India have lot of match-winners in ODIs: Sourav Ganguly

Posted By: PTI

New Delhi, Feb 19: The Indian batting line-up may seem to be heavily reliant on Virat Kohli, but former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels that the team has more than one player to depend on as far as one-day cricket is concerned.

World Cup Special

"In One-day Internationals, there are a lot of match winners. Rohit Sharma is one, his 100 in Melbourne (Second ODI of the tri-series against Australia) was remarkable," said Ganguly.

File photo of Sourav Ganguly

He also insisted that the defending champions have got a very good chance of going all the way in this edition of the World Cup.

"Yeah, I do give them a chance. In one-day cricket, I always give India a chance and with the format, we just have to get to the quarterfinals and then three games, anybody's game," Ganguly told 'Headlines Today'.

Stating that the key to India's success will be to "remain fresh", Ganguly said, "It's been a long tour, four Tests in Australia where you've been battered, you been hit hard.

The bowlers have run in and bowled 500 runs in every Test match, 300 runs in second innings whenever Australia has batted.

"So you can see it on Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav. When you see their body, you can make it from outside that they are tired. That's why I said in one of my interviews that I hope India don't qualify for the tri-series so that it gives them a break.

I would rather wanted them to come back for 3-4 days...unpack and then go back and play the World Cup."

Asked about India's death bowling, which has been a serious concern, the 42-year-old said: "To be honest, at the moment it is only one Mohammad Shami, who I think is a very good death bowler. I expect a lot from Umesh Yadav. I think he is an under achieved, he is lot better bowler than that.

"The way Bhuvneshwar Kumar has bowled in one day matches and Tests, he is not the Bhuvneshwar Kumar in England or the way we have seen in other parts of the world. I don't know whether he is still recovering from his injury.

"So Shami, Umesh, they all have to share the ball in death overs, because you just can't depend on one bowler for death overs," explained Ganguly.

'He has to marshal his team'

On whether he thought the wicket would take turn in Australia, Ganguly said it depended on conditions.

"It may be at the end of the season, but wickets in World Cup would be prepared well, you won't get rank turners. Curators will prepare good pitches. There will be bounce, there will be carry. India will play West Indies in Perth, so different condition will have different bowlers and once you go to knockout stage, it depends on where you play and you decide," he said.

Ganguly said captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's job would be very important during the quadrennial extravaganza.

"He has to marshal his team, in 2011 Dhoni had Sachin (Tendulkar), (Virender) Sehwag, Yuvraj (Singh), and they all were experienced players, match winners. This is young side, young team, they all are trying to find their feet. Only Kohli is stand out other than the captain in one-day cricket.

"When your team is not playing well then you have to find a way to get your team going, I was fortunate as I had Sachin, (Anil) Kumble, (Rahul) Dravid, (Javagal) Srinath and the likes.

Every captain goes through ups and downs and his role is very important, as in last two months Indian team has not done well." Asked to pick his four semi-finalists and Ganguly was prompt in his reply: "India, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa."


Story first published: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 21:26 [IST]
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