Would like Virat to focus on winning big tournaments: Ganguly
Kolkata: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president-elect and former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said he would like to see the Indian team management focus on winning more ICC tournaments and that is an area he would like skipper Virat Kohli to address.
“My only thing is that they need to win big tournaments. They are not going to win every time but they have gone through seven tournaments without winning one,” Ganguly told reporters at the Eden Gardens on his arrival to the city from Mumbai amid much fanfare.
“They are a much better side than that. That is an area they need to get ready mentally. Talent is enormous. We reached the World Cup semis. That’s an issue which Virat needs to address. It doesn’t happen in the boardroom,” said the 47-year-old.
India last won an ICC tournament in 2013 when the M.S. Dhoni led side beat England in the final of the 50-over Champions Trophy.
Asked about the 50-over Champions Trophy being replaced by back-to-back World T20s in 2020 and 2021, Ganguly said: “Times have changed. We will have to respect that. When Champions Trophy came in, I was captain that time and it was a huge tournament. With the advent of T20, people come in more for T20 games and the ICC is going by that.”
Ganguly also rated his Test debut in 1996 as a bigger moment in his life than becoming the BCCI President.
“1996 will always be the biggest day of my life. I played a first test match for India nothing can beat that,” he added.
Ganguly scored a hundred on debut against England at Lord’s in June, 1996.
Ganguly also spoke on India Test wicketkeeper and local boy Wriddhiman Saha, who took two brilliant catches in the second Test in the ongoing series against South Africa in Pune. He said the 34-year-old will have to score runs in order to continue playing for the country.
“I am extremely happy that he plays for the country and does it so well behind the stumps. But my suggestion for him is that in front of the stumps also he has to score a lot more runs. His wicketkeeping will never be doubted. If he has to play 100 Test matches he will have to score a lot more runs. I have played with him, I want his good.”
Speaking to the media at the Kolkata airport, Ganguly not only thanked the people for their support, but also promised that he will leave no stones unturned for the betterment of the Indian cricket.
“It is a great responsibility and hopefully I can do a good job. Its two different lives — one is cricketer and the second one of an administrator. Firstly, I think what makes me more happy is that I got an opportunity in a tough situation and it gives me tremendous confidence and makes me feel that they have confidence in my ability. I have a young team and it will be new for all of them, but all of us will work to the best of our abilities and we won’t lack anywhere,” he expressed.
Speaking on his priorities after taking over, Ganguly said: “First-class cricketers will be my priority and we will change their life. You only look at the top but we will also look at the bottom as many gems of Indian cricket lie there and we will change their life.”
The T20I World Cup is slated for the next year and commenting on India’s expectation at the showpiece event, he said: “India is a good team and they are playing well. Yes, I know they haven’t won a big tournament, but I know they will turn things around. (Virat) Kohli is a champion player and he will turn it around.”
The Cricket Association of Bengal, meanwhile, rolled out the red carpet for their favourite son.