India paid price for sloppy batting: Ganguly

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Saurav Ganguly has said the Indian team paid the price for some sloppy batting display in the opening match of the NatWest Challenge series.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Indian captain Saurav Ganguly today said the team paid the price for some sloppy batting display in the opening match of the NatWest Challenge cricket series, which England won by seven wickets here. "We paid the price as we did not play well. The batsmen did not put enough runs on the board. It was a good wicket to bat," Ganguly said after the match. India, who were cruising at 69-1 at one stage, lost wickets at regular intervals to set England a modest target of 171 which the hosts achieved comfortably in just 32.2 overs. "We were coasting well at 69 for one. It was good start but we lost too many wickets." Even though England achieved the target with over 17 overs to spare, Ganguly defended his bowlers saying they did not bowl that badly. "Bowlers did not bowl badly. The pitch had eased out a lot after the lunch break." Ganguly declined to say whether he would be effecting any changes to the side for Friday's match at Oval. Dream debut England captain Michael Vaughan was quite elated to have won the match with a bunch of youngsters including batsman Andrew Straus, bowler Alex Wharf and come-back man Vikram Solanki. "It was a fantastic win. We were quite comfortable with so many young players. It was a quite professional approach from the ball one," Vaughan said. "This is a fine start to the series and we must build on today's win as the series progresses." Vaughan said having made a mark in his comeback game, Solanki, who top-scored in the match with 52, must carry his form into next matches. "It was key for him to carry forward his domestic form to international matches. He must carry this form ahead," he said. Wharf was declared the man of the match for his "dream debut" in which he claimed three vital wickets -- that of Ganguly, V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid. "I was not nervous before the start since I had come into it with a couple of days' practice. It was a big game for me and I am quite excited," said the bowler. (PTI)

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