By: Pramod Thomas
FORMER captain Sourav Ganguly urged the Indian team to adopt an “aggressive” approach to end their decade-long wait for an international title.
India has been unsuccessful in winning any major international tournaments since the Champions Trophy in 2013 and had early exits in the last two Twenty20 World Cups.
However, they are expected to perform well and have a good chance of winning the 50-over World Cup at home later this year.
Additionally, India will play against 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 newspaper in an interview published Tuesday (28).
“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 Indian Premier League 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, a pace bowler and an attacking batsman, last played a Test in 2018 before a back injury forced him out. He returned to white-ball cricket last year.