Dilip Sardesai memorial lecture September 7, 2012

'Indian cricket is in safe hands' - Ganguly

74

Sourav Ganguly doesn't sit on the fence. He can be a contrarian at times, as when he spoke positively about the present state of Indian spin bowling. He can be extreme yet sound logical, as when he said every Indian fast bowler should have a personal trainer. And yes, he is proud of his legacy - that of changing India's image as poor travellers. He doesn't hold back - and he didn't on Friday while delivering the Dilip Sardesai memorial lecture at the Bombay Gymkhana.

Ganguly has seen plenty of young Indian fast bowlers burn out or lose their pace in a matter of a few seasons, and put it down to the lack of a proper fitness and training culture in India. "Since 2000 the main reason for having overseas coaches and trainers in India was to get a proper fitness culture," Ganguly said. "I remember on the 1996 tour of England, I went to the gym only once - that too, to see it and not to use it. It was a three-month tour and I had an outstanding tour. But I could not remember going to the gym and getting onto the treadmill. That culture needed to change. You don't get a Kapil Dev all the time.

"There is so much cricket being played in the modern day. Players are on the road all the time. Fast bowling is a difficult art. Every Indian fast bowler of the modern era needs to have a personal trainer. Finances are not a problem. They can afford it. They should have a personal trainer with them right through the year. When you go to a gym alone, at times, you take the easier, safer option. There should be someone with you looking after your strength and monitoring it all the time. When you see Zaheer Khan in 2000 and Munaf Patel in 2004 they clocked almost 150 [kph], but two years down the line, they settled down to line and length bowling, which I think is mainly because of a lack of physical strength."

Ganguly was optimistic, though, when asked by presenter Harsha Bhogle about current Indian domestic cricket not producing the high-quality spinners it used to. "When I saw Ashwin and [Pragyan] Ojha bowl in the Test matches against New Zealand, although they will have some distance to go as we have England and Australia coming, I don't feel the cupboard is empty. The problem is we Indians in domestic cricket are such good players of spin that a very good spinner is sometimes made to look average in those conditions and with players who have been brought up on spin bowling. Everytime those players graduate and play Test cricket, they look different bowlers."

One thing Indian spinners do need to learn is the art of bowling overseas, Ganguly said. "When you see the team lose eight out of eight [overseas] Tests the time has probably come when a lot of these young spinners need to bowl on flatter and non-responsive wickets in India to learn the art of bowling overseas."

"Overseas" brought with it questions on the India side of the early- and mid-2000s that, under Ganguly's leadership, began to win overseas Test matches and Test series, something India had struggled to do, especially in the 1990s. Ganguly said when he started his international career, there was "a certain disrespect" towards touring Indian sides.

"When I first played in 1996 on the tour of England, I could see a different attitude towards Indian players. We were not the best travellers abroad. You could see a certain disrespect when you went to England, Australia and South Africa. 'These boys are soft, they will come to this part of the world, you will see a hundred from Sachin, from Dravid, but they'll lose. They might draw a Test, but we will win the series.'

"I could make out that when you walked around the dressing room, the confidence was not there, the knowledge was not there of how we could beat England in England, and Australia in Australia."

Ganguly said winning the famous Kolkata Test of 2001 against Australia had given the team the belief that they could beat the best in the world. It would not have been possible, Ganguly said, without the kind of quality players he had in his team.

"I was also blessed as captain to have an era of terrific Test players - Sachin, Dravid, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble… because I am a firm believer of a captain being only as good as his team. You can take the best captain in the world but if you don't have a good team, then you will go nowhere. A perfect example is Ricky Ponting. You look at his record when Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath and Warne were playing and once they retired. Like chalk and cheese.

"It was a conscious effort to get that culture in the team. 'Listen, we will win in India'. There have been Tests where I have stood at point, given the ball to Anil and Harbhajan, they would set the fields and we would win the match - that would not happen abroad. We didn't have the batting, the knowledge, the batting toughness to put 500 runs on the board, to win a Test when we went abroad."

Ganguly said he was confident, despite India's recent struggles overseas, that the current generation of players was capable of taking Indian cricket forward. "When I see players of the ability of Kohli, Pujara and Dhoni and some of the other young names, it makes me believe that Indian cricket is in safe hands."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bvnathan on September 10, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Hi Sourav, how about getting Brett Lee, the Aussie pace sensation to become bowling coach for India speedsters? Brett has been phenomenal during his playing years both in and outside Australia. His knowledge, work ethics and to be able to maintain the strength/balance will be of great benefit.

  • Sakthiivel on September 10, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    @ SamRoy : Its ok to give a full toss in ever 2nd of over but need to pick wickets. Low full toss is wicket taking delivery in t20's I believe.

  • rosh280 on September 10, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    india 20-20 team opening should be with murali vijay and ajinka rahane. unmukt chand is the other alternative. murali vijay has mpeccable record in the 4s he has scored and sixes he hit and also he has 2 centuries andj many half centuries. jal s saxena is a great alrounder. he should be given chance. then really 20-20 will be safe in our hands. shami ahmed and varun aron should bowl and also balaji and irfan are the great choices

  • rosh280 on September 10, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    obviously i agree with saurav points that indian cricket is in safe hands. but at the same time we should have the courage to remove players underperforming like sehwag,gambhir,sachin,umesh yadav and find good replace with u nmukt chand, jalaj s saxena( a fine alrounder) he performed well in ranji trophies and india A versus westindies, akshay darekar a fine bowler wiith great potential. A fast bowler to include are shami ahmed with his performance in west indies and local matches he deserve really indian cap. p awana also like our sree santh in tests and prashant parameswaran in oneday side.mumbais fine batsman surya kumar yadav and baba aparajith , pinal shah and naman ojha and also bhuvanesh kumar he is also a fine alrounder we can choose. if we do some changes india really will be in safe hands. Aswin and pragyan ojha are the fine bowlers india found. in fast bowling we need to remove zaheer, umesh yadav and a b dinda all got real hitting in srilanka and newzealand matches.

  • on September 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    In the subcontinent, there is too much emphasis on individual excellence rather than the team. Saurav Ganguly is a very positive and optimistic man. He was the best Captain India ever had. The only other positive captain comparable to Ganguly was the Nawab of Pataudi. But Pataudi never had the great players which Ganguly had except the three great spinners but no great batsmen. Gavaskar came into the team almost after Nawab' s career was coming to a close. We indians must develop aggressive self belief iike the Aussies, South Africans or even the English. Do not get rolled over by English critics when they ridiculed Indian pacers as military medium or pop gun pace attack, which is incorrect. We tend to believe that and disrespect our fast bowlers. I feel Saurav must be made the Coach for his positivity and no nonsense approach. I like the speech made by the Ex-captain. Saurav's contribution to Indian cricket can be greater than Sachin's batting records holistically.

  • SamRoy on September 9, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    I must say Pakistan have some seriously talented young batsman in Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal (when he is the right frame of mind). They also have good solid players in Azhar Ali and Asad Shafique. Our team India, are still playing that idiot Suresh Raina in test matches even though we have Rahane and Rohit Sharma (and now we can add Unmukt Chand to that list). Pakistan's fast bowling is looking a bit weak with Gul out of form and Junaid Khan performing once in every 3 matches. @KiwiRocker- We have no talent, yes, but we will beat you guys in the forthcoming test series and Virat Kohli is going to score double hundreds against Ajmal and co. after your team's third class fielders drop him 3 times. If you guys give 2 lives to Sehwag, he will finish Ajmal's career.

  • SamRoy on September 9, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @Sakthiivel and @puroniks Ashwin bowls one full toss every second over and you consider him better than Ajmal! I am an Ashwin fan, I think he can become a fine cricketer but one cannot be a blind fan. Ashwin's batting is better than Raina's. I hope he never develops Bhajji's habit of bowling darts down the leg side.

  • jasonpete on September 9, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Posted by  Deepak Muralidharan K on (September 09 2012, 05:50 AM GMT), Its ridiculous to blame entire match summary on one person when entire Indian team failed to reach even 300 runs .The main failure is the openers along with the middle order who couldn't play to their potential failed the entire Indian team.Ishant took some wickets in quick session but it was ishant who asked rest from dhoni when he wanted ishant to bowl.Its easier said than done being in dhoni's place .From an outsider point of view.

  • on September 9, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Ganguly would be a poor choice as coach for the Indian team. He is too strong as a personality, and inevitably it would become a situation of having two captains, with clashing egos and factions. The Indian team functions better with coaches like Wright and Kirsten, who remain in the background.

  • Advin on September 9, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    I do not believe that people are actually saying that Ashwin is better than Ajmal.Ajmal is by far the world's best spin bowler.However the fact is that Pakistan without him is a very poor team.Why are they not producing the Inzamams or Yousufs or Saed Anwars? More disturbing is the absolute lack of fast bowling talent from a country that has produced Imran,Wasim,Waqar and Shoaib.For the first time in 40 years,the Pak pace attack is not any better than an Indian pace attack.

    I reckon that the best India Pak combined team would have Ajmal plus ten Indians !

  • bvnathan on September 10, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    Hi Sourav, how about getting Brett Lee, the Aussie pace sensation to become bowling coach for India speedsters? Brett has been phenomenal during his playing years both in and outside Australia. His knowledge, work ethics and to be able to maintain the strength/balance will be of great benefit.

  • Sakthiivel on September 10, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    @ SamRoy : Its ok to give a full toss in ever 2nd of over but need to pick wickets. Low full toss is wicket taking delivery in t20's I believe.

  • rosh280 on September 10, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    india 20-20 team opening should be with murali vijay and ajinka rahane. unmukt chand is the other alternative. murali vijay has mpeccable record in the 4s he has scored and sixes he hit and also he has 2 centuries andj many half centuries. jal s saxena is a great alrounder. he should be given chance. then really 20-20 will be safe in our hands. shami ahmed and varun aron should bowl and also balaji and irfan are the great choices

  • rosh280 on September 10, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    obviously i agree with saurav points that indian cricket is in safe hands. but at the same time we should have the courage to remove players underperforming like sehwag,gambhir,sachin,umesh yadav and find good replace with u nmukt chand, jalaj s saxena( a fine alrounder) he performed well in ranji trophies and india A versus westindies, akshay darekar a fine bowler wiith great potential. A fast bowler to include are shami ahmed with his performance in west indies and local matches he deserve really indian cap. p awana also like our sree santh in tests and prashant parameswaran in oneday side.mumbais fine batsman surya kumar yadav and baba aparajith , pinal shah and naman ojha and also bhuvanesh kumar he is also a fine alrounder we can choose. if we do some changes india really will be in safe hands. Aswin and pragyan ojha are the fine bowlers india found. in fast bowling we need to remove zaheer, umesh yadav and a b dinda all got real hitting in srilanka and newzealand matches.

  • on September 9, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    In the subcontinent, there is too much emphasis on individual excellence rather than the team. Saurav Ganguly is a very positive and optimistic man. He was the best Captain India ever had. The only other positive captain comparable to Ganguly was the Nawab of Pataudi. But Pataudi never had the great players which Ganguly had except the three great spinners but no great batsmen. Gavaskar came into the team almost after Nawab' s career was coming to a close. We indians must develop aggressive self belief iike the Aussies, South Africans or even the English. Do not get rolled over by English critics when they ridiculed Indian pacers as military medium or pop gun pace attack, which is incorrect. We tend to believe that and disrespect our fast bowlers. I feel Saurav must be made the Coach for his positivity and no nonsense approach. I like the speech made by the Ex-captain. Saurav's contribution to Indian cricket can be greater than Sachin's batting records holistically.

  • SamRoy on September 9, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    I must say Pakistan have some seriously talented young batsman in Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal (when he is the right frame of mind). They also have good solid players in Azhar Ali and Asad Shafique. Our team India, are still playing that idiot Suresh Raina in test matches even though we have Rahane and Rohit Sharma (and now we can add Unmukt Chand to that list). Pakistan's fast bowling is looking a bit weak with Gul out of form and Junaid Khan performing once in every 3 matches. @KiwiRocker- We have no talent, yes, but we will beat you guys in the forthcoming test series and Virat Kohli is going to score double hundreds against Ajmal and co. after your team's third class fielders drop him 3 times. If you guys give 2 lives to Sehwag, he will finish Ajmal's career.

  • SamRoy on September 9, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @Sakthiivel and @puroniks Ashwin bowls one full toss every second over and you consider him better than Ajmal! I am an Ashwin fan, I think he can become a fine cricketer but one cannot be a blind fan. Ashwin's batting is better than Raina's. I hope he never develops Bhajji's habit of bowling darts down the leg side.

  • jasonpete on September 9, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Posted by  Deepak Muralidharan K on (September 09 2012, 05:50 AM GMT), Its ridiculous to blame entire match summary on one person when entire Indian team failed to reach even 300 runs .The main failure is the openers along with the middle order who couldn't play to their potential failed the entire Indian team.Ishant took some wickets in quick session but it was ishant who asked rest from dhoni when he wanted ishant to bowl.Its easier said than done being in dhoni's place .From an outsider point of view.

  • on September 9, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Ganguly would be a poor choice as coach for the Indian team. He is too strong as a personality, and inevitably it would become a situation of having two captains, with clashing egos and factions. The Indian team functions better with coaches like Wright and Kirsten, who remain in the background.

  • Advin on September 9, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    I do not believe that people are actually saying that Ashwin is better than Ajmal.Ajmal is by far the world's best spin bowler.However the fact is that Pakistan without him is a very poor team.Why are they not producing the Inzamams or Yousufs or Saed Anwars? More disturbing is the absolute lack of fast bowling talent from a country that has produced Imran,Wasim,Waqar and Shoaib.For the first time in 40 years,the Pak pace attack is not any better than an Indian pace attack.

    I reckon that the best India Pak combined team would have Ajmal plus ten Indians !

  • Sakthiivel on September 9, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Ashwin is far better than Ajmal. Ashwin figures in Test is 8 matches 49 wickets its much better than 23 with 122 with Ajmal.

  • on September 9, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    @puroniks, this isn't logic thats coming from you its your own anger. so yeah everyone knows how much our players have given to the world cricket and you call yourselves a nation that produces quality batsmen, i mean pakistan has more batsmen in the hall of than you. you should exile reliance owner ambhani from india and then we'll see how many matches you win, the guy buys victories for you.

  • Aristotle01 on September 9, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    It is really sad that ashwin wont get to dismiss journeymen batsmen like inzamam and Mohd, yousuf. It would have added a lot of wickets in his wicket column. He would have made them look clueless. Geez! inzamam was dismissed by sachin 10 tiimes !!! Man Sachin really had the pakistan cricket team in his graps thru-out... casting a magical spell around them-weather with bat or ball! Wow ! The little master has destroyed the psyche of Pak Players for years on! Remember how he famously ended the career of two Ws(LOL- What did the english accuse them of again in the 1990s:P)

  • Aristotle01 on September 9, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    Ashwin is way way better than Ajmal and other journymen bowlers like saqlain mustaq who got thumped by the likes of sachin, sehwag, dravid and even navjot sidhu! The only people who really care about ajmal are a handful of pakistani fans. The rest know its just a matter of time before he starts bowling no balls and starts giving away 28 runs in an over like he did in the asia cup match against India. What??????????? He couldnt defend 330?! hahahaahaha

  • on September 9, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, You should re-watch first 2 test matches of vs England and vs Australia abroad. Vs England in second test match it was a stupid shot from Dhoni that opened the flood gate and advantage went back to England. Also he was keep on changing bowler once that bowler get a wicket !!Dhoni need to understand Test is entirely different from One day. 1st test vs Australia same thing , Dhoni's irresponsible shot once again made the difference from an advantage position -bowlers being rotated once they get wicket again!. Neither Dhoni nor his cricket shots or his instinct strategies being suitable for Test matches played on spicy pitches abroad full stop!.

  • g.narsimha on September 9, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    KIWIROCKER- Who is JUNAID KHAAN, is he got nomination along with PHILENDER or is he same guy who played test against lowly placed ZIMBABWE & sent cleaner by ZIM batsmaen , with the ave-68 . per wicket .

  • Naresh28 on September 8, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Dhoni has new young blood to take Indian cricket forward. Lets give them time to show us and the world. Judging by recent A-team and U19 results we can see some victories being achieved OUTSIDE INDIA. We stand to benefit if we play on better pitches in India as well. Yes we are i good hands. Dont know if Ganguly would make a great coach - he could be given a stint with an A-team tour.

  • El_Toro_Loco on September 8, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    @ g.narsimha: No question india is world champ at home & world CHUMP abroad. LOLz

  • Sanj747 on September 8, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Getting 20 wickets in a test match outside India continues to be an issue. Can't see this improving.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 8, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    @getsetgopk: Your comments are just as ludicrous as other negative comments towards Indian cricketers. What do you even know about Ashwin ? Do you know how successful he was as a young cricketer growing up playing grass roots cricket in Tamil Nadu ? I have watched him from when he was a 14 yr old. He has an immense talent unlike many other players of his generation. "A nothing cricketer" ? Yeah right.... he's relatively young and inexperienced at the international level. That doesn't mean he's cannot become the next great off spinner !! Nobody becomes great overnight just so you know. Before spewing negativity think twice. Whenever an Indian cricketer just as talented as Ashwin gets a column, we have a dozen negative commentators showing up here to bad mouth them. This is a trend that's unhealthy.

  • getsetgopk on September 8, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    @g.narsimha: Ashwin on the verge of creating history? Are you for real? Most people dont even know if he is a right or left hand bowler or even a leg spinner let alone creating history? A nothing bowler really hyped up by a billion mouths just like srisanth, ishanth yadev and that other bowler cant remember his name now.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 8, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    @landl47: I agree, Dhoni's record in the recent 8 tests hasn't been great. BUT, he's still a wonderful captain. He's a no-nonsense guy who commands the respect from all the players, including the senior ones. A captain is only as good as his players; if the Indian team lost 8-0 it's not purely cause of Dhoni. Dhoni has had good records overseas as well especially in limited overs cricket. He's won the ICC World T20 in SA, beat Australia 2-0 to win the CB Series in 2008, has won series in NZ, WI etc. So he's isn't very bad as you suggest. With all the young players coming in, Indian cricket is SURELY in safe hands. The future looks bright. India will surely play better in overseas conditions as the last of the seniors leave the team. The new faces of the Indian team are proud, confident and aggressive. I am sure they will plan better for future series, they have already begun preparing for the SA tour in 2013. I would say that's a good start.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 8, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    I think the Indian team is simply 'targeted' unfairly by some neutrals who can't stand how successful India are at home. According to me, SA are the BEST overall team in world cricket, while India are the BEST team in home conditions and in ASIA. Nobody can deny that no matter how ridiculous your hatred is towards India. I also know team India will definitely get better in overseas conditions given the confident nature of our youngsters. The NEW India is a totally different story. India will be a different team in the coming years. I also want to see a series between Pakistan and India. India are very strong compared to Pakistan BUT the Pakistani bowling is superb, especially Ajmal. I want the BCCI and PCB to get together and have a talk after the world T20. A series in the UAE is the perfect scenario.

  • sumit176 on September 8, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    btw its no point in arguing with kiwi rocker and chickyroy.paklover

  • sumit176 on September 8, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    @mohd sahbaj and co....we are world champion and u ppl have to take it with pinch of salt...LOL

  • spinkingKK on September 8, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    I don't know why Ganguly doesn't mention about the fast bowlers when talking about India's chances overseas. He is just talking about spinners bowling well in those flat tracks. Spinners will only have a small role in overseas tests. I have read that India is going to travel South Africa. I, honestly, don't think India have the fast bowling unit to trouble the south Africans. With many weak links and untesteds in the batting line-up, another clean sweep is on the card. India will struggle big time to take 20 south african wickets with Zaheer, Yadav and Dinda. India tear aways and special bowlers like Sreesanth and Ishant. Is Sreesanth still around?

  • haseeb on September 8, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    ALl you people comparing indian and pakistani test players y dont have a test series ??? india vs pakistan ?? UAE? ?? common world champions we ll see who is better ashwin or ajmal ??

  • on September 8, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    But Sir.. In your absence, team has again got into what it was before you entered Indian scenario. Poor traveller! YOu had taught team to fight well on foreign soil but current crop of captain and players have got it all to perform only in India and that too against number 8 team.

  • on September 8, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    g.narsimha: Hahaha What were your 'good' spinners doing during the White Washes in Aus and Eng ?

  • Al_Bundy1 on September 8, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Dhoni is India's best captain. You don't win T20 World Cup and ODI World Cup purely based on luck. You can win a game or 2 due to luck, but not the entire championship. Ganguly was good at spotting talent. He gave chances to Pathan, Yuvi and Bhajji. This is where Dhoni is lacking - playing the hopeless Raina and Tendulya

  • cric_roch on September 8, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Kiwirocker and other jealousy folks...

    no team other than SA is good these days abroad. India is yet to loose a series at home for more than 8 years. how many teams claim that atleast ?

    How can you compare Philander with Junaid khan.. Saeed ajmal is a much better bowler than ashwin..thats the fact everyone accepts. If you are pak fan, you will look at void in batting department.

    It is pathetic to loose 8 tests continuously...but india thwarted all teams to win the world cup.You cant take anything away from that...only consistent performance can win a world cup. ....

  • 777aditya on September 8, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Indian cricket can take a quantum leap towards unimaginable success only if Ganguly becomes head coach with Dravid/Sachin as batting coach, Srinath and Kumble as bowling coaches, and Robin Singh as fielding coach. The time is ripe for these people to share their experience to guide a young team. Nowadays, even software or other working professionals can afford personal trainers - so BCCI can easily accommodate that for each and every player. BCCI, please listen to Ganguly - he is wise beyond his years. This is highly evident when Ganguly commentates - even Gavaskar, Manjrekar, and Shastri pay rapt attention.

  • on September 8, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Well said Dada. You are and will remain the point from where the indian cricket rose to newer heights. That you were treated as you were, many people, in the coming years , when they listen to a similar lecture or deliver one, will have their eyes down replying to some uncomfortable questions. Keep up the fight - you symbolise the fighting spirit in CRICKET. You also were a great TEAM man , for you gave unstinted support to many crickters in their lean patches which helped them to grow into wonderful crickters. Indian cricket can do well by having you as a coach & mentor soon.

  • g.narsimha on September 8, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    AJMAL - AVE-in AUS- 111, IN TESTS & 70 in odis , could not prevent 3-0, 5-0 white wash in AUS could not win SERIES IN wi , against a weak wi, lost in SL , yet to win a match against INDIA, in erlier 5 outings INDIA won comfortably , he may BE a TOP to haples POMS in spinner friendly tracks where as ASHWIN WON SERIES IN WI, SL , he IS APURIST, far better bowler than that over hyped in fullsleeves in AUS , NOW HE IS ON THE VERGE OF CREATING HISTORY- fastest 50 wicket houl in tests , aready taken 49 wickets in only 8 tests just one wicket away from this record , more over he is a far superior in batting also even KIWIROCKERS teams top batsmen doesnt have 40 ave in the recent past baring YUNUS, MISBAAH .

  • himohan007 on September 8, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 Good reply to landl47. I most of the people(including Indian Cricketers and their fans) are jealous on Dhoni after reading the article "Dhoni is the Highest paid cricketer". I don't know what is the fuss about Being King in home conditions.(Even for joining IT now I am asked to get expert in a particular area either in QC or Developing instead of being a half cooked fool in both ). Even in those overseas cond the Seniors let us down ZaK,Harbi,VVS,Sachin,Dravid(fielding). Give him youngsters he will do wonders.Remember first T20 WC and CB series 2008

  • rahulcricket007 on September 8, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    @KIWI ROCKR . MATE ZAHEER HAS ONLY PLAYED 84 TESTS . HE HAS NOT PLAYED 200 TESTS , INFACT THERE IS NO PLAYER IN THE HISTORY WHO HAS PLAYED 200 TESTS , SACHIN IS LEADING THE TABLE WITH 179 MATCHES .

  • rahulcricket007 on September 8, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @atif muneer . mate i would advise you to please check the icc ftp calender . india will play only 3 series at home one against nz ( which is finished ) , one against eng & aus in 2012 -2013 . come nov 2013 india will go to sa , then in feb 2014 india will be touring nz , in june 2014 wi , in july 2014 eng , in dec 2014 aus . so from 2012 to 2015 wc india will play only 3 series at home while 5 series away . total tests played in that duration will be 28 tests out of which 18 tests will be played away from home .

  • rahulcricket007 on September 8, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    @kiwi rockr . mate if your pakistan bowlers are so talented then why they were failed to defend a target of 330 ? did you look at the figures of gul & riaz in that match .

  • rahulcricket007 on September 8, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    @LANDL47 . OK SIR WE ARE CHAMPIONS AT HOME BUT WHAT ABOUT YOUR ENGLISH TEAM WHO EVEN LOST AT HOME TO SA (AGAIN) . NOT TO MENTION THE NUMEROUS ASHES DEFEAT YOUR SIDE SUFFERED IN 1990S . ALSO PAKISTAN WON BACK TO BACK SERIES IN 1992 & 1996 , INDIA WON IN 2007 . AT LEAST , WE HAVEN'T LOST A HOME SERIES FOR PAST 8 YEARS .

  • on September 8, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    @ Kiwirocker , always i like pakistahn cricket and team you can check my previous commnents regarding this . Now this is for your comments in this thread that Aswin is a big failure agaist Pak in asia cup and he is no Saeed Ajmal but you have to check the stat correctly Aswin in that match 10-0-56-1 and Saeed Ajmal 9-0-49-1 If aswin is a failure in this match Saeed Ajmal also a failure But you can compare U Gul and I Pathan in that same game Gul 7.35 RR and I Pathan 6.9 More over your W Riyas with rr 12.50 but India Dinda is with a RR 5.87 only!

  • Biggus on September 8, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    @AsitDe-OK mate, I stand corrected.

  • on September 8, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    @Vijay Krish, your observation is spot on. Just to elaborate, I modified the query and ran it for the following oppositions only. (Australia , England , New Zealand ,Pakistan ,South Africa, Sri Lanka , West Indies)., India played under Sourav 21 matches, Won - 5, Lost - 9, Drew - 7 and under Dhoni played 18 matches, Won - 4, Lost - 9, Drew - 5.

    and as u say if we remove the so called pathetic WI from the query, then Sourav : 16 matches, Won - 4, Lost - 7, Drew - 5 and Dhoni : 15 matches, Won - 3, Lost - 9, Drew - 3.

    Looking at the stats its hard to decide who is the best or worst[:-)]

  • g.narsimha on September 8, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    mathewjonh2176- this is irony of our cricket we our selves away feel proud in demeaning our team see others like fans they support thier team ven they loss thy will not accept it they atribute it to bad umpiring , team selection but we are out here to just abuse our players no way we can convince them evry body branding INDIA as only team which lost oversas where as see plight of others with exception of SA.

  • rsurya on September 8, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    Ganguly was absolutely right about Ricky Ponting it holds to Dhoni too, India can win only in India. Away wins are far away. In recent series we won with spin but NZ fought with pace. With out manufacturing fast bowlers you can't win travelling.

  • pratit on September 8, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    agree with landl47 100% with his assessment of Dhoni. Tiger at home......

  • tommytucker on September 8, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    what nonsense. not a quality fast bowler in sight.

  • Dashgar on September 8, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    India need to keep being diligent to improve overseas. The worst thing about them when they were in Australia was that their general attitude seemed to be "just wait till you have to come to us". Ashwin didn't seem to understand how to use Aussie pitches to his advantage. That Ganguly refers to them as "flat and unresponsive" does nothing to help this. I think India would benefit from encouraging a guy like Ashwin to find a BBL team so he can learn how to play these pitches.

  • kaidranzer on September 8, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @Biggus: He says fitness is important but as he himself quoted he was not interested in it since the start of his career. It's like knowing that going to the gym will benefit you but you just can't get yourself up to do it. Anyway, I think fitness a bit overrated. Don't get me wrong, I do know that a team of athletic players can save a lot of runs on the field and put batting teams under pressure but I would rather pay to watch Sourav Ganguly bat than Jonty Rhodes field.

  • AsitDe on September 8, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    No Biggus, that was not the root of the problem with Greg who thought Ganguly just wanted to hold on to his captaincy when he did not deserve a place in the team. For your information, Ganguly along with Wright was responsible for getting a proper physio and a fitness trainer for team India, something for which both of them had to work pretty hard with the Board officials. Please read the book by Wright - it's all in there.

  • on September 8, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    For all those who keep saying Ganguly is the best captain without going through his overseas records..

    Zimbabwe - 3 wins Bangladesh - 3 wins Srilanka - 1 win and 3 loss South Africa - No WINS West Indies - 1 win and 2 loss England - 1 win and 1 loss New Zealand - 2 loss Australia - 1 win and 1 loss Pakistan - 1 win

    Out of his 11 wins 6 are against Zim and Bangladesh :/

    Note: His last 5 matches were played against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and scored 5 wins or else he record would have been pathetic..

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?captain_involve=2024;class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;orderby=won;team=6;template=results;type=team;view=results

  • SamRoy on September 8, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @landl47 People mix up his limited overs success with his test record. Dhoni is a poor test captain as he is extremely defensive in setting fields (he is an aggressive batsman but a defensive captain) and often gives momentum back to the opposition. It has happened a lot since 2010 and it has cost us a lot but most importantly a test series win in SA in 2010-11 (Others are much less important). The most important factor for losing 8 in a row is not Dhoni though; it is playing batsmen who have lost their reflexes because of age and openers being unfit. Had India played younger talented ones like Kohli, Pujara, Rahane and Rohit (not Raina, not Yuvraj; don't have enough class to play test cricket) I am pretty certain India would have not lost 8-0; May be 6-0 or 7-0 but certainly not 8-0. Anyway, hindsight is 20-20 :)

  • mathewjohn2176 on September 8, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Posted by landl47 on (September 08 2012, 00:13 AM GMT), don't you say Strauss is a good captain? May be you will say he is a good captain at home? He lost 6 out of 11 test in last 8 months Will you discredit him for his earlier achievement? Why don't you see dhoni record apart from the last two series? Won t20 and odi world cup.India got to no.1 under his captaincy just like Strauss.India drew a series in SA and srilanka,won in WI and NZ.Won Asia cup and first time CB series in Australia.Dont you think sometimes positives outweighs the negative? India lost badly last two series ,due to the only reason that they had a aged batting line ( couldn't cope up with pace) ,but the same set of players played extremely well in previous tours .so whatever dhoni achieved in the last 4 yrs is something to praise for and not to take away good stuff by talking only bout last two series.Same applies to Strauss here.

  • on September 8, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    SSANKA "A good captain leads a good team. A great captain inspires a good team to greatness. Greatest captain for India... of course....DHONI"

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well said mate.. Completely agree with u.. Dhoni has achieved everything.. That 8 test defeat is just a barrier.. Any other captain would just retire but knowing Dhoni he will prove it again with the young chaps in the team. The age and injuries to zaheer and useless harbajan caught up with us during the England and Australia but with the youngsters stepping up, i'm sure we will achieve great heights under DHONI even in overseas tests..

    And if u see the captaincy record of ganguly its so pathetic.. Hardly one or two victory against strong teams like Australia, South Africa and England. Other victories are against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and West Indies.. And yet he talks as though he whitewashed Aus, SA and England in their own backyards..

  • Joby_George on September 8, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    he he.he still wish to play. Ganguly pls dont play in IPL 2013, you will loose respect from millions of Indians. Time up dada

  • on September 8, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    Ganguly is always so composed.....Even on Greg Chapel he has a very humble opinion and does not display an iota of hate even though Greg had made Ganguly's life miserable and he is still doing that...In this respect we Indians are lucky that we get players like Ganguly Dravid, Laxman and Sachin who are soft speakers and rarely says anything negative.....I love this about my countrymen.

  • Vnott on September 8, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    A captain is only as good as the team. The statement is only partly true. A positive and inspiring captain can create champions. Dhoni is a good One day and T-20 captain. He is however totally flat as a test captain. Negative fields, lack of confidence are quite obvious for the keen observer. The issue ofcourse is: The cup is fairly bare. Sehwag, gambir are candidates but not in personal form batting wise. So by lack of options he continues. Important we hv options before we tour SA. Else a whitewash is all that will happen- no matter what happens at home.....

  • on September 8, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    Well said DADA..!!INDIA needs u as a coach..!!!

  • sweetspot on September 8, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    @landl47 - There's a lot more to it than meets the eye. India were emotionally drained after that euphoric World Cup win, and really didn't want Test cricket so badly, and hence were ill prepared for the next two test series. Can't blame Dhoni when his premier batsmen fail consistently, with the exception of Dravid. India have won under Dhoni in Australia in ODIs - the 2-0 in a tri nation final was no fluke. In Sri Lanka they have won plenty. In England, close series indeed, as in Australia the last time. MSD is the best thing in leadership - his successes cannot be written off because of some overseas blemishes in Tests because India is going to bury Test cricket for good. And yes, for Indians, winning in India is everything. It is when we watch.

  • on September 8, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Dhoni's weakness: (1) He is afraid to lose (No risk, no gain). I think Indian fans and media is to blame for this who somehow expect a magical 100% clean record. This makes him switch from aggressive (when ahead) to defensive (when behind) faster than any other captain EVER. (2) Bets on average horses. His incubation in Chappel times means that he saw the bad side of huge egos. He never saw the good side egos when they win matches on their own. So he bets on easily controllable characters like Raina and Ashwin. People with soft characters are not necessarily best cricketers. In fact, the mavericks of cricket are likely to be uncontrollable maniacs as well.. (sarfaraz nawaz comes to mind).

  • arun_nva on September 8, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    @landl47, your question is valid. yes MSD's boys performed badly in few away series and in T20 WC but that doesnt make them or MSD less. all people have their own bad time and this was bad time for MSD. i remind you Ponting is one of the great captain. but he too was having a torrid time after the great got retired is that means Ponting is also a avg captain ???

  • Rajavel-cricket on September 8, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain only in indian subcontinent pitches,, when it comes to abroad he is a worst ever captain india ever had,, 8 consecutive loses in tests, what a record

  • KiwiRocker- on September 8, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    India's pace, spin and batting talent cupboard is not empty but actually there is no cupboard to start with. Ashwin failed miserably against likes of Pakistan in Asia cup and in Australia. He will do well against weak teams in India but he is no Saeed Ajmal. Ojah has yet to find a place in Indian team. He is an average bowler. Zaheer Khan himself is an above average who averages 32 per wicket and has yet to even take 300 wickets despite the fact he has played 200 test matches. Umaesh Yadev was hyped as next Junaid Khan or Phillander but poor man was taken to cleaners by SL and now NZ. Now the real issue is actually Indian batting that made India to lose 15-0 in England and Australia. Kohli is good, but very early days. Rohit Sharma was againted touted by Indian overzealous media as Viv Richards, but he is just an ordinary player. Suresh Raina and Pujara etc have been tried, tested and failed. Gambhir, Sehwag and Tendulya are flat track bullies! India has no talent and that is a truth!

  • on September 8, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    Did anybody notice Ganguly's comment on captaining IPL? Spot on. Do the owners really have any knowledge in cricket to question a captain?

  • Biggus on September 8, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    Interesting tha he now sees fitness training as terribly important. Wasn't Ganguly's attitude to fitness training one of the issues he and Greg Chappell locked horns over?

  • landl47 on September 8, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    So for all the fans saying that Dhoni is a great captain, could you clarify how it is that a great captain can lose 8 consecutive tests when his team starts those 8 tests as the #1 ranked team in the world? Or how in the last year India has been beaten in ODIs in England, Australia and in the Asia Cup and came bottom in its Super 8 group in the last T20 World Cup? Perhaps Dhoni is a great captain in India, but otherwise not a very good captain?

  • on September 7, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    Ganguly was a top batsman. But the current Indian team has left no doubt in anyone's mind that they play really poor cricket overseas. And the answer is to not play any overseas series for a year. What a sad state for the BCCI.

  • BustIPL on September 7, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    No doubt India have good new talent but they need to be groomed and be given more and more chances to play against arch rivals Pakistan. They have many role models for that such Tendulkar who debuted against Pak also Kapil Dev performed awesome. On the other hand Chetan Sharma bowled that last ball to Miandad and had to lose his place in the team. This is biggest challenge to win against Pakistan that will bring real talent out of these Indian youngsters. Kolhi was too good for Pakistan during Asia cup and can serve as a role model for younger generation.

  • SSANKA on September 7, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    A good captain leads a good team. A great captain inspires a good team to greatness. Greatest captain for India... of course....DHONI

  • Naresh28 on September 7, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Indian Pace bowling is poor compared to the other test playing nations. That is the main reason why the Indian test team is regarded as pushovers. We dont have pace bowlers with stamina to last a days play.The opposition knows this and wears down the the team. I once read an article on a javelin thrower (ATUL SHARMA) trying to become a pace bowler. He was fast and FIT. Why cant we work on a player like him?

  • kc69 on September 7, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    I was always a great admirer of Ganguly but "When I see players of the ability of Kohli, Pujara and Dhoni and some of the other young names"-are you sure Mr.Ganguly that Dhoni's name comes under youngsters????

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on September 7, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Ganguly already proved as a best captain who won in overseas with an average Indian team....he is the one who identified talented players like Sehwag,harbhajan,yuvraj,zaheer....he is a better captain than ponting...make him as a coach is the only way for India to taste wins all over the world.....but,will DHONI accept him as a coach?

  • manish21may on September 7, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    dada ! we miss you. Team India needs coach like you.

  • sweetspot on September 7, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    The amazing thing about MSD is that in the most crucial moments, he can get someone to do something remarkable. Ditto with him stepping in when needed the most. But like Ganguly said, fitness is a very important concern, and more often than not, you will find Dhoni backing a fit player, who is agile and athletic, ready to attack at any given time.

  • xylo on September 7, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Ganguly might be right in citing Ponting as an example of a captain being as good as his team. I think this is similar to Gambhir's idea as well. But, in case of Dhoni, he gets the team to believe that they can do much more than they are capable of. Case in point being the T20 WC to a great extent, and the ODI WC to a lesser extent. Another similar example would be Stephen Fleming. Not to degrade anyone, but this is why some people just call Dhoni 'lucky' which is not the case.

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  • xylo on September 7, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Ganguly might be right in citing Ponting as an example of a captain being as good as his team. I think this is similar to Gambhir's idea as well. But, in case of Dhoni, he gets the team to believe that they can do much more than they are capable of. Case in point being the T20 WC to a great extent, and the ODI WC to a lesser extent. Another similar example would be Stephen Fleming. Not to degrade anyone, but this is why some people just call Dhoni 'lucky' which is not the case.

  • sweetspot on September 7, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    The amazing thing about MSD is that in the most crucial moments, he can get someone to do something remarkable. Ditto with him stepping in when needed the most. But like Ganguly said, fitness is a very important concern, and more often than not, you will find Dhoni backing a fit player, who is agile and athletic, ready to attack at any given time.

  • manish21may on September 7, 2012, 20:39 GMT

    dada ! we miss you. Team India needs coach like you.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on September 7, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Ganguly already proved as a best captain who won in overseas with an average Indian team....he is the one who identified talented players like Sehwag,harbhajan,yuvraj,zaheer....he is a better captain than ponting...make him as a coach is the only way for India to taste wins all over the world.....but,will DHONI accept him as a coach?

  • kc69 on September 7, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    I was always a great admirer of Ganguly but "When I see players of the ability of Kohli, Pujara and Dhoni and some of the other young names"-are you sure Mr.Ganguly that Dhoni's name comes under youngsters????

  • Naresh28 on September 7, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Indian Pace bowling is poor compared to the other test playing nations. That is the main reason why the Indian test team is regarded as pushovers. We dont have pace bowlers with stamina to last a days play.The opposition knows this and wears down the the team. I once read an article on a javelin thrower (ATUL SHARMA) trying to become a pace bowler. He was fast and FIT. Why cant we work on a player like him?

  • SSANKA on September 7, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    A good captain leads a good team. A great captain inspires a good team to greatness. Greatest captain for India... of course....DHONI

  • BustIPL on September 7, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    No doubt India have good new talent but they need to be groomed and be given more and more chances to play against arch rivals Pakistan. They have many role models for that such Tendulkar who debuted against Pak also Kapil Dev performed awesome. On the other hand Chetan Sharma bowled that last ball to Miandad and had to lose his place in the team. This is biggest challenge to win against Pakistan that will bring real talent out of these Indian youngsters. Kolhi was too good for Pakistan during Asia cup and can serve as a role model for younger generation.

  • on September 7, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    Ganguly was a top batsman. But the current Indian team has left no doubt in anyone's mind that they play really poor cricket overseas. And the answer is to not play any overseas series for a year. What a sad state for the BCCI.

  • landl47 on September 8, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    So for all the fans saying that Dhoni is a great captain, could you clarify how it is that a great captain can lose 8 consecutive tests when his team starts those 8 tests as the #1 ranked team in the world? Or how in the last year India has been beaten in ODIs in England, Australia and in the Asia Cup and came bottom in its Super 8 group in the last T20 World Cup? Perhaps Dhoni is a great captain in India, but otherwise not a very good captain?