Unfair to compare MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli as captains: Sourav Ganguly
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has said new Test captain Virat Kohli and former captain MS Dhoni can't be compared as both have different styles of captaincy. The 26-year-old took over as full-time Test captain from Dhoni in the fourth Test at Sydney following the latter’s retirement from the longer format of the game after the third Test at Melbourne.
"There will be a strong urge to compare Kohli and Dhoni. I don't think the two can be compared and it would be unfair to do so as well," Ganguly said.
"Kohli has got the job now and it is his for the near foreseeable future. He has got all the attributes for leadership and I think he will do well because he is aggressive and wants to win all the time. He will lead with passion and it will show on the field. And he will get better with experience and grow into this role," he added.
After having a tough time in England, Kohli was back to his best in Australia, amassing 692 runs in the 4 Tests, which is a record for the most runs scored by an Indian batsman in a series against Australia.
Indian bowlers must get their basics right: Ganguly
However, the 42-year-old was critical of the bowling performance, saying that the Indian bowlers must stick to the basics and learn to bowl consistent lines and lengths.
"Length and line bowling is a basic at the international level and is very important. Look at what Josh Hazlewood did on the fifth day. He bowled 8 overs for just 3 runs. He kept bowling one line and length and that's just basic bowling,” the former left-hander said.
"Indian bowlers simply have to find a way to do it. The talent is there. They are consistently bowling at 140-plus and you cannot be ordinary bowlers if you keep bowling at that speed. But discipline in Test cricket is always important and a key factor. Hopefully, someone will be around to tell them that and they will learn it from this tour," he added.
He said that it is crucial there are right people around to provide guidance to this young Indian side.
"It is important to have the right people around in terms of helping out these young boys because they are young and raw. They will have to work with them and it will not happen overnight. But it is not rocket science. They will have to keep working on getting the consistency part right," he said.
He also felt that off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has work to do with regards to his line and length.
"Ashwin has got to bowl a lot better especially when it matters later in the Tests. He has been around for a while and now he is an experienced bowler. His lines have to get a lot better especially in overseas conditions. He has to keep bowling a lot outside the off stump and reduce variations even more."
Dhoni’s return will strengthen the side: Ganguly
Ganguly, meanwhile, sounded optimistic about India’s chances in the upcoming triangular series, involving Australia and England, adding that the return of MS Dhoni will bolster the side further.
"It has been a long tour already. The players need to keep themselves fresh. The selectors have done a good job with the World Cup squad and it is quite balanced. Not to mention, Dhoni will be back and he is a terrific one-day player. I am sure he will prove to be a huge force in the coming months,” he concluded.