'Not worried about 1 or 2 losses. But yes, we haven't done well...': Ganguly's blunt verdict on India's title drought
With five T20Is left before the team heads to Australia, Rohit said he wants his players to get out of their comfort zone and explore new things about their game. The team, however, has a mountain to climb, having underperformed in the last year's T20 World Cup in the UAE.
India received another 'reality check' before the start of the hotly-anticipated World T20 beginning next month, as the Rohit Sharma-led side suffered a four-wicket loss to Australia in the T20I series opener on Tuesday. The defeat preceded India crashing out of recent Asia Cup, which was a massive blow to their preparations for the showpiece T20 event. Their campaign in the continental tournament ended early after they lost their first two 'Super 4' matches to Pakistan and Sri Lanka – the teams that made final with two wins each.
With five T20Is left before the team heads to Australia, Rohit said he wants his players to get out of their comfort zone and explore new things about their game. The team, however, has a mountain to climb, having underperformed in the last year's T20 World Cup in the UAE to extend the ICC title drought.
Former India captain and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly also acknowledged that not being able to do well in big tournaments is a matter of concern. But he extended support to skipper Rohit, who replaced Virat Kohli as all-format leader earlier this year. Ganguly underlined Rohit's captaincy acumen and put trust in him and head coach Rahul Dravid.
“Rohit Sharma has a winning percentage of almost 80. India has lost last three-four matches but before that... he has led in 35-40 matches and lost just five or six," said Ganguly, as quoted by PTI.
“I am sure Rohit and Rahul Dravid will be concerned about the team and everything, and they will improve. I am not worried about one or two losses, but yes, we have not done well in big tournaments. We will talk about that.."
“The team will leave (for T20 World Cup in Australia) two to three weeks, will get time to acclimatise and play practice matches," he added.
Ganguly also lavished praise on Kohli over a highly-successful Asia Cup, where he scored 276 runs in five games. The star batter shrugged off his extended dry run with the bat to score two successive half-centuries and then hit an unbeaten 122 off 61 balls, which was his 71st international ton. He reached the three-figure mark – his first ever in a T20I – after a gap of 1,020 days.
“It’s very good news that Virat has done well in Asia Cup, and hopefully, he will continue in that vein," said Ganguly.
Ganguly further labelled Jhulan Goswami “an absolute legend” as the pacer bids adieu to world cricket after a glorious two-decade-long career. She will play her final game at the iconic Lord's on Saturday.
“Jhulan is an absolute legend… Last three as BCCI president, we have maintained very good relations… she had a fantastic career. She is almost 40. Jhulan will leave a mark in women’s cricket she is a role model, she should get the highest honour when she finishes at Lord’s. She is an absolute champion," he said.