Ganguly: I have not seen anybody play like this
Special Correspondent - 07 March 2002
With Zimbabwe 210 for eight in 44.3 overs, Indian skipper Sourav
Ganguly must have felt that his team had sealed their win in the
first one-dayer. After all, the visitors needed another 65 runs
from 33 balls with only the last two wickets to spare. But on the
great Viv Richards’ fiftieth birthday, a Zimbabwe No. 10 by the
name of Douglas Anthony Marillier proceeded to do the improbable,
stealing the match away from the Indians with a daring and aplomb
that the great Viv himself would have cherished. At the post-
match press-conference, Ganguly talked about the “amazing”
Marillier innings and about India’s performance:
What went wrong for India?
Till the end we thought we were winning the match, but Marillier
played wonderfully well. It was an amazing knock, I have not seen
anybody playing like this in international cricket during the
last seven years or so. It was simply amazing.
But you must be disappointed at the way Zimbabwe won the
It was very frustrating and disappointing, but it was an amazing
knock. We just needed to pick one wicket, but then in times like
this, when someone is playing a dream knock, you can't do
anything. Marillier took it away from us.
Did you tell your bowlers to do something different because he
was playing just one stroke?
He wasn't merely playing one stroke. He played some other shots
too but it was difficult to place fielders for his ‘sweeps’. Our
bowlers were experienced but...
Zaheer Khan went for 32 runs in his last two overs…
Don't forget he had bowled well till that point. He had four
wickets for about 15-16 runs but Marillier changed all that.
Now, will there be pressure on India?
Of course, we have to start afresh. We have to win the remaining
matches and not show complacency. I think it's not a bad thing
that pressure will be on us, as the youngsters will have to play
to their potential. We go to Mohali on Friday with the sole
objective of winning the game (the second one-dayer) on Sunday.
How keenly is the absence of Sachin, Sehwag and Srinath
They are world-class players; any team will miss them. But, they
are not playing and we have to adjust accordingly. As I have been
saying, it's for the youngsters to seize the opportunity.
VVS Laxman's return to form must have pleased you?
Yes, Laxman is the sort of guy who can turn it around quickly. He
needed some runs to lift his confidence and I am sure he is as
eager as anybody else to perform in the series.
And what about your own knock?
It felt nice from the moment I took strike. It's good to start
the series with a big score as it gives you a boost. Hopefully,
the upcoming matches will be good too.
Indian coach John Wright, for his part, felt that his
bowlers could have bowled a fuller line to Marillier:
Didn't you have any plans for Marillier?
I think we should have bowled fuller and straighter. But as
Sourav said, when a batsman is batting like this, he can do
anything and get away with it. It wasn't our day.
But losing to Zimbabwe in India should be a worry for the
Yes, it is, we have to be careful in future. It's a lesson for
us, and we have to learn from our mistakes.
What are India's strategies for the upcoming matches?
Not anything specifically, but we have to work on our weak spots.
We have to try and get the best of out of what we have right now.