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Sourav Ganguly built a team as India captain; not sure if Virat Kohli did: Virender Sehwag

Mumbai, May 19: Former India opener Virender Sehwag has rated Sourav Ganguly as the best leader and claimed that Virat Kohli might be the most successful captain statistically but he couldn't build a team much as Ganguly did.

In the upcoming episode of Home of Heroes, Sports18 newest offering, Sehwag compared the two cricketers in terms of their leadership and said Kohli didn't create any new match-winners like Ganguly.

"Sourav Ganguly built a new team, brought in new players and backed them through their highs and lows. I doubt if Kohli did that in his tenure," the Nawab of Najafgarh said on the show.

The two-time World Cup winner went on to say that during Kohli's captaincy, for 2-3 years, there was a trend to change the team after almost every Test, whether they won or lost.

"In my opinion, the #1 captain is the one who builds a team and gives confidence to his players. He (Kohli) backed some players, some he did not," Sehwag stated.

When quizzed if Rishabh Pant's career trajectory was similar to his, with limited success in ODI and T20Is but enviable numbers in Tests, Sehwag agreed and claimed Pant will be more successful if he opens in limited-overs cricket.

Cricket fans were stunned earlier this year when Pant walked out to open against West Indies in an ODI. He managed a 34-ball 18, but India coach Rahul Dravid knew what he was doing.

As the U-19 coach, Dravid witnessed Pant's credentials as an opener when he recorded the fastest U-19 international fifty against Nepal during the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup, getting there in 18 balls, followed by a century in the next match against Namibia.

"We don't play limited-overs to score 50 or 100 but to score at a brisk pace, no matter the situation or the opposition. At no. 4 or 5, he will find himself in situations that demand greater responsibility, but if he opens, he will be far more successful," points Sehwag.

Sehwag also earmarks Prithvi Shaw as the player to watch out for in future. "He is a player who can bring back the excitement in Test cricket," Sehwag opines. "Opposition will have to think if 400 would be enough with Shaw and Pant in our ranks."

"Shaw and Pant in one team could help India rule Test cricket, win World Test Championship," Sehwag claims further.

The first part of Virender Sehwag's interview on 'Home of Heroes' will be aired on Sports18 at 7:00 PM tonight.

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Story first published: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 16:34 [IST]
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