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Sometimes we miss Ganguly: Sehwag

Sourav nurtured a bunch of budding cricketers and Virender Sehwag voiced his gratitude, saying that the team missed him.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 15:57 IST

Sourav Ganguly, in his days as India's captain, nurtured a bunch of budding cricketers one of whom, Virender Sehwag on Sunday voiced his gratitude and said that the team missed him.

"He supported me a lot. He backed Yuvraj (Singh), Harbhajan (Singh), Ashish (Nehra), Ajit Agarkar, Mohammad Kaif," says Sehwag, India's vice-captain who nods in full agreement when asked if Ganguly had shaped the careers of all of them.

The 27-year-old's thinking is as uncluttered as his batting. His feelings are transparent but he speaks cautiously on the topic of Ganguly, currently a virtual persona non-grata with coach Greg Chappell.

What happened between Ganguly and Chappell he does not know, Sehwag told PTI in an interview, adding simply, "both of them are aggressive".

The former captain's cricketing fate was in the hands of the selectors and the Cricket Board, Sehwag acknowledges but says that "sometimes we miss Ganguly".

Sehwag refuses to believe that Ganguly's international career is over. "He is still playing first class cricket and hopefully he will get a chance again. It will be good if he gets back because he has got 10,000 one-day runs, 5,000 Test runs and 22 ODI hundreds. Most of the time India won when he got a hundred. He is a fantastic player," the vice-captain said. 

His favourite captain was Australia's Steve Waugh followed by Ganguly, Sehwag said emphasising that a skipper's mettle was tested in tough situations. Otherwise, everybody is a good captain if the going is good.

Dravid "is a very good thinker", a good learner who is always cool and "someone who never panics in a pressure situation", according to Sehwag who pointed out that India had hardly lost a game chasing since he became captain.

"May be, hopefully Dravid will be the best captain by the end of his career," he said.

How does Chappell compare to his predecessor, New Zealander John Wright?

Wright, he replies, was a good but not a great player. Chappell was a great player with great knowledge of the game.

The difference between them is in their attitude. "Someone who has been aggressive in his batting is also aggressive in his coaching," Sehwag said.

Wright would be tense and unhappy if we did badly whereas Chappell is very cool and calm because he knows all players face pressure situations, he said, adding however that the New Zealander had been a very good motivator who knew how to get 100 per cent from players.

Of the next generation, Sehwag, not surprisingly, singles out Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the next superstar. "He is handling pressure very well and in tough situations he adjusts his game very quickly."

Dhoni, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Irfan and Harbhajan Singh will remain to be match winners when great players like Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid and Anil Kumble retire.

In fact, India have very good finishers now in Dhoni, Yuvraj, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan. "These four are match winners. They play ball-by-ball. If they play 50 balls, they will get 50 runs... They are very cool and calm," he said.

Sehwag is high on confidence in the team's ability to win matches. "Our confidence is high as we are winning matches. We have won 2 or 3 series continuously. We are trying to build a team for the World Cup.

"Hopefully we will do well in the West Indies (tour starting this month). This series is important for us because of next year's World Cup there", he said.

He does not agree that the Indian team may peak too early ahead of the World Cup.