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Saturday, 14 December, 2002, 09:01 GMT
Ganguly makes no excuses
Zaheer Khan is congratulated on his maiden Test five-wicket haul
India must find support for Zaheer Khan
Captain Sourav Ganguly has denied that fatigue was the main reason for his India's crushing first Test defeat to New Zealand in Wellington.

The Black Caps wrapped up a 10-wicket win with two days to spare, ensuring at least a share of the two-Test series.

"We knew we had to play 16 Tests and 36 one-dayers this year," Ganguly said.

"There's no purpose in giving an excuse of having played too much cricket. It can be hard touring, but that's the way life is. You get on with it."

We've been beaten fair and square, but we still feel we have got a strong side

India coach
John Wright
By the end of the World Cup, India will have played non-stop for 15 months, finishing this year with seven one-day internationals in New Zealand.

But Ganguly expects his men to bounce back in time for the second Test, beginning in Hamilton on Thursday.

"We've to do our best at and try to square the series," he said.

"That's all what we can do now and I hope we bat much better than what we did in the first Test," he said.

India were let down by their batsmen on a pacy and bouncy track, scoring 161 in the first innings and 121 in the second.

There was one positive in Zaheer Khan, who returned his maiden five-wicket haul in his 23rd Test.

But fellow seamers Ashish Nehra and Ajit Agarkar failed to maintain the pressure

"We had an opportunity to take 20 wickets here," said coach John Wright.

"If we had taken a lead of 150-160 we could have probably put pressure on them. Zaheer Khan bowled well, but we've got to find someone at the other end."

Shane Bond
Bond took match figures of seven for 99
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming was surprised by the ease of his team's victory.

"We were nervous going in there in the second innings and looking at the fourth and fifth day," Fleming said. "We're thrilled about it."

The Kiwi fast bowlers, led by Shane Bond's four for 33, made short work of the Indian batting in the second innings.

"Bond is a quality fast bowler," said Fleming. "A couple of guys also backed him very well and, with [spinner] Daniel Vettori in the wings, I think we have a good strike-power."

"India have a quality batting line-up, but we're still encouraged by what we saw today."

All the reports from the Test match

Day three

Day two

Day one

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