Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has hailed Virat Kohli as a 'remarkable player', saying that he enjoys watching the current Indian skipper on TV. On the other hand, Ganguly avoided commenting on Ravi Shastri’s ‘best team’ remark while wishing him good luck for his first stint as coach.
MS Dhoni stepped down from the Test captaincy in December 2014, leaving Virat Kohli to take over the mantle and the 28-year-old has perfectly filled in his boots. Almost three years on, now, the Indian team is touring Sri Lanka under his captaincy and they are on the way to registering their eighth successive Test series victory.
Given India's stellar performance over the last three years, Ganguly has acknowledged that he admires Kohli's batting and also dwelt on how he has improved as a leader.
"Virat has improved immensely as a captain. He got the ingredients of a good captain. He's hungry, he's himself a remarkable player. I like to sit on the sofa and watch him on TV. He got the ability and there's no doubt about it," Ganguly told to India Today.
"Not thinking too far ahead. Looking forward to watching the next Test match in Sri Lanka," he added.
Earlier, Shastri had claimed that his team had the potential to become the best team ever, given that his team had managed to win a Test series in Sri Lanka for the first time since 1993 when India last toured the island nation, in 2015. In response to this claim, Ganguly chose not to comment on the incident.
"To be honest, I don't have much to say on this. Wish him all the best. Given him a job to do till the World Cup in 2019 and hopefully, he will get the Cup and does the job,” the 45-year-old said.
India crushed the hosts by 304 runs in Galle Test last week to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. In this game, Cheteshwar Pujara contributed 153 in the first innings, which played a big role in taking India to a commanding victory. Moreover, the second match of the series, which started today marks Pujara's 50th Test match and so far, the Saurashtra batsman has impressed one and all with his performances so far as he averages 52 in the longest format and Ganguly is no different.
"Remarkable numbers. He's halfway through now. You expect him to play 100 Tests. He doesn't play ODI and T20 cricket. You bring him back in Tests and he hits the stride straight away. The good thing about him is that he went to county cricket and that has helped him. I said a year ago when he was dropped against the West Indies that they should play him at No. 3 and I was not wrong," Ganguly said.
Finally, Abhinav Mukund was handed an opportunity the first match of the ongoing Test series as India’s regular opener KL Rahul was unavailable due to illness. And he gave a good account of himself as he managed 81 in the second innings, but it wasn't enough to seal a place in the side for the second Test he was dropped owing to Rahul's return. But the Prince of Kolkata had a word of encouragement for the opener as he said, "Mukund shouldn't be disheartened. He has presented his case and he will get his time."