Former chairman of selectors and India opener Kris Srikkanth likened Sourav Ganguly with West Indies great Clive Lloyd and described the current BCCI president as a born leader, who inspired the Indian cricket team to dream big and taste victory on foreign shores. After Kapil Dev led India to its first-ever World Cup triumph in 1983, he not only inspired many cricketers but also inspired many leaders.Also Read - Virat Kohli Has a Tendency to Quit When His Captaincy is Under Threat, Says Sanjay Manjrekar
After 1983, India reached the World Cup final for the first time in 2003, led by Ganguly. “Ganguly was proactive. He was the guy who was able to form the team combination. Like how in 1976 Clive Lloyd formed the winning combination (for the West Indies team), Sourav put the correct team together and then inspired them,” Srikkanth said on Star Sports 1 Tamil show ‘Cricket Connected – Aattam Thodarum’. Also Read - Highlights | AUS vs ENG Ashes 5th Test, Day 3 Updates: Australia Win By 146 Runs, Hosts Finish Series 4-0
“That’s why Ganguly was a successful captain, even in foreign conditions. They started winning abroad. Ganguly is a born leader,” the former India opener said. Also Read - Explained: Why Did Virat Kohli Resign As the Test Captain of India Cricket Team | Six Pointers
Meanwhile, on the same show, former India spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan lavished praise on Srikkanth’s captaincy style, saying the dashing opener had the capability of leading the national team for a long period.
“Cheeka (Srikkanth) was an aggressive captain. He provided a lot of results. He was very proactive,” Sivaramakrishnan said.
Srikkanth was made the captain of the Indian team in 1989, and incidentally it was under his captaincy Sachin Tendulkar made his debut. He remained the captain of the team for India’s tour of Pakistan in 1990 before being dropped for his batting failures.
“A player like (Sachin) Tendulkar made his debut under Cheeka’s (Srikkanth’s) captaincy. Cheeka’s encouragement to Sachin Tendulkar at that young age gave him confidence and he went on to become the world’s best batsman,” Sivaramakrishnan said.
“We’ve had a lot of inspirational captains, but I always feel Cheeka could have captained more,” added Sivaramakrishnan, who rose to fame after the 1985 World Series.
He recalled that former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar’s guidance helped him in the 1985 World Series in Australia, which India won.
“Gavaskar’s captaincy and his man-management… I was only 19-years-old and I needed guidance and Gavaskar gave me that guidance perfectly.”
Team India is currently led by the enigmatic Virat Kohli, who has also achieved great heights. Kohli and co. also received high praise as Srikanth compared him to the great all-rounder Kapil Dev saying, “Virat Kohli and Kapil Dev’s approach are the same. Positive and aggressive. Go for the win first.”
Cricket Connected airs every Saturday & Sunday on the Star Sports network at 7PM.