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Sourav Ganguly : New Zealand team lack fight or grit

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SportsCafe Desk


Sourav Ganguly has slammed the touring New Zealand side saying that they lack the determination, grit, or fight to win games. The former Indian skipper also chose to go after the big names in the Kiwi squad criticizing the dismissals of their captain Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, and Martin Guptill.

New Zealand have had a terrible outing in their Test tour to India with a 3-0 whitewash. With the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammad Shami for the first three matches of the ODI series, they were expected to receive some solace. But the Kiwis have begun the series on the back foot after being curtailed by Hardik Pandya and co for a sub-200 total and then failing to defend it.

After the first ODI at Dharamsala, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has mocked the visitors saying that they seem to be in a hurry to get the series done with.

“I was watching the game & I have seen the Test series as well, with all due respect to everyone in the Kiwi team, they want this series to get over as soon as possible. I think they (New Zealand) have given up hope, they have given up coming back and trying to beat this Indian team. There is no determination on that side, there is no fight or grit in that team”, Sourav told India Today after the victory in Dharamsala.

The legend also questioned the attitude of the key players in the Kiwi side who have let them down. Tom Latham became the tenth batsman in ODI history to carry the bat with an unbeaten 79, but the batsmen at the other end – including stars like Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill – have failed to stay long at the crease.

“You see Martin Guptill, innings after innings he has been rolled over by the Indian quicks. New Zealand cricket has never beaten the likes of Australia, South Africa or England as they never had that much talent but when you see dismissals like the ones of Kane Williamson & Ross Taylor, you just don’t see the determination. The only way they can come back is show some fight. If Tim Southee at no. 10 can get a fifty, if Tom Latham can bat with grit and determination then I really don’t see why the others cannot,” added the former India captain.

Sourav Ganguly also was full of praise for the Indian team. He contrasted Virat Kohli's determination with the visitors and praised the Indian talisman.

“When you see Virat Kohli bat you see the fire, you see the hunger, you see the feet moving, it is just a different mindset. It is just his quality, he enjoys batting in ODI cricket. Players go through this period when they start believing subconsciously that I will just walk on and get runs and that is exactly what has happened to Virat Kohli. To be honest I don’t see Virat Kohli facing any problems with this New Zealand attack specially when they get only 190 on the board with this white ball & on these pitches”, said Ganguly.

Ganguly also reserved praise for debutant Hardik Pandya who ran through the top order with some quality bowling.

“Dhoni showed a lot of faith in Hardik Pandya. The young fast bowler Pandya created trouble for them (New Zealand), Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami all have created trouble for them, so in a side when every opposition bowler is giving trouble for the batsmen then you don’t win. From my point of view what lacks in this New Zealand team is fight. I have see New Zealand teams in the past under the likes of Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum, there was a lot more heart in those sides as compared to this one,” added Sourav.