Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly applauded the way current skipper Virat Kohli has come out in support of an under-fire MS Dhoni towards the final years of his career.
During a book launch in Kolkata, Ganguly said, “He (Kohli) is a fantastic captain. I don’t know what he does inside dressing room or what he does tactically, as I’m too far away (from the team). I don’t know what he speaks in team meetings but the way he looks after his players is remarkable.”
He further added, “I keep saying about MS Dhoni and what I see of Virat on MS is fantastic. A champion player (Dhoni) who’s probably on his last leg of his career and Virat coming and saying that he’s my man and I want him to play. You just change a player.”
Recently, Virat has said his friendship with Dhoni has grown immensely over the years and it’s a blessing to have him on the side. Talking about the same, he said, “He’s top class cricketer, one of the best India have produced for a long long time. He reaches out, he handles it well. I like Virat Kohli and when I see him on the field, I sit on my sofa and watch. I’ve said it many times he’s a champion player. When I see him captaining India, he wants to win in all conditions. He’s very passionate.”
Asked about Kohli’s style of leadership, Ganguly said: “Everyone has their own style. You have to allow an individual to blossom, allow to deliver. It’s difficult to identify one series. We were 0-1 down and won 2-1 against Australia was remarkable in 2001.”
He further elaborated, “But I keep saying you always be judged how you do outside India. Of all our wins, Pakistan was good as well. It’s the belief we had of winning way that’s the legacy. After Dravid took over captaincy, we went to England and won there in 2007, so it’s the belief we can win away.”
Remembering the famous NatWest final win, Ganguly said captaincy was about holding back your emotions. He said, “We had a terrific start and then Ronnie Irani came to bowl his slow medium bowlers. I told Sehwag ‘dont leave at this stage’. Ronnie pitched it up and Sehwag scored a boundary. I told him to rotate a strike, he scored two more and also swept another. I finally stopped going at him, he understood that I was not happy. Later he told me ‘don’t get angry all those balls were ‘hittable’. Captaincy is not about being boss, also about holding back your tempers.”