Sourav Ganguly mentioned that the team, he captained, had too many gentlemen, referring to Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, and Sachin Tendulkar, when it came to the mental battles on-field while playing Australia. The conversation took place yesterday when the semifinal was interrupted by rain.
After India’s precise bowling performance restricted New Zealand to 155/3 in 40 overs, the Kiwis, led by Ross Taylor, fought back to cross the 200-run mark. As the umpires decided to call off the players due to rain, New Zealand were 211/5 in 46.1 overs.
However, as rain spoiled the on-field fun, Ganguly cracked some jokes off-field to keep the mood jovial, in the backdrop of a gloomy Manchester. The former Indian skipper was asked how the mental battles, also known as ‘sledging’, were played out between India and Australia during his captaincy in the early 2000s.
“It was very hard with that team, because we had too many gentlemen. If you ask Rahul Dravid to do that, he’ll come back and say ‘No no no that’s not the right way to play.' You ask VVS Laxman to do that, he’ll say ‘I’m concentrating on my batting.’ And if you tell Sachin to do it, he will stand at mid-on and tell the mid-wicket fielder to sledge Steve Waugh, and himself not do it,” Ganguly said on Star Sports’ Cricket Live show, reported Indian Express.
As Laxman and the host laughed, Ganguly added further that only he and Harbhajan Singh would keep the Indian flag high during the sledging battles.
“There were a lot of issues in that team. The only ones holding the Indian flag were Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly. Sardarji did everything I told him to do,” Ganguly added.
Ganguly was the captain of the India team from 2000 to 2005, a period when India beat Australia in a Test series at home and drew a Test series in Australia. The Aussies were well renowned for their mental games on the cricket field.
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