NEW DELHI: Former captain Sourav Ganguly called for India to play “aggressively” if they are to break their 10-year drought in winning international titles.
India haven’t won international silverware since the 2013 Champions Trophy, crashing out of the last two T20 World Cups.
But later this year they will be a strong favourite to win the 50-over World Cup on home soil. They will also face Australia in the ICC World Test Championship final at the Oval in June.
“India have to play aggressively, especially in T20s. They have the team to do that,” Ganguly told the Times of India in an interview published on Tuesday.
“Indian cricket will always have talent and a big pool. It’s the ones who are more hungry go to the next level. It’s about how you prepare for the big tournaments,” he said.
Ganguly, however, declined to criticise India’s all-format captain Rohit Sharma or coach Rahul Dravid, saying they are “very balanced people and will do what’s best for Indian cricket”.
But the former Indian cricket board chief hinted that he believed Hardik Pandya could be a future permanent India captain.
The all-rounder led Gujarat Titans to victory in the IPL in their debut season last year.
He has also been stand-in India captain several times in the absence of Rohit.
“IPL is a good breeding ground. We have seen how well Hardik Pandya has captained in the IPL. That’s one of the reasons why he has been captaining India in the shorter formats also,” he said.
“You can’t ignore wins and losses in the IPL because it’s a very tough tournament.”
Ganguly, who is widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest captains, urged Pandya to return to Test cricket, calling him an “asset” in the five-day game as well.
Pandya last played a Test in 2018 before a back injury forced him out. He returned to white-ball cricket last year.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2023
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