Titan Cup: Buoyant India hungry for more one day success

23 October 1996

JAIPUR, India, Tuesday Sachin Tendulkar's India are determined to build on Monday's dramatic win over Australia as the triangular series enters a crucial phase.

``We must not look back now,'' Tendulkar said ahead of the return clash against the all conquering South Africans at the Sawai Man Singh stadium here on Wednesday.

The Indians surprised themselves at Bangalore on Monday when the ninth wicket pair of Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble hammered 52 off 40 balls to defeat Australia with seven balls to spare.

The win enabled the home team to stay in contention for a place in the final of the triangular series after losing their opening match to South Africa by 47 runs last week.

Neither team, however, was looking far ahead, with two rounds of the triple leg preliminary league still to be played.

``There's still a long way to go,'' said South African captain Hansie Cronje.

``Australia are capable of bouncing back even though they lost the first two games. And India showed on Monday they are a side to reckon with. We will not be relenting one bit.''

Cronje remembers the World Cup in March when the South Africans swept through the league only to lose to the West Indies in the quarter finals.

``One day cricket can never be taken for granted. You're as good as your performance on that day,'' said Cronje, whose team has won 21 of their 24 one dayers this year.

A visibly buoyant Tendulkar hoped Monday's win would mean a fresh start for India, who have yet to win a limited overs tournament this year.

``If we play the same way as we did in Bangalore, there's no reason why we should not be in the final,'' the 23 year old said.''But the batting still looks a big brittle. We are unable to post good scores.''

With rookie batsman Sujith Somasundar managing just 10 and seven in the first two matches, the Indians are still looking for a suitable opening partner for Tendulkar.

Test star Navjot Sidhu, who has served out a 50 day ban for deserting the team midway through the recent tour of England, appears to be the obvious choice.

But Tendulkar's hands are tied because the selectors will meet only after Wednesday's game to pick the squad for the rest of the series.

Punjab's untested Pankaj Dharmani is the only other batsman in the current reserves who could replace Somasundar and Tendulkar may be wary of throwing a newcomer into the deep end.

The South Africans, however, have no such selection problems.

Cronje is delighted at the success of opener Gary Kirsten, who had scores of 118, 84 and 105 in his last three one day innings.

``He is one of the most consistent batsmen in world cricket,'' Cronje said. ``It's a boon to have such a prolific scorer around.''

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 15:00