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I am not impulsive: Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly offers no excuses for India's poor performances, but on Thursday he preferred to ignore calls for his sacking.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2003 19:30 IST

Sourav Ganguly offers no excuses for his team's poor performances in New Zealand, but he said on Thursday that he preferred to ignore calls for his removal as the captain.

The 30-year-old stylish left-hander, arguably the most combative captain to have led India, said that he was no longer "impulsive and angry" when faced with demands that he be sacked from the job.

"It's a policy these days when a team tours and a captain struggles a bit, they get after the captain. Same thing has happened to Nasser Hussain in Australia. But no longer do I get impulsive and angry. I prefer to ignore such reactions," Ganguly told PTI in an exclusive interview.

"Records and statistics can't always be wrong. It is not always right but are correct at least to the extent of 80 per cent."

Ganguly said he firmly believes a captain is as good as his team and anyone who suggests things worked to a plan, is lying.

"I am a firm believer in Richie Benaud's adage - a captain is as good as his team. If everyone says it worked according to a plan, it's a bullshit.

"If any captain says he has spent two days in chalking out plans to get (Sachin) Tendulkar and Ganguly out and it's happened exactly - he's lying."

Ganguly said his guiding philosophy as a captain was to be honest at all times and go by instinct on a cricket field.

"Nobody is a born captain. Most of the time, I've gone on instinct. Like against the West Indies in Chennai (Test), John (Wright) sent me a message to bowl (Anil) Kumble and have spinners from both ends. Just by instinct I brought back Zaheer Khan and he got four wickets and won us the Test.

"It wasn't a plan. With the ball spinning and West Indies struggling against slow bowlers, anyone would've got spinners from both ends.

"I have tried in my tenure as captain to be honest. If somebody is good he should play. I try to do what is good for the team and the country."

Ganguly considered captaincy as a huge honour but confessed the constant spotlight at times could be exasperating.

"It's a huge honour. When I played Ranji Trophy at 17, I didn't think I will be representing my country. After being dropped in 1992, I never thought I would come back again. When I returned, I couldn't have dreamt I would be leading the country in four years.

"There is pleasure and pressure to go with the job. But sometimes there is too much attention - not off the field but on it. Every move, every shot evokes opinion and sometimes you get fed up with it."

The Indian captain said he has two immediate ambitions - to do well at Eden Gardens and tour New Zealand again and again to make up for the present debacle.

"I am disappointed with my form at Eden Gardens. I've played all my cricket there, played five Tests and captained in two. We've done well as a team but not me. As for New Zealand, I want to come here again and again".

The Indian captain believed the matches against New Zealand in the current series were far closer than the results convey.

"Except for the one in Queenstown, all the games were pretty close. You could look at the Tests or one-dayers and see there wasn't much between the two sides," said Ganguly as he prepared to wind up the disastrous tour down under and look ahead at the World Cup where he and his men would be carrying the hopes of a billion people.

First Published: Jan 09, 2003 15:29 IST