Sourav Ganguly feels IPL should not be a benchmark for players  © AFP
Sourav Ganguly feels IPL should not be a benchmark for players © AFP

Kolkata: A cricketer should not be judged on the basis of how much he fetches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament is based on “demand and supply”, feels former India captain Sourav Ganguly. Speaking at Cricket Year Book’s 20th anniversary, Ganguly was asked about highly rated India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha going to Sunrisers Hyderabad for just Rs 5 crore while fellow stumper Dinesh Karthik was bought for Rs 7.4 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders.

“You cannot judge players based on IPL money. Hashim Amla (of South Africa) went unsold. He has 54 centuries. Delhi’s Ishan Kishan has got 6.2 crores (Mumbai Indians) playing only Ranji Trophy. So the IPL is not a yardstick to judge any player’s value. “IPL is a different format and you have to look at it that way. IPL has no rationale, it is supply and demand. Jaydev Unadkat is the highest paid Indian player (in the 2018 auction). He has played two ODIs and no Tests,” Ganguly said.

Unadkat became the most expensive domestic player at the IPL auction last Sunday when he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 11.5 crore. There was little to delight India’s Test ace Cheteshwar Pujara as well in the IPL auction. He went unsold and he was one of the players whose name was not even read out.

Coming to the six One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against South Africa, starting from Thursday in Durban, Ganguly said it’s a 50-50 after India’s fighting win in the third Test in Johannesburg. He added that skipper Virat Kohli has to get runs for India to succeed.

“I can’t say before matches. It’s 50-50 now after India’s Jo’burg Test win. It won’t be easy in South African conditions. The advantage is that AB De Villiers is not there (for the first three matches due to a finger injury). He is a huge name for South African cricket. Virat has to score runs for India to win the series,” Ganguly said.

Asked when did he realise that India has a chance to win the third test after losing the first two, Ganguly said, “When India won the toss, I thought they would win. I knew the more time will pass, the wicket will get worse. In 2006, same thing. We won the toss and batted first so we won.”

In 2006, India won by 123 runs in Johannesburg under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. It was Ganguly’s comeback match as well after he was dropped from the team during Greg Chappell’s era. Ganguly said, on the Wanderers pitch which was rated “poor” by the ICC, that he has never seen a wicket like that in South Africa and it was an “accident”.

“In South Africa you don’t get such wickets. I have played (in) 5-6 (tours) there, and I think it was an accident. In future, it won’t happen I think,” Ganguly said. Ganguly was also quizzed about Kohli’s batting and how it has evolved. ”He is remarkable. He is one of the best in the world at the moment and that’s the way it is. Like him, budding cricketers have to adapt to different conditions and have to have the skill.”