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Sourav Ganguly: Virat Kohli should concentrate on scoring runs

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly feels that Virat Kohli can become a better captain if he can improve his form with the bat.

Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly

Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly willingly shares his learning as a captain and has advice for young Indian captains such as Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir. Fondly known as “Dada”, he has undergone the hardships of being a captain himself and feels that the skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli should slow things down. Kohli was named the captain of RCB for this season and his team has managed to win just 4 matches out of 10 matches that they have played so far.

“Probably, it’s time he (Kohli) needs to sit back and think about his captaincy. I had a word with Gautam Gambhir seven-eight days back asking him to look at captaincy in a different way and I feel it is time for Virat also to look at captaincy in a different way,” Ganguly told the ‘gocricket.com’ website.

“All of us get caught up with captaincy — need to get the team right, team meetings, need to set this right and set that right etc. Somehow subconsciously we get so much caught up with captaincy that our own game takes a backseat,” an encouraging Ganguly added.

With Virat’s disappointing batting average of 17.11 in this edition of IPL so far, Ganguly feels the pressure of captaincy has already had its impact on young RCB skipper’s batting. 

Therefore my good advice to Virat would be to concentrate on scoring runs and think about captaincy only when he leads the side onto the field. T20 cricket in any case is a very short format and an innings ends in an hour and 15 minutes. From my own experience, I developed a policy of taking on-the-spot decisions while leading the side,” Ganguly said.

Speaking about the correlation between captaincy and performance, 41-year-old Ganguly said, “Captaincy is directly related to how you perform. Look at Gautam Gambhir’s performance. Look at the first three matches and the last three matches when he has scored runs. He has looked authoritative, taking decisions and looked confident. It has huge connection with his performance in the last three games.”

Ganguly backed Kohli and said that the young gun can make a strong comeback if he makes “minor mental adjustment”. 

“T20 is a game where an innings ends in an hour and 15 minutes. In any case, you can’t make too many changes as you can in a Test match. For a young captain like Kohli, he should focus on his batting as too much planning can get you mentally tired and I can see that happening with Kohli,” the former Indian skipper said.

“It’s a minor adjustment, something you learn as captain, nobody is a born captain. You learn to adjust and look at things differently. Probably, he can work with the likes of Daniel Vettori, Allan Donald, who can keep him fresh before the start of the game,” he added.

When asked to rate captains from among the various IPL teams, Ganguly happily rated MS Dhoni as his No.1 and said: “Dhoni is my No 1 not only for this season but for his amazing consistency and being the ‘Pillar of CSK’ for all these years. He will be followed by George Bailey. Now Bailey’s captaincy form has been directly related to the team that they have got at the auction. They have Maxwell and Miller, who are Game-changers.”

“I was very happy with Wriddhiman Saha’s performance as it’s not easy to live under the big shadow of Dhoni year after year. That speaks about Wriddhiman’s temperament. Also I would expect the selectors to keep a close watch on Manan Vohra. He looks a special talent in the manner he pulled Dale Steyn in-front of square,” he added.

Speaking about Rajasthan Royals which is mentored by Ganguly’s good friend Rahul Dravid, Ganguly said, “Look at Rajasthan Royals and how they performed with limited resources. They knew if they let Watson, Faulkner or Rahane let go, they couldn’t have bought them back at the auction. Watson has worked well in company of Dravid. The team shows Dravid’s features. Less on talent but a lot on ability.”

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