Team needs to play well abroad, will have a word with Virat & Ravi: Ganguly

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has said that he will have a chat with India captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri, trying to gauge what went wrong in New Zealand where the team was whitewashed in the Test and ODI series.

Stressing on the importance of winning on the road, Ganguly, who turned 48 on Wednesday, said the team needs to win away and also added that players need to be given longer rope for them to perform, something he feels is happening now.

“You have to play well outside, they are not doing that. And there is no hiding. Even when I was captain, I said I will be only judged how good I am when we play away and it remains the same. We will have a word with Virat and Ravi and the boys and help them to play well away,” Ganguly told Sportskeeda in an interview.

Asked about players not finding their positions secure in recent times with a lot of chopping and changing happening, the former India captain said: “But I think it’s changed a bit in the last four months. Isn’t it. You see KL Rahul now playing both forms of the game, Mohammad Shami has come back for all forms of the game. (Ravindra) Jadeja has played all forms of the game. Rohit Sharma has played all forms of the game, although Rohit had played all forms of the game before we came in and ran the board.

“Consistency is important. Yes you must have pressure, but I always believe don’t put so much pressure that it doesn’t work.”

Ganguly said Kohli is on the same page with him on this and understands the importance of consistency in the side.

“Virat understands it and he is on the same page. There would be odd 1-2 decisions here and there but as I said our perspective is to play well away. We did not play well in New Zealand. We have Australia coming in 5-6 months time. I don’t know whether I will be there or not (as BCCI president) but wherever I am, I will still want them to play well overseas.”

“We play a pink Test in Australia, we play a pink Test against England next year in Ahmedabad so…they have been fantastic,” he said of the current Indian team and Kohli agreeing to play a D/N Test against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens last year shrugging off initial reservations.

Ganguly also spoke about Indian players wanting to play in overseas leagues once they have called it a day, saying it is something that the board will discuss.

Wrist spinner Pravin Tambe could become the first Indian to play in the Carribean Premier League after the 48-year old was signed by Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) — the franchise co-owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan — for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

“We have allowed some, Yuvraj played last year. It’s a decision we will have to discuss. We have to be practical. But at the same time we have to protect the IPL. We need to create a balance. But if you are retired, you don’t get to play…it happened to me when I retired. I was just playing IPL. I got offers from Big Bash, in England…Bangladesh…I said I would go and play for two years if I want to…but I was not allowed. But rightly so…the brand was growing in 2010. This game has given me everything…I said fine if that’s the way it is and I stay for IPL’s brand to grow…so be it. I didn’t play.”

Ganguly also revealed he is a different person off the field and the aggression which he showed on the field was limited to that.

“I am completely different on the cricket field. I was not a born leader. It got better once I got to play the game. But I am a very competitive person on the field, otherwise not. Cricket was so important and close to me. Leading on the field was much harder. The 4-5 months (as BCCI boss) has been a great experience. There is a lot of work.”

On the demands of a modern day captain, he said: “You got to be clever and have a good team.”