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Time Rahul, Sourav decided captaincy issue: Srinath

By Javagal Srinath
August 06, 2005 22:42 IST

It's perhaps not easy for Sourav Ganguly to accept the situation in which he is in at the moment. After all, Sourav was not just a captain. He was regarded the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket. I regard him the best captain in my career. No captain did ever back me like the way Sourav did. I always felt that I played cricket along with him, but not under him. We did disagree on few things, but it had nothing to do with my personal cricket, but generally the way he handled the team as a whole.

For each player, Sourav had his own way. He made a lot of allowances for a player's character and idiosyncrasies. Players come from all parts of the country and from different cultural and academic backgrounds. Youngsters mostly take time to mature and he gave them the right kind of support, even if they posed problems every now and then. In a fast-paced game like modern day cricket, young players, who go through both wins and defeats, carry a lot of unwanted baggage in their minds. To make these players align to the objective of the team is never an easy task.

Ganguly's captaincy did not have the regimental ways. The most important aspect of his leadership was that he never made mistakes in picking and backing the right players. Rahul, who did lead the side several times in Ganguly's absence, always admired the Kolkatan's man management.

Time has come for Ganguly to review his cricketing career. Playing for India or leading the team is a privilege and not a prerogative. Sourav should connect his entire bandwidth to his batting and get some runs under his belt. A captain is as good as his own performance. Rahul has been the key decision maker under Ganguly's captaincy and they share a wonderful relationship.

In the event of Rahul getting the captaincy, there will be not much change of equations in the side. It's just that either Rahul or Ganguly should throw light onĀ  their own cricket as well as on Indian cricket and decide that the other should be the leader in the best interest of the team. I am afraid I may be thinking aloud, but there cannot be anything better for the future of Indian cricket.

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West Indies are facing all sorts of problems. The controversy created over the personal contracts of some of the players has forced them to field a rather ordinary side. In international cricket these days, there is hardly any place for such teams as opponents would be merciless in their approach. Fielding so many inexperienced players at one time is simply catastrophic.

It's always easy to learn from the wins. But learning's from the defeats is extremely difficult. The environment and atmosphere within a winning team is a wonderful breeding ground for the youngsters to establish themselves. Let's take a cue from the current Australian team, where a youngster hardly fails at the international level. If the team gets beaten too often, then the fragile minds of the new entrants might suffer from severe erosion of confidence and belief.

I wonder what Bennet King, the West Indies coach with no international experience of his own, would do with the boys. I strongly feel that to understand the psychology of the players, the coach must have had some international experience. I agree that Australia's John Buchanan is doing a wonderful job though he himself never played international cricket. But the scenario there is completely different as the culture of cricket is too deep-rooted and inherent in a country like Australia.

Javagal Srinath