Despite calls for his head getting louder every day, Pune Warriors India skipper Sourav Ganguly is not really worried. Denying the reports of him being asked to step down, the Bengal cricketer said, “I am still the captain. I am the captain for the whole season, and those are just reports.”
The former India skipper though, admitted that his form hasn’t been up to the mark. “It has been patchy. I have played well at times, I haven’t played well at times, that’s the way T20 format is. There are quite a few players who haven’t played well, but Sourav Ganguly gets criticised more than the others, that has been the trend for the last 15 years,” the southpaw added.
Give him the examples of Deccan Chargers skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori, who both opted to drop themselves in the IPL-V, and Dada is ready with the explanation. “They are both foreigners, and you can play only four foreigners in a team. That’s the reason why they dropped themselves. Vettori dropped himself for Muralitharan, which is not a bad choice,” Ganguly pointed out. And any plans of stepping down after this season? “Let’s finish this first, I haven’t yet thought about it,” the Prince of Kolkata added.
As far as today’s match is concerned, the question on every Pune cricket fan’s mind is if Chris Gayle can do, what Virender Sehwag (87 runs off 48 balls) and Shane Watson (90 runs, 51 balls) have done at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in the IPL-V.
The way Pune have struggled to bat in general, and on this pitch in particular — their last two scores here are 119, and 125 — bowling out RCB cheaply seems their best and only option.
But for that to happen, Pune need to get rid of the West Indian powerhouse early. “You have to get Gayle out. He has become a very smart T20 cricketer. He doesn’t go after the bowling from ball one. He looks to bat 15-20 overs. And if he does that, he would hurt a lot of sides,” Ganguly explained. Sounds a simple theory, but obviously, easier said than done.
>> He scores big one
>> PWI get back to winning ways
>> Chris Gayle exits early
>> Ashish Nehra bowls economically
>> AB de Villiers fails
>> Ganguly’s bad patch continues
>> Nehra goes for runs
>> Michael Clarke is dismissed early
>> Gayle is the hero again
>> Zaheer Khan bowls tightly