Saturday, December 9, 2023

Ganguly to follow Kohli, de Villiers, Smith in World Cup

Kolkata, Feb 5 (IANS) Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly Wednesday said he was looking forward to following Indian vice captain Virat Kohli, South African skipper AB de Villiers and young Australian Test captain Steve Smith in the World Cup.

Ganguly made the comment at a book launch event when asked to name three players he was keen to follow in the big event beginning Feb 14.

The retired left-hand bat, who has scored over 11,000 runs in One-Day Internationals, said the present Indian team had the pedigree to repeat their success of 2011, when they brought the World Cup home after 28 years under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“All these boys (the individuals in the team) are fabulous individuals and are resilient on the field. This quality will make them strong contenders for the title again and MS Dhoni under pressure is a totally different player, it brings the best out of him.”

Asked about India coping with the conditions in Australia and New Zealand, the Atletico de Kolkata co-owner replied: “Remember you do not have to play Australia every day in the World Cup. I believe India is more prepared to play Pakistan in Adelaide than them.”

Ganguly, who led India to the final of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, said the main reason for the team’s good show was the absence of egos.

“The main reason why in 2003 we gelled as a team was because, there was no ego involved. When there are big players in the dressing room, all turning out for the same team, egos take a back seat. I was fortunate enough to lead champions, the likes of (Rahul) Dravids, (Sachin) Tendulkars and (Anil) Kumbles.”

Ganguly was speaking about his past experiences while launching journalist-turned-author Gautam Bhattacharya’s book “Cup Mohola – untold dressing room stories” which involves around dressing room and personal experiences of the author.

The book is dedicated to Ganguly who unveiled it before a packed crowd at a city hotel.

There were messages from Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh too congratulating Bhattacharya on the release.

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