Pune: Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly Monday said that unlike football, cricket is a “captain’s game” and the coach should take a “back seat”. The 46-year-old, one of India’s most successful captains, said “man management” is one of the key qualities a coach should possess. Ganguly was at the Symbiosis International (Deemed University) to launch his book – ‘A Century is not Enough’, co-authored with senior sports writer Gautam Bhattacharya. The cricketer later took part in a panel discussion along with Bhattacharya.
“It is not like football. A lot of current cricket coaches think that they are going to run a cricket team like a football team, but cricket is a captain’s game and coach has to take a backseat and that is important,” said Ganguly.
The 113-Test veteran was replying to a question on the role of coaches in cricket. He was asked what qualities a coach should have and he replied, “man management”, adding “hardly few have it”.
Asked what is the best advice he had received during his career, Ganguly quipped, “Never pick a coach.” Asked if he is given a chance what question he will pose to the current India head coach Ravi Shastri, he said, “Who picks up the team, Rohit Sharma (stand-in ODI captain) or Ravi Shastri.”
Ganguly, who also played in the IPL, said he was fortunate enough to lead a team which was full of champions like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. Players such as Harbhajan, Zaheer and Yuvraj Singh have said in the past they owed their careers to Ganguly as he backed them as the captain.
There are several talented players today but they are not sure whether they will play the next game, and asked about it, Ganguly said, “Virat (Kohli) needs to work little on it. I backed them because I saw them closely, I have seen them how they react to pressure.” He said pressure is must in professional life but too much pressure is not good.
Talking to reporters over the dismal performance of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the ongoing Asia Cup in the UAE, Ganguly said it was just a temporary phase for these teams and they will overcome it.
“I think it is just a phase and they will get back on the track. They are strong teams,” he said.
Talking about the current Australian team, he said the present squad is the weakest he has seen in the last 20-25 years.