India vs England: Sourav Ganguly wants Virat Kohli to identify talent and back them

Ganguly also feels that it is important for the Indian selectors to back those players who can win India games outside the sub-continent.

Updated: Sep 12, 2018 12:38:35

By HT Correspondent

Sourav Ganguly feels it is important for skipper Virat Kohli (left) to bring the best out of his players. (AP)

Sourav Ganguly has been known to be a players’ captain and the former India skipper believes that current skipper Virat Kohli must back his players and give them the confidence to rise to challenge and turn into match-winners. He also wants Kohli to identify the talented players and give them a slightly longer rope.

“More than postmortem, it is important to recognize talent here. It is important for every team to move forward. I believe that the kind of batting that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Rahane and Rahul have done in this series, they are 10 times better cricketers. Kohli needs to bring the best out of his players. It is a big responsibility of a captain to take the players along as you move ahead.

“If the captain puts his arms around a player’s shoulder and says that he wants the player to win him games, the performance will automatically improve. That atmosphere needs to be there. Identification of talent is very important,” he told India TV.

Ganguly also feels that it is important for the Indian selectors to back those players who can win India games outside the sub-continent. He feels that while it is important to have healthy competition for places, there shouldn’t be extreme pressure on the players.

“Selectors must see who are the players who make runs outside the sub-continent. They should give those players an opportunity in India. It shouldn’t be the other way round. All the big stars of Indian cricket have made runs outside the sub-continent. And if you see, a player like KL Rahul has hit centuries in both Australia and England. So, he should be given an opportunity. Yes, there should be pressure, but it shouldn’t be so much that the player breaks down. The selectors have to show this balance,” he explained.

Praising KL Rahul for his century in the last innings of the Oval Test, Ganguly said: “Rahul batted really well. There was pressure on him and I am surprised that it took him so long to score runs as he is a quality player. Broad troubled him in this series, but I am happy with his showing because I feel there is a place for him in this team as an opener. You can say that it was a little late in the day, but it can definitely act as a motivation for the youngster.”

While there have been talks of how this could have been the end of Shikhar Dhawan’s career as an opener, Ganguly said it was important for the opener to score runs and also ensure that he spends enough time in the middle to turn the new ball old.

“Cannot blame any individual as such, but as an opener it is important to score runs in overseas conditions. If the opener gives you a good start, the ball gets older when the middle-order comes in to bat. Since Dhawan hasn’t done well, India might need to look at another opener outside the sub-continent,” he said.

Ganguly also said that the trio of Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul and Rishabh Pant played fearless cricket on Tuesday and that was good to see. “Sometimes when your back is against the wall, you need to come out and play positively. And that is exactly what Rahul, Pant and Ajinkya Rahane did, they played fearless cricket. This is a good sign, even though you can say that the performance has come very late in the series. But you must applaud the efforts of the trio,” he said.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 12:33:28


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