Kolkata: Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly on Friday rubbished speculation that he would be vindictive towards chief coach Ravi Shastri, saying that performance alone will be the parameter of judging individuals during his tenure. Shastri and Ganguly had a public fallout in 2016 when the former reapplied for the coach’s job while the latter was part of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that selected Anil Kumble for the position.
In 2017, Shastri got back the job after Kumble resigned following his much-publicised difference of opinion with skipper Virat Kohli. During the India Today Conclave (East) on Friday, Ganguly was asked about conjecture that he has an axe to grind with Shastri because of past differences. “That’s why this is called speculation. I don’t have an answer to these questions,” said Ganguly, dismissing the supposition.
For Ganguly, it all boils down to performance on the field. “You perform and you continue. You don’t [continue], someone else takes over. That was also the case when I played,” he asserted. “There will be talks, leaks, rumours but concentration should be on what happens on 22 yards,” he said. He then cited examples of Virat Kohli, who has 70 international hundreds and Sachin Tendulkar (100 tons) to make his point.
“Life is about performance and nothing can substitute that,” he said. As he stated during his first press interaction after taking over, Ganguly reiterated that, “Kohli remains the most important man in Indian cricket as he leads the team on the field.” “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,” he said.
After the 2011 World Cup triumph, the Indian team faltered at the semi-final and final hurdle of most ICC tournaments save the 2013 Champions Trophy. “It’s not an ability issue but mind issue. They need to cross the mental barrier in big games,” he said.
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