Ind vs Eng: Ravi Shastri must improve his side, says Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly lashes out at Ravi Shastri and questions assistant coach Sanjay Bangar's role; Virender Sehwag joins his ex-captain to slam team
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly yesterday lashed out at head coach Ravi Shastri two days after India lost the fourth Test at Southampton by 60 runs and surrender to the Pataudi Trophy 1-3 against England. Virat Kohli & Co, who have managed to win just one Test [at Nottingham] in the four Tests so far, had a golden chance to level the five-match series 2-2 at The Rose Bowl after being set a 245-run target.
However, India collapsed dramatically from 123-4 to 184 all out despite skipper Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane scoring half centuries. Ganguly questioned the roles of Shastri and assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, who is primarily in charge of the batters. "If Ravi Shastri has been given the responsibility of the team along with Virat Kohli, then he [Shastri] has to improve the team," Ganguly was quoted as saying by India TV channel.
Sanjay Bangar and Virender Sehwag
Save skipper Kohli (544 runs in four Tests) and Cheteshwar Pujara, most of the Indian batsmen could not perform up to standards in England. "It is important to talk to Bangar as well that why only one batsman [Kohli] is performing, whereas others seem to have taken backward steps. Unless these questions are answered, an overseas series win in the three countries [England, Australia and South Africa] looks impossible for India," he added.
After winning almost everything during the home Test series in the last couple of years, Team India aimed to become the best travelled team in the world. They lost to South Africa 1-2 earlier this year and have now been defeated by England. Kohli & Co will travel to Australia later in the year. Former India opener Virender Sehwag said India will become the best travelling team only through performances and not just by making statements. "We will become the best travelling team when batsmen and bowlers contribute equally. Best travelling team does not happen with just words. It is done through performance. And performance happen on ground and not in the dressing room. Till the time the bat does not do the talking, these big statements hold no meaning," he said.
Ganguly felt the Indian batsmen seem to have taken a backward step as they are failing to chase modest totals in Tests. "This batting line-up hasn't been making runs for a long time now. If you look at India's overseas performances from 2011 until now, they have lost every big series. I believe that the batting ability of the current players have gone down.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Firstly, the players are short of confidence, whether you look at Pujara or Rahane, you'll find that four years ago, Rahane was matching Kohli shot-by-shot in Adelaide which is not the case at the moment. The same goes for Pujara too," Ganguly remarked. Save West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, India have not registered any series win abroad since the 2008-09 New Zealand tour where they beat the hosts 1-0 in the three-match Test series.
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