Ganguly: It was just a question of sticking there
Special Correspondent - 03 March 2002
Sourav Ganguly has waited long for his eighth Test century. When he finally raised it after 28 months, he was obviously mightily relieved and delighted. His unbeaten 135 off 279 balls, an innings that included 21 fours and six, on the rain-interrupted third day has not just put India on course for the first-innings lead, it has also probably ensured that Kolkata's favourite son would remain the captain for India's away series against the West Indies. Excerpts from his press-conference on Sunday:
Are you relieved at finally getting a century?
Of course, yes, obviously relieved. But I knew I had to concentrate and the runs would come. It was just a question of sticking there.
Did you change your batting style?
There was a little change in the style. But it had a lot to do with my concentration. I had been getting out in 30s and 40s, though I had been batting well. In fact, I got out four times between 35 and 47, so it was all about being able to concentrate more and luckily I did that today. I had worked on my pull and cut strokes. I knew the wicket didn't have too much pace and the ball was coming at a convenient level. I am happy these two shots gave me some runs.
But so many rain interruptions must have made it difficult for you?
It isn't very easy under those conditions, when you are going in and coming out so much. But you can't really help such things. You have got to cope up with these difficulties and try your best.
Is this your best knock?
I won't say so. I have played better knocks but this one was also important, both for me and the team. Besides getting back some form I also contributed to the team.
Batting at number three seems to get the best out of you. You seem to enjoy batting in that position…
It could be co-incidental but yes, having opened in one-dayers for India makes me more comfortable when the ball is hard and new. I am used to facing the new ball though it has got its advantages and disadvantages. The bowlers look fresh and keep attacking the batsman constantly. But one thing, it also gives you more opportunities to score boundaries. You have to wait for the loose ball and play accordingly.
So you would continue to bat at this position?
No, it's not a permanent slot for me. Rahul (Dravid) has done very well at that place and he is the rightful claimant to that slot. It was a good gesture by him to allow me to come at number three when I asked for it but he will be back in that place from the next series.
And how would you plan tomorrow's play?
We have to take lead first and then we can put pressure on them. About a 100-run lead would be good on this wicket.