Ever since former India captain Sourav Ganguly has taken over as the BCCI president, speculations have been doing the rounds that a cold war is brewing between him and head coach Ravi Shastri. The two are not known to share a rapport and it got exposed when Shastri lost the race to become the coach a few years ago.
He later said Ganguly’s absence when he was presenting his case through the visual media was a sign of disrespect to which the latter said there was nothing deliberate in that.
The memories are still fresh in the public mind and after Ganguly took over as the BCCI chief in October, the question has come up over and again whether the duo will get along well. Ganguly recently rubbished the speculations that he would be vindictive towards Shastri and said it is performance alone that will determine the tenure of individuals.
On Friday, the BCCI chief was asked at the ‘India Today Conclave (East)’ about the conjecture that he has settlements to make with Shastri over their past differences. The 47-year-old, who is not known for mincing words, responded saying: “That’s why these are called speculations. I don’t have an answer to these questions.”
“You perform and you continue, you don’t, someone else takes over. That was also the case when I played,” he said, adding: “There will be talks, leaks, rumours but concentration should be on what happens on 22 yards.”
Sourav Ganguly cites the examples of Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar
Ganguly then gave the example of captain Virat Kohli who has 70 international hundreds now and along with Sachin Tendulkar, who has 100 international tons, to say: “Life is about performance and nothing can substitute that.” He reiterated what he had said in his first press conference after taking over as the BCCI chief and it is about Kohli remaining the most important man in Indian cricket as he leads the team on the ground.
“Virat is a fantastic role model as to how he conducts himself on and off the field. He (Kohli) will get all the support required to succeed. Virat, Ravi everyone will get everything required. But at the end of the day, we will demand performance,” Ganguly added.
Though India have done well overall, their failure to clinch big moments in a number of ICC tournaments in recent times has been a concern. On that, the former India batsman said: “It’s not an ability issue but mind issue. They need to cross the mental barrier in big games.”
On the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia next year — the first major tournament in Ganguly’s tenure — he warned the players against walking out in the middle to play for their places in the team.
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