon," Ganguly said. Sri Lankan vice captain Mahela Jayawardhane, meanwhile, expressed satisfaction over the overall performance of the team. "We managed to keep wickets and then launch an onslaught in the last 10 overs. The fast bowlers also bowled a very good line in the opening spell and took early wickets to wrest the initiative," he said. The stylish batsman, however, felt that they failed to capitualate on the advantage in the middle overs of the Indian innings and the team needs to work on this aspect. Good batting track Jayawardhane said the wicket was good to bat on and hence they were looking at a score of above 260 considering the formidable Indian batting line-up. Man-of-the-match Nuwan Zoysa said he knew that the wicket was good to bowl in the night time and hence he decided to stick to his line and length in the initial stages. The lanky left-arm medium pacer was instrumental in breaking the backbone of the Indian batting line-up with his splendid spell of 3-49 in 10 overs. He sent the dangerous Sachin Tendulkar, Patel and Ganguly to the pavilion in his first spell and was also responsible for running Virender Sehwag out when he was beginning to cut loose. (PTI)

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