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Ganguly bets big on KKR attack

Posted by James On 10:46 AM 0 comments

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Sourav Ganguly believes the team's strong bowling lineup may help turn their fortunes around in the third season of the IPL. Having finished sixth and last in the last two editions Ganguly felt the pace arsenal, led by New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond, would be crucial for a turnaround.

"We will be getting the services of Shane Bond from the second match," Ganguly said. "His raw pace can make a lot of difference. There is Ishant Sharma, who is a current India player. We have a seasoned campaigner in Ajit Agarkar. I wouldn't count Eklak Ahmid out as he is a left-arm pacer. Left-arm pacers have done quite well in the IPL. Eklak brings in the necessary variation. We have a good prospect in Varun Aaron, who can bowl at 90 miles per hour."

Ganguly, who was speaking at Eden Gardens after a practice session on Thursday, said he had almost finalised the composition of the squad for the first match against Deccan Chargers on March 12, also the tournament opener. "I have a fair idea about the kind of squad we would take to Mumbai for the first match. We will have a couple of practice matches before we take a final call."

He felt it would be difficult to choose four foreign players for the matches. "When you have players like Chris Gayle, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Angelo Mathews and Ajantha Mendis in your ranks, it becomes a difficult choice."

He was also unsure about his batting position - whether he would open or bat one-drop. "Throughout my international career, I have mostly opened or batted at No. 3," Ganguly said. "Though I haven't decided, it will be either opening or at No. 3."

Manoj Tiwary, a new recruit, Ashok Dinda and Wriddhiman Saha are involved in the Deodhar Trophy and will not be available for the KKR preparatory camp but Ganguly said he wasn't too bothered. "It's always good to play matches," he said. "They will get some serious match practice in the process."

He also said that the form of Saha and Dinda was not a worrying factor. "Wriddhi, in fact, batted well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy," Ganguly said. "But he is batting way down at No. 6 whereas he should be batting up the order. Laxmi [Ratan Shukla] is bowling pretty well but he also needs to score runs. Dinda did pretty well. But we played mostly on good batting wickets where the batsman made good use of the Powerplay overs."

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