India vs England: Clive Lloyd, Sourav Ganguly on captaincy’s winning way
Clive Lloyd led the most fearsome team in his reign from 1974 to 1984 that also brought two World Cups. Under him, fast bowlers Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Joel Garner shook rivals without any protective gear.Updated: Aug 09, 2018 16:08 IST
Virat Kohli and Joe Root have the jury out on their captaincy, but the man who made going-to-battle-for-me a credo in cricket puts down leadership to the very essence of human relationships – trust.
Clive Lloyd led the most fearsome team in his reign from 1974 to 1984 that also brought two World Cups. Under him, fast bowlers Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Joel Garner shook rivals without any protective gear. Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards led intimidation with the bat.
For almost 16 years, from 1980, West Indies didn’t lose a series. “My job was tougher than that of the Prime Minister of any island,” he says. “You had to develop a situation. There are 14-odd islands, different cultures. What you had to have is trust. Otherwise, they are not going to play for you. Winning, just like losing, is contagious.”
“We didn’t have a cent. Winning was important, (then) we had more money. India had millions of people, same with Pakistan. By winning, we could demand a better tariff to go to those countries.”
Lloyd recalls the 1984 Leeds Test win when Marshall was picked despite a broken hand, helped Larry Gomes get his century batting with one hand as No 11 then grabbed 7/53 to bowl Windies to win.
“This is an example of trust, Marshall and I were having a discussion. I asked him, ‘Marshall, can you play?’ He asked me, ‘you want me to play?’ We got him a flesh-coloured plaster. He batted one-hand (faced eight balls), helped Larry to a century. Not too many captains will do that, pick an injured player.”
Ganguly acknowledges the trust factor, pointing to Harbhajan Singh, hero of the 2001 home series win over Australia with 32 wickets. “I backed Bhajji because he had the ability; in that series, he was the go-to man.” They were speaking at the London launch of the book “Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians” by Boria Majumdar.
On the sidelines, Lloyd is asked, what does he make of Virat Kohli, does he see a super star skipper like Viv Richards?
“He is doing extremely well. It was a bit unfortunate in the last Test (India lost by 31 runs in Edgbaston).”
What about his aggression, send-off to rival captains? “I suppose you can’t be a pussy cat (laughs). You can be stern at times, as long as you don’t go over the line.”
Kohli is pushing for overseas wins, and wants India to dominate away as well. He is delivering with the bat, but the rest of the batting unit has lagged behind. Ganguly, who led India in 49 Tests, winning 21, is among those critical of changes in every Test under him.
Lloyd says: “He is a guy who has got to own that dressing room. And he performs, so he will galvanise the team. Virat is a rock star, box office.”
First Published: Aug 09, 2018 16:07 IST