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After England debacle, Sourav Ganguly has a word of advice for skipper Kohli & selectors

Ganguly, who was known for his man-management and team-building skills, urged Kohli to identify potential players and give them a time to settle down.

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The script was set for the Indian cricket team after they were annihilated 1-4 by England in a five-match Test series. The visitors lost the fifth and final Test by 118 runs to suffer one of the heaviest defeats in a Test series in recent times. The daggers were out as usual but former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly decided to stand by Virat Kohlis team after the debacle and advised the captain to give his players a slightly longer rope.

Ganguly, who was known for his man-management and team-building skills, urged Kohli to identify potential players and give them a time to settle down. Though he excelled as a batsman during his captaincy stint, Kohli has often been criticised for changing his team far too frequently. In the 40 Tests that he has led so far, Kohli has changed his team’s playing XI on all instances except once.

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Important to recognise talent

“More than post-mortem, it is important to recognise talent here. It is important for every team to move forward. I believe that the kind of batting that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Rahane and Rahul have done in this series, they are 10 times better cricketers. Kohli needs to bring the best out of his players. It is a big responsibility of a captain to take the players along as you move ahead,” Ganguly was quoted by India TV as saying.

“If the captain puts his arms around a player’s shoulder and says that he wants the player to win him games, the performance will automatically improve. That atmosphere needs to be there. Identification of talent is very important,” the 46-year-old, whose captaincy record was bettered by Kohli in this series, said.

Known for his solid backing of players like Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh who went on to shine for India on international stage, the former southpaw also asked the national selectors to give more time to certain players who showed glimpses of their talent in tough conditions.

“Selectors must see who are the players who make runs outside the sub-continent. They should give those players an opportunity in India. It shouldn’t be the other way round. All the big stars of Indian cricket have made runs outside the sub-continent. And if you see, a player like KL Rahul has hit centuries in both Australia and England. So, he should be given an opportunity. Yes, there should be pressure, but it shouldn’t be so much that the player breaks down. The selectors have to show this balance,” Ganguly said.

The former skipper particularly praised KL Rahul, who had a very ordinary Test series till he hit that 149 in the second innings of the final Test at the Oval. He put on 204 runs for the sixth wicket with wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, who also hit his first Test century, although India could not avoid a defeat because of the failure of other batsmen, including Kohli, in the innings.

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