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  Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 12:46 GMT
Wright offers no excuses
John Wright and Sourav Ganguly
Wright and Ganguly must lift India's spirits
Indian coach John Wright has acknowledged the mistakes made by the team following a hostile reaction at home to their nine-wicket defeat by South Africa in Bloemfontein.

The tourists lost nine wickets for 141 on the fourth day, leaving South Africa with the formality of scoring 54 for one for victory.

New Zealander Wright, the first overseas coach of the Indian team, said the batsmen had to learn to curb their natural attacking instincts when conditions require a more disciplined approach.

"All our players are wonderful to watch but against a good attack where there is some movement, you have to be judicious in your shot selection.

"We don't want to limit natural ability, but there is a fine line."

Wright also admitted that picking left-arm pacemen Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan ahead of Ajit Agarkar, when both were short of match practice following injuries was also an error.

Indian opener Shiv Das is clean bowled
Shiv Das is beaten all ends up

"You learn lessons and being match fit is probably better than being net fit.

"Ajit has done nothing wrong on this tour and I feel very sorry for him because he missed out and the two bowlers we put faith in we would have wanted better performances from," Wright said.

The Indian media offered scathing criticism of the team's performance, and questioned the technique of skipper Sourav Ganguly against short-pitched deliveries.

Embarrassment

"Indians present test on a platter to Pollock's men", was the verdict of The Hindu newspaper.

The Times of India agreed, offering the headline "India make it easy for Pollock" to its readers.

"A match that many branded as a great advertisement for Test cricket before the start of the fourth day, ended in a blaze of embarrassment for the Indians," the Hindustan Times commented.

India will now seek to rebuild confidence in a four-day against a strong South Africa A side, which starts at East London on Saturday.

Dale Benkenstein will lead the A team after original skipper HD Ackermann pulled out because of a shoulder injury, and Test batsman Daryll Cullinan has also been added to the side.

Baroda opener Connor Williams looks certain to make his first appearance for India, who could also give Agarkar and fellow seamer Venkatesh Prasad a chance to press their Test claims.

Ganguly, meanwhile, is again under pressure and his position as captain for the forthcoming home series against England could be called into question if the team does not improve in the two remaining Tests.

"The team skipper doesn't know where his next Test run is coming from," concluded the Indian Express.

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 ON THIS STORY
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly
"They batted us out of the game"
India on tour in South Africa megapuff

Unoffical Test

Denness affair

Previous Tests

Who's who

One-day series

Tour fixtures

Past encounters

AUDIO/VIDEO
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