On what Sourav Ganguly has to say about coaches!
At that level, what will you coach a Tendulkar, you tell me? What will you coach Rahul Dravid or Sunil Gavaskar or Anil Kumble? All you need to do is guide them and if they are doing certain things wrong, if their habits have just changed from what they were, just show them the path saying that you know this is what you need to get back to. Make sure that they are training enough. Make sure that they are fit and most importantly, in a good space of mind to perform. Because, that’s very important in professional sports.
So, from that point of view, coach coach if you say you need more at a lower level, at a junior level at the under 19’s when they’re techniques are getting better, when they’re body is shaping up for the top level, they’re actions need to be sorted because once you get to that level, you come with a certain brand of talent, that’s what made you reach that level. So, you just need to harness it and make sure that mentally you are in a good space. I think coaches are very very important. We undermine their roles in cricket. At the end of the day, the players are different, they are in different spaces, different mindsets. It’s important for the coach to get all of them together under one roof before the game starts and make sure that they are in the best space to perform.
On his cold war with coach Greg Chappell
I have forgotten it. Because it’s too long. 14 years have gone by. So It’s just gone past me because with time, you get out of things. But, then as you said, it happens, things happen in life. When you work with a group of people, some may like you some may not like you, so that was one of those instances. But, that’s gone past me. It’s too long now.
On what he says about sledging!
Ya, ya, many times. All in good sense because at the end of the day, you respected the players who you played against, because they were great players. I’ve played against an Australia, which was a tremendous Australia, probably the best team I’ve seen in the last 30-35 years and you encountered a Waugh, McGrath, Warne. but you sledge them, said something knowing at the back of your mind that they were great players and you had the respect for them because just that you had to win the game at the particular moment. So, I remember Shane Warne handling in Chennai in 2001, getting out handling the ball and we put him under so much pressure when he walked out to bat in the test match and I remember him gloving and getting out and picking the ball.
So, we had a huge laugh with Warny and I keep reminding him even now also when I see him. Sledging happens in good humour. I remember Glen Magra telling me, after the tour of Australia, after the first test when he nicked me out a couple of times, he said, ‘You might as well try batting right handed, because India might look for another left-hander” and I was captain of the team. And, then we came back and beat them to 2-1 in that series, so. For us, Bhaju was different, young Parthiv Patel was very, very cheeky from behind the stumps. From the Australian side, there was Steve Waugh, who stood gully and had that stern nosy look in his eyes and keep exchanging words and Glen Magra was when he had the ball in hand. Mathew Hayden, in first slip as he could walk past you, there would be a quiet word, one went from the other end. They’re best of friends now.
I see them in the commentary and had a great time with them. And, I had asked them, ‘Why do you say that in the test match in Calcutta? or in the test match in Sydney?’ He said, ‘No, we were under pressure to win that test match and we wanted to get you out so we had to do something.’ So from that point of view they also knew at the back of their mind that it was nothing personal, it was just trying to win a cricket match.
Sourav Ganguly talks about MS Dhoni’s retirement
No, I wasn’t. Because he hadn’t played cricket for a year. And, you know I said it that every good thing has got to come to an end because sports is like that. The best in the business have to finish. You see Tendulkar in cricket, Maradona in football, who was a huge, I’m a huge fan of Diego Maradona in football, Sampras, everyone has to go. India is absolutely proud that it had MS Dhoni, what he’s achieved in the shorter format of the game will be very hard to match by anyone in the future. I don’t believe in that word but I feel, it’s going to be a tough thing for anyone to match what he’s achieved in the shorter format.
Sourav Ganguly and his wise words for Dhoni!
Ya, ya. He was a very quiet person. He came from Ranchi, obviously. Anyone who walks into Indian dressing room takes a bit of time to settle down. But, I loved the young MS Dhoni, the way he batted, the way he hit the cricket ball with his long hair, that swagger, that perceived arrogance, he was not arrogant at all. It’s just the way he walked and his demeanour and his stature and the way he hit sixes and reacted, made him look like that. But, he was a very simple, straight-forward person from Ranchi who came during the time in 2005 and what a player he has been for India as I said, I enjoyed the young Dhoni who would just clear fences at will, never thought of taking singles, putting the balls in the gap, just thought of picking that heavy bat and hitting the balls into the stands. So, I liked MS Dhoni very much.
Sourav Ganguly on being a player’s man , pressure and much more!
I was a player myself, so I’m a player’s man, always. That’s what I was. We, in India are blessed with cricket, because it’s a sport which has all the benefits in the world you can ever imagine. It’s a sport. You want to be in a job which has pressure and I’ve always said that, you don’t want to turn up where people are laughing, smiling and whatever you did mattered, or did not matter. So you need to be in a job where whatever you did mattered and that’s what brings in pressure. So, pressure is part and parcel of life, whether you’re doing a film, whether you’re playing cricket, whether you’re a businessman, you need to live with that pressure because it actually gets the best out of you, at times. You should be waking up in the morning nervous, trying to make a thing successful and I think that’s the best bit of life. So, I just try and help, try and make things work for the game. The game takes care of itself in India. People don’t have or administrators don’t have to do much running or hustle and bustle to get this game successful. You organize matches, you put tickets up on sale, the stands get filled in no time.
Sourav Ganguly’s love for Football and Yuvi’s football skills.
That city, in my growing up period. And I was very good at it. I was not a Yuvraj Singh who would first miss with the left foot and ultimately strike it with the right foot. As much as his batting was right up there among the best, his football was right down there among the worst. That was the disparity we had in his football and cricket. Calcutta is a mad football city. When I used to be in school, I used to finish school at 3 pm, get onto the bus, go to Mohan Bhagani spin ball ground and watch them play the league matches and come back home at 6′ o’clock in the evening after a whole day of school. That, how much fond I was of football. But, I’ve seen football in a generation where Bengal just dominated it.
Sourav Ganguly on women’s cricket and its future
Ya, I meet them. I meet them very often when they come to the BCCI office. It will come to attention. If you see in the last world cup in Australia, the final has 86,000 people watching at the MCG which India lost to Australia. So, people want to come and watch women’s cricket. We put enough attention on women’s cricket because they’re some super players. Smriti Mandhana then Harmanpreet Kaur, she hits massive sixes, Harmanpreet. I saw her innings in the last world cup in England, she got a 170 in the semi-final against Australia. It’s one of the great one-day innings you’ll see for a long period of time. And, I see her, she comes for captains meetings, she sits next to me and picks up the team for the women’s team for various tournaments and she’s strong. Her forearms and shoulders, now you realize why she hit the ball so far. We give as much importance to women’s cricket and it’s only going to get better. You watch the next 3-4 years it will be right up there. I have got no choice, I’m the only man in the house and all around me are women so I have to look after them. That’s what happens in your family. When the family gets ruled by the ladies around. Whether it’s the mother, whether it’s the wife, whether it’s the daughter.
Sourva Ganguly and what he has to say about IPL 2020
I’ve just got my fingers crossed, Neha. Because, it’s a different word now with Covid. We have created everything, the Bio-bubble safety, the players are already in Dubai and Abu-Dhabi, getting ready for the big tournament and IPL has just taken the world by storm, just the popularity, just the way the players want to play. It’s an unbelievable tournament. Every ticket, every game would just fly off. So, that’s what IPL does. Its going to remain strong for the next 15-20 years. Because, these perfect people come to the ground after the days work, come with their families, enjoy it, see sixes and fours from the best players, the players they love. The match gets decided by the time they get home and this is here to stay. So, this is a remarkable format.
Here’s what Hrithik would have to do if he’d star in Saurav Ganguly’s biopic
Sourav – But he’s got to get a body like me, first. Lot of people would say the way Hrithik’s body is, how good-looking he is, and how muscular he is, people would say ‘Aree, you’ll have to get a body like Hrithik’. But, Hrithik will have to get a body like me before he starts.
Best Dressing Sense – Sachin
Worst Dressing Sense – Yuvraj Singh
The one who parties all night/ the hardest – He will not let me come back to Bombay again, if I keep saying all this, Mr Singh
The one with the best singing voice – Venkatesh Prasad
One who never shared his food – Harbhajan Singh
One with the shortest temper. On field, off-field, anywhere – Anil Kumble
The one who always packed excess baggage. What was in it? – Myself. Cricket bats!
The one who could’ve been a stand-up comic – Sadagoppan Ramesh from Chennai. Yes, yes Nehra. Nehra – 1, Sadagoppan Ramesh – 2, thanks for reminding me.
The one who could’ve been an actor – Yuvraj Singh
The one who trained like a match was on – Shreenath & Dravid
One who keeps forgetting things – Me
The one who’s most liberal with gaalis – Harbhajan Singh & Yuvraj Singh
All time favorite India 11, according to Sourav Ganguly
Openers – Tendular & Rohit Sharma. I would leave my place to Rohit Sharma. Ganguly at 3,Kohli at 4, Yuvraj Singh at 5, Dhoni at 6, Kapil Dev at 7, 8 I would pick Ravindra Jadeja, 9 I would pick Anil Kumble, 10 I would have Zaheer Khan and 11 I would have Jasprit Bumrah