The Surrey star believes Sourav Ganguly instilled self-belief into the team at the turn of the century, and this very ideology has helped Indian cricket flourish on foreign shores.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu on SK Live, Azhar Mahmood said -
“I credit Sourav Ganguly for the change in attitude for Team India in terms of trying to win overseas. Earlier, when India traveled overseas, it seemed okay for them to lose. Things began to change since Ganguly. MS Dhoni carried that for a while before Virat Kohli continued the trend.
“The self-belief started in the Ganguly era where the team believed that we aren’t going overseas to lose, we can win and return. The team believed that there’s nothing that we lack when compared to the opposition. We have the skills, we are prepared for the conditions, if you have good pacers, we have them too. If you have a good spinner, we have them too. Going there and fighting is important. If you lose, so be it, but you gave it all.”
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Azhar Mahmood and Sourav Ganguly were a part of the fierce India-Pakistan rivalry and contested against each other in several memorable duels.
Before Ganguly took over the captaincy, India had won 13 overseas Tests in its 68 years of Test history. Under his leadership, India won 11 Tests outside of the home, which stood as a record before Virat Kohli surpassed him in 2019.
Current Pakistan side needs to build India’s attitude: Azhar Mahmood
Azhar Mahmood, who also once served as Pakistan's bowling coach, believes that there’s no dearth of talent in Pakistan. He further went on to attribute the lack of attitude among the players that is visible in the Indian team.
The 45-year-old hopes Pakistan will take a leaf out of the second-string Indian side’s victorious Australian campaign and get better as a visiting team.
“India’s positive attitude was the difference in Australia. And that’s what the current Pakistan side needs at the moment. We won against South Africa at home, but we didn’t put enough fight in New Zealand before that. Throw out the fear of failure. Just go out and give it all,” added Azhar Mahmood.
Playing at home, Pakistan whitewashed South Africa 2-0 in the Test series and won the T20Is 2-1. However, they did not have a fruitful campaign in New Zealand where they suffered a big 0-2 defeat in Tests and 1-2 series loss in the T20Is.