Sourav Ganguly was not suited to T20 cricket as player or captain: Former KKR coach John Buchanan

John Buchanan was KKR's coach in 2008 and 2009 in IPL.

John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly
John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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One of the most iconic captains of the Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly has made the nation proud with his contribution in the Tests and ODIs. Ganguly played an aggressive brand of cricket and is best remembered for shaping up a young team. However, the current BCCI president couldn’t replicate the same in the shortest format of the game and therefore featured in only five editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Ganguly played as a star player for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) from 2008 to 2010. He later represented the Pune Warriors India in 2011 and 2012. John Buchanan had essayed the role of the head coach for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the starting two seasons of IPL. His tenure as a coach was full of controversies majorly due to not so good relations with the then captain Ganguly.

While speaking to Sportstar, the former KKR coach revealed that he didn’t believe Sourav Ganguly was suited to play the T20 format as a captain or as a player. According to him, while playing the shortest format, a captain needs to make quick decisions, a quality that the former Indian captain lacked.

“My thinking at the time was, as a captain, you needed to be able to make quick decisions and your game needed to be suited to the shorter format, and that’s why I had those conversations with Sourav. I just couldn’t believe he was suited to the format of the game and certainly not in a formal captaincy role,” Buchanan stated.

KKR had finished at sixth place in the inaugural edition of the cash-rich league and as a result, Buchanan handed the responsibility of the team to Brendon McCullum instead of Ganguly in the 2009 season. However, the team ended up finishing last, and he was subsequently sacked. Also, Ganguly was re-appointed as captain for the next year.

John Buchanan opined on split captaincy in IPL

In the 2009 edition, John had tried to introduce the concept of multiple captain theory in KKR which didn’t go well with Sourav Ganguly and resulted in strained relations between the two. However, the 67-year-old feels that split captaincy is very much relevant in IPL and should be practised for smooth functioning of the team as it is too much for a single player to focus on all the aspects of the game at the same time.

“I think it’s too much for one person to actually understand all the set of plays that you need to put in place, all the various decisions you need to make, reasonably quickly. And really where it was going to was to have everybody as a leader. In other words, you are saying split captaincy, but you want everybody to be a leader on the field.

“These days all the bowlers are in charge of every delivery that they make. All batters make decisions out there without necessarily the inputs of the captain and the coaches. I think that is where the strength of the team lies.” John concluded.