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IPL 2014: Virat Kohli should rethink captaincy, feels Sourav Ganguly

Virat Kohli hasn't had the best of IPL so far this season © IANS
Virat Kohli hasn’t had the best of IPL so far this season © IANS

New Delhi: May 15, 2014

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels that Virat Kohli should take it easy while leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore side which in turn would help him focus on his primary duty– scoring as many runs as possible.

Under Kohli’s captaincy, RCB has lost six out of the 10 games and one of India’s finest captain feels that it has got to do with the kind of pressure Virat is taking on himself.

“Probably, it’s time he (Kohli) needs to sit back and think about his captaincy. I had a word with Gautam Gambhir seven-eight days back asking him to look at captaincy in a different way and I feel it is time for Virat also to look at captaincy in a different way,” Ganguly told gocricket.com on Thursday.

According to Ganguly, the rigours of captaincy at some point of time affects everyone subconsciously.

“All of us get caught up with captaincy — need to get the team right, team meetings, need to set this right and set that right etc. Somehow subconsciously we get so much caught up with captaincy that our own game takes a backseat.

“Therefore my good advice to Virat would be to concentrate on scoring runs and think about captaincy only when he leads the side onto the field. T20 cricket in any case is a very short format and an innings ends in an hour and 15 minutes. From my own experience, I developed a policy of taking on-the-spot decisions while leading the side,” Ganguly said.

Ganguly said in no uncertain terms that captaincy has a direct correlation with the individual’s performance.

“Captaincy is directly related to how you peform. Look at Gautam Gambhir’s performance. Look at the first three matches and the last three matches when he has scored runs. He has looked authoritative, taking decisions and looked confident. It has huge connection with his performance in the last three games.”

Ganguly believes that for Kohli, who has been India’s best batsman in all formats across last four years (keeping Sachin Tendulkar in mind), it will be a “minor mental adjustment” which he can do.

“T20 is a game where an innings ends in an hour and 15 minutes. In any case, you can’t make too many changes as you can in a Test match. For a young captain like Kohli, he should focus on his batting as too much planning can get you mentally tired and I can see that happening with Kohli.

“It’s a minor adjustment, something you learn as captain, nobody is a born captain. You learn to adjust and look at things differently. Probably, he can work with the likes of Daniel Vettori, Allan Donald, who can keep him fresh before the start of the game.”

While rating the various captains across the eight teams, Ganguly rated Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the undisputed No 1 in this format.

“Dhoni is my No 1 not only for this season but for his amazing consistency and being the ‘Pillar of CSK’ for all these years. He will be followed by George Bailey. Now Bailey’s captaincy form has been directly related to the team that they have got at the auction. They have Maxwell and Miller, who are Game-changers.

“I was very happy with Wriddhiman Saha‘s performance as it’s not easy to live under the big shadow of Dhoni year after year. That speaks about Wriddhiman’s temperament. Also I would expect the selectors to keep a close watch on Manan Vohra. He looks a special talent in the manner he pulled Dale Steyn in-front of square.”

Ganguly also said that both John Wright and Gary Kirsten “froze at the auction table” and didn’t get it right over there.

“I believe Rohit, Mrs Ambani, John would be regretting that they let go Maxwell. Look at Rajasthan Royals and how they performed with limited resources. They knew if they let Watson, Faulkner or Rahane let go, they couldn’t have bought them back at the auction. Watson has worked well in company of Dravid. The team shows Dravid’s features. Less on talent but a lot on ability,” Ganguly said.

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