Former India pacer Dodda Ganesh opened up on his early retirement from the game in an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda. The 46-year-old revealed that he retired at the age of 31 in order to not block the opportunities of younger pacers that were around at the time.
Dodda Ganesh realised that, at 31, he was not going to be getting too many opportunities of a comeback into the Indian team. The longer he played domestic, the more chances he’d be taking away from the likes of Vinay Kumar, and then, Abhimanyu Mithun.
“I decided to retire when I was 31 because I thought I couldn’t make a comeback to the Indian team and I was blocking others’ chances. That is the reason I decided to quit and concentrate on my coaching,” Dodda Ganesh said.
"I knew Vinay Kumar would have a long career": Dodda Ganesh
The former Karnataka fast bowler would go on to coach the Goan Ranji team years after his retirement. Dodda Ganesh has also served as chief selector of the Karnataka state cricket team.
In that time Vinay Kumar would go on to captain the Karnataka team and lead them to back-to-back trebles in the domestic circuit. Vinay Kumar’s long and successful Karnataka career came to an end when he moved to Puducherry ahead of the 2019/20 season.
“Vinay Kumar was coming through at the time, Mithun was coming up as well. I thought I didn’t want to block their places. I saw that Vinay Kumar was hardworking and I knew he would have a long career. At the end of the day, Vinay also played till last year and he did really well. He was named as captain, and he won those six tournaments,” Dodda Ganesh told us.
Speaking about the current Karnataka team, Dodda Ganesh showered a lot of praise on the current batch of players in the Karnataka team. He particularly singled out 24-year-old Prasidh Krishna as a pacer to look out for in the future.
“I’m looking out for Prasidh Krishna. He’s got the ability and I’m looking for him to play a long career. He’s got good height, good pace, and has done well in the IPL,” Dodda Ganesh said.
"You need to be street smart in T20s": Dodda Ganesh
Dodda Ganesh also expressed his views on T20s being a batsman’s game. The Bengaluru-born pacer believes that it is up to the bowlers to adapt to the conditions and figure out how they can get a batsman out, whatever the conditions may be.
In Dodda Ganesh’s opinion, the rules of the game are no excuse. The presence of video analysts, he believes, should be used to work out the weaknesses of the opposition batsman. The former Karnataka selector also stressed on the importance of playing without fear in a format like T20.
“If you want to compete, you have to work hard and adjust. You cannot give excuses. I know this is a batsman’s game. Now you have video analysts. You need to find out the batsman’s weakness, and bowl according to the captain and the field set-up. If a bowler plays T20s with the fear that he’ll get hit, then he won’t survive in the game for long. You need to try bowling a lot of variations; the knuckleball, the slow bouncers, the yorker. Basically, you need to be street smart,” Dodda Ganesh said.