Citing the example of CSK under MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians, Sourav Ganguly has admitted that the best of IPL teams have left the teams to their players to function. Added to that, Ganguly also reflected on how the four-captain experiment ruined KKR’s first season.
During the inaugural season of the premier T20 tournament, Sourav Ganguly was one amongst the select few icon players in the tournament. Rightly so, he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders, who were owned by the film star Shahrukh Khan for the first season of the league. After setting the stage on fire in just the first fixture against RCB, KKR slipped down the league standings to sixth place by the end of the season.
In the second season, the franchise were handed the wooden spoon, following their dismal performance, under John Buchanan’s coaching. Talking about the loss, Ganguly, who was one of the star players in the side, admitted that the best IPL teams are those who have left the team in their players’ hands, citing the example of Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
“The best IPL teams have been those that have left the team to the players. Look at CSK, MS Dhoni runs it. In Mumbai also, no one goes up to Rohit Sharma and tells him to select certain players,” Ganguly said in an interview with Gautam Bhattacharjee on his YouTube channel.
Post-2010, everything changed dramatically at the franchise, with Gambhir taking over both the leadership and the team in a stunning fashion, leading them to two IPL titles.
“I was seeing an interview where Gautam Gambhir had said Shah Rukh Khan had told him in the fourth year ‘This is your team, I will not interfere.’ That’s what I told him in the first year. Leave it to me. It didn’t happen,” he added.
However, Ganguly was quick to point out the factors that led to KKR being demoted to the last place in the IPL table. He pointed out how Buchanan’s plans of having four captains in the same team utterly flopped. The difference of opinion between Ganguly, the coach and the management ultimately led to the southpaw finding a different team in the form of Sahara Pune Warriors.
“Thought process was the issue there. The coach (John Buchanan) believed we needed four captains. So it was just a difference of opinion, he thought, ‘Let me have 4 captains, then I can run it my way.’”
“The problems (with Buchanan) started towards the end of the first season. The problem was not me, the problem was the system of having four captains. We had Brendon Mccullum, we had x, we had a bowling captain, and I don’t know the captain for what else,” Ganguly concluded.
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