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I am ready to open for Pune: Ganguly

Mid-Day
May 04, 2011 at 01:41pm IST

Mumbai: Pune Warriors couldn't have roped in Sourav Ganguly, the Dada of Comebacks, at a more appropriate time.

Languishing at the bottom of the table with just two wins from eight matches, the Indian Premier League debutants would benefit every bit from the gutsy attitude that Ganguly brings with him.

I am ready to open for Pune: Ganguly

"Yes, I am happy. I want to deliver. I am ready for IPL," Ganguly said.

Besides, it's the legendary timing with the willow that Yuvraj Singh, the captain of the Prince of Kolkata, would be looking forward to from Ganguly.

Pune have crossed the 150-mark only thrice and the root cause of the problem seems to be lack of a strong opening combination. The team has tried out as many as five openers so far Graeme Smith, Jesse Ryder, Tim Paine, Mohnish Mishra and Manish Pandey and only Ryder has shown some consistency with 223 runs from eight innings at an average of 27.87.

Ganguly's record as an opening batsman in the limited overs game speaks for itself 9146 runs from 242 matches at 41.57. Overall, he has scored 11363 in 311 matches.

"I am very flexible with that (position in the batting order). Let's see what the team management tells me. I am ready for everything," the Prince of Kolkata told MiD DAY on Tuesday.

Ganguly has a point to prove here, since his record in the IPL in the previous three seasons hasn't been much to write about. He averages 28.64 in 40 matches overall, and marginally better as an opener, 33.95 in 22 games.

Irrespective of his batting slot, the signing with Pune marks another phoenix act by Ganguly who went unsold in the player auction early this year. The 38-year-old comes in as a replacement for the injured Ashish Nehra.

"I was approached by them (Pune) yesterday. They wanted to know whether I was available or not. I told them I was available. That's how I am going to play for Pune Warriors," Ganguly said.

Ganguly, who was on the commentary panel during the recent World Cup, practised at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday. He was expected to join the team in Mumbai on Wednesday but highly unlikely to play against Mumbai Indians.

But with another five matches remaining in the league stage, Ganguly was confident of getting the opportunity to prove his critics wrong once again.

"Yes, I am happy. I want to deliver. I am ready for IPL," he said.

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