Ahead of the series against Australia away from home, Sourav Ganguly has cautioned Indian skipper Virat Kohli that he must sit back and understand that he has to lead the side better away from home. Ganguly also has admitted that KL Rahul can contribute across three formats for the national team.
While India managed a terrific win over Australia in the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, their success away from home has been pretty bleak, including losses against South Africa, England and the latest, New Zealand. In all of those tours, the lack of runs was a major concern, which in Australia was heralded by Cheteshwar Pujara’s outstanding tour, where he scored 521 runs in just seven innings. However, elsewhere India have still struggled with their batting unit, especially the skipper, who has not led from the front.
Barring the 593-run series against England in 2018, Kohli has rather suffered a lull against both New Zealand and Australia, which has put India in a spot of bother, in terms of the runs scored. Ahead of the important series against Australia Down Under, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has cautioned that Kohli must sit back and understand that he needs to play better away from home. Alongside that, he also wanted support from the other batsmen for Kohli and Pujara, who have shouldered the India batting.
“Yeah and he must sit back and understand [speaking of Kohli] that he has got to play better away from home. Yes, Australia was a good series which they won but they should’ve done better in England, New Zealand, South Africa in Test matches and they are a capable side. They must have learned from that and everyone has to bat well. We didn’t win in England because we didn’t get Test match hundreds other than Virat Kohli and Pujara,” Ganguly said on India Today's programme 'Inspiration'.
One of the players, who Ganguly is keen on making an impact Down Under is KL Rahul. Following the illustrious IPL season, the right-handed batsman will travel to Australia across all the three formats, with reports even suggesting that he might take Kohli’s place in case the skipper misses a few games.
"I have a lot of time for KL Rahul in Test matches and I am saying that as a cricketer. But, at the end of the day, it is the selector that decides who plays and who doesn't play. Just as somebody who has played the game, I feel he (Rahul) is someone, who will contribute in all forms of the game. I wish him all the luck. Hopefully, he contributes to the winning cause of India which is important,” he concluded.
Alongside that, Ganguly also stressed the importance of runs in away conditions, adding that India's victory in 2018/19 was only possible because of the plethora of runs put up by Pujara, Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Ajinkya Rahane.
“You won in Australia because Pujara got you 500 runs, 3 hundreds, Virat got a hundred, Rishabh Pant got a hundred. Rahane got scores of 60, 70, 80s. That is the only way you’re going to win series. Hopefully they’ll fight hard, buckle down. The Australia will be a good attack with Cummins and Starc and Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. In those conditions, they’ll play good attacks so it will be a good series.”