Champions Trophy is 'do or die': Ganguly

Brushing aside the 'chokers' tag, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly today said his boys would strive to excel in the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Brushing aside the 'chokers' tag, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly today said his boys would strive to excel in the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy, taking every match as a 'do or die' event. "Every match in the Champions Trophy is a do or die event for us. We have to be prepared for all the matches in such a way," Ganguly told reporters after unveiling of the ICC Champions Trophy, 2004, here. With a track record of nine wins out of 10 matches played in the last two editions of the Champions Trophy, Ganguly said his team would venture out with the target of winning the tournament to be held in England from September 10-25. An agressive captain as he is, the left hander brushed aside criticisms that India failed to perform under pressure. "Chokers is not the right tag for us. Pressures are there in semifinals also." However, the losses in the finals did bother him. "We have to make sure that we don't just go for qualifying for the finals but winning the tournaments as well". And there is a way thought out for that. "We try to do too many things. We have to keep it simple," he said. Asked how confident he was about the 'must-win' match against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, Ganguly said winning the toss would be a crucial factor as the side batting first would get advantages. Stating that India had some close matches against Pakistan on their home soil and in the Asia Cup, he said "they are a pretty good side. But we always play well against them in places outside the sub-continent." Asked if a poor display the tri-series in Holland and a three-match one-day series against England would affect the team's morale before the Champions Trophy, Ganguly ruled out such possibility saying "every tournament is a separate one for us". Citing instances of India's golden run in the World Cup after a pathetic show in New Zealand, he said neither a triumph in these preparatory tournaments would guarantee success in England, nor a loss would it have an adverse impact on the team's morale. To a query, the skipper hoped to get adequate cricketing facilities in Holland and enjoy the tournament there. "It's going to be like Toronto, where we played for the first time in 1997. I am much sure that with top three teams (India, Australia, Pakistan) playing, it will be an enjoyable experience". Asked about the possibility of Rohan Ganvaskar, named in the sqaud for Holland tri-series and Nat-West Trophy, finding a place in the first eleven, Ganguly said "we play seven batsmen in one day matches. Depending on any injury problem or the form of regular batters, he may get a chance". Similar would be the case of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who would get a call if either Rahul Dravid or any of the batters got injured in the Champions Trophy matches, he said. (PTI)