There’s enough talent, it’s about how India prepare for big events: Sourav Ganguly | Cricket News
NEW DELHI: Sourav Ganguly loves cricket. After overseeing a rigorous training session like Delhi’s capital‘ the director of cricket at Ferozeshah Kotla, when he sat down to interact, he browsed every match going on globally on his phone. He is switching between the Women’s Premier League (WPL) final between Delhi and Mumbai Indians and Johnson Charles hit 46 118 balls in the T20I game against South Africa.
He immediately looked up Charles online. Then he calmed down and said with a smile: “It’s different to be back on the field after three years as BCCI president. But with cricket experience, I’m looking forward to it.”
There’s been a lot of talk around managing the players’ workloads during a World Cup year…
I think the players will be fine. I don’t see any problem. Yes, there are a lot of crickets. Such is the schedule. That’s the way it is. The player will play. I really don’t see a problem. When it comes to the World Test Championship finals, they get 10 days off anyway IPL. I think they will manage.
India’s brand of cricket in major tournaments has been controversial…
India has to play aggressively, especially in the T20s. They have the team to do it. A team that sometimes has Axar Patel hitting the ball at number 9 must play aggressively at the top. Pandya hit the ball in 6th and Jadeja in 7th, there was too much depth. It’s about adapting to the pressure, knowing your playstyle and hitting the ball your way. Indian Cricket will always have talent and a big team. It’s the hungrier people that go to the next level. It’s about how you prepare for the big tournaments.
In World Cup years, IPL becomes the reference point for choosing…
I think the selector balances the performance. They don’t follow the IPL blindly. Maybe when choosing the T20 side, you can consider the IPL performances. I think the selector is mature enough to see the overall performance. Then there are Rohit Sharma as captain and Rahul Dravid as a coach. They have the main say in what they want. I think they are very balanced people and will do what is best for Indian cricket.
There have been a lot of cuts and changes. Do you think we tend to mix formats while selecting players in India?
Good players tune in to any format. India has a lot of talent so there will be some popular players across all formats. That’s how we should do it. Because I feel rhythm in sports is very important. I don’t think people choose to do it that way given any of my experience in BCCI.
How difficult is it to have players of all formats with IPL and other leagues bringing in so much money?
There will be experts in the T20s. There’s Hardik Pandya though I still feel he was an asset in Test Cricket too and he should go back to Test Cricket because that’s what he will be remembered for. He is an expert on ODI and T20Is. But he is a very special cricketer. I think money has nothing to do with the way the players play. It’s great that the money has come to the sport and that’s how it should be. But I believe the majority of players want to play all formats as long as they are good. It’s amazing to see how hungry these boys are.
What are your thoughts on preparing an Indian captain under Rohit Sharma?
IPL is a good breeding ground. We have seen how well Hardik Pandya has become a captain in the IPL. That’s one of the reasons that made him the captain of India in shorter formats. You cannot ignore winning and losing in IPL because it is a very tough tournament.
The capital Delhi will miss Rishabh pants. And there is no definite replacement for him in the Indian team either…
Rishabh is special and you won’t get a player like him easily. But I think Ishan Kishan is good. There is hotel Bharat. Obviously, they play differently. Everyone won’t hit the same way. When given the opportunity, these hitters will succeed. With Ishan, we’ve seen what he can do in shorter formats. KL Rahul performed well in ODI with a GPA of more than 45, which is amazing. He’s a good One-Day player. If he can get the job done, I really don’t see a problem.
TALKING Heads: Delhi Capitals team manager Sourav Ganguly (right) with head coach Ricky Ponting. (IANS photo)
Have you worked with Prithvi Shaw here at Capitals. How do you see him posing?
I think Prithvi Shaw is ready to play for India. Whether he gets a chance or not will depend on the positions. I’m sure Rohit Sharma and the cast have been keeping a close eye on him. He is a good and ready player.
You are the chairman of the ICC cricket committee. How do you watch the rise of T20 tournaments?
It was a challenge to prepare the International Future Travel Program (FTP). But I don’t think you can stop tournaments from happening around the world. Test cricket will always be the best format of the game. I don’t see any tournament as important as the WTC final.
Do you think the IPL ‘Impact Player’ regulation will affect India’s production of comprehensive tools?
‘Impact Player’ is new so let’s see how it works. We are all excited and want to know how to make the best use of it. Allrounders will remain. I don’t think ‘Impact Players’ will diminish those around. Being an allrounder is about possibility.