Ravi Shastri excludes Sourav Ganguly from list of best Indian captains
Shastri and Ganguly haven't shared the best of equations ever since the duo took potshots at each other after Kumble became the head coach.
What’s the story
Former India captain, and the erstwhile director of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri has excluded Sourav Ganguly from his list of best Indian captains. He heaped praise on MS Dhoni and his contribution to Indian cricket, stating that the timing of his decision to resign from the captaincy role was perfect.
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Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri haven’t had the best of equations ever since Anil Kumble was appointed as India’s head coach. The two former captains don’t exactly get along together, and it was fairly evident when the duo threw muck at each other on public platforms in the days following Kumble’s selection.
It started when Ravi Shastri felt ‘disrespected’ by Sourav Ganguly’s absence from the panel that interviewed him for the job of Team India’s coach. Ganguly, in turn, had said that he was ‘very saddened’ by Shastri’s personal attack. Things have gone downhill ever since.
The heart of the matter
While speaking to Wisden India, Shastri hailed Dhoni as a ‘dada captain’, using the term ‘dada’ which is associated with Sourav Ganguly, in whose native language the word means ‘big brother’. Talking about Dhoni and the yeoman service he has done for the Indian team, Shastri said: “My salaam to a dada captain. MS has won everything there is to win, he really has nothing to prove. Again, the reason I say he has nothing to prove is that he is easily India’s most successful captain, by a distance. There is no one even close to him in that regard”.
He enlisted the names of other Indian captains who have had a big role to play in shaping cricket in the country. Sourav Ganguly’s name was conspicuous by his absence.
“The names that follow in that list a fair distance behind are Kapil Dev, who led India to the World Cup title in 1983 and because of whom we won the Test series in England in 1986. And Ajit (Wadekar) in an era before there was one-day cricket, when we won successive Test series in the West Indies and then England in 1971. And of course, Tiger (Pataudi) for flamboyance. Baaki koi nahi (there is no one else)”.
While the opinion is entirely Shastri’s own, it is a bit difficult to digest the fact that Sourav Ganguly, who has been statistically one of India’s best captains, and one of the most respected skippers, doesn’t get recognition from another Indian captain.
Ganguly took over the captaincy at a time when the Indian team was afflicted by match-fixing allegations, helping shape a team of youngsters into world beaters and guiding them to memorable wins in England, Australia and Pakistan. Under him, the team also reached the finals of the World Cup in 2003, where they lost to Australia.
Having excluded the current CAB president from the list of best Indian skippers reflects that things haven’t been sorted out between the two.