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Last Updated:  Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 11:55 GMT
Ranatunga backs India
Sourav Ganguly embraces Rahul Dravid after India's victory over Pakistan at Centurion
Ganguly is unfairly criticised, says Ranatunga
Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga believes India can win the World Cup.

Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their only World Cup success in 1996, believes India's emphatic six-wicket victory over arch-rivals Pakistan will give them the confidence to go all the way.

"I think India can go far, they are looking very good at the moment," said the 39-year-old, a veteran of 269 one-day internationals.

India's preparations for cricket's showpiece had been nothing short of disastrous, suffereing humiliating Test and one-day series defeats to New Zealand.

And their sub-standard performances against the Netherlands and Australia at the start of the tournamment provoked outraged fans to burn effigies of captain Sourav Ganguly.

Asian success

But Ranatunga singled out special praise for Ganguly, who has often been criticised for his captaincy and man-management skills.

"Ganguly is good for India," he said. "I would not say he is the best captain going but I admire his arrogance and the way he handles his players.

"I cannot understand why people have a go at him. He takes the blame when things don't go right."

Although the Australians are favourites to retain their title, Ranatunga said he would like to see an Asian team win the tournament.

"I am not writing off Sri Lanka's chances, but India could be there in a big way," he added.




SEE ALSO
Full scorecard
24 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Have Your Say on India
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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