FORMER INDIAN skipper Mohammed Azharuddin on Monday said that the Indian top-order batsmen should be more aggressive and get a good start for the team to get back to the winning ways.
Azhar, who was in the City on Monday to attend a private function, told reporters that India in the past won whenever it got a good start.
Asked if the bouncy pitches had compounded to India’s woes, Azhar said the problem was with the players and not with the pitches.
“The same team has played and won games in Australia and South Africa before, so there is no point in blaming the pitches.” When asked about India’s chances in the World Cup, Azhar said it would be better to forget the World Cup for the time being and concentrate on the current series. “The matches at present are more important, and the team needs to play well in the Test matches”, he said.
The 43-year-old former skipper, who looked very relaxed throughout the brief Press meet, evaded a direct reply to a query on whether Ganguly’s inclusion would help Team India.
“I don’t know; it’s very difficult for me to say”, was how he responded clearly taking pains not to say anything controversial.
This was again apparent when he was asked about Kapil Dev’s remarks on Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. “Rahul has been a captain for just one year and needs to be given time,” he said but hastened to add, “Kapil Dev is a very senior player and I respect his views.”
When asked about Greg Chappel’s experiments in batting order, Azhar said, “More experiments should not be done, “but at the end of the day it is the players who have to perform and so don’t blame the coach”.
On demands by certain quarters for a bowling coach, Azhar again preferred the neutral ground saying there was no harm in having a bowling coach though there were not many problems in the bowling department.
On stripping Virendra Sehwag off vice-captaincy in the Test series, Azhar said with the extra burden removed “hopefully he should deliver.”
Lastly, when asked about the chances of BCCI lifting the ban against him, Azhar replied crisply “I am positive”.