Tuesday, July 16, 2024

‘India wins without him as well’: Ganguly hails India’s bench strength, lauds Rahul Dravid’s role as NCA chief

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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is impressed with India’s bench strength, and for that, he has credited his former teammate Rahul Dravid for performing his role as National Cricket Academy chief with utmost dedication. Dravid was appointed the head of the NCA in July of 2019 and has been pivotal for the rehab and coming through for experienced cricketers and youngsters alike.

Ganguly’s comments come after India pulled off an incredible series win against Australia Down Under in the absence of some of their big players, with the likes of Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur stepping up. The rise of youngsters has been instrumental in India registering back-to-back Test series wins, and for that Ganguly reckons, Dravid has had an immense role to play.”I always say that Rahul Dravid has done a great job at the NCA (in Bangalore) as he looks after the second-string players. Mohammed Siraj, you know I see a lot of talent in him, Shardul Thakur every time they have got opportunities they have just stood up,” Ganguly, the BCCI president told India Today.

Siraj made his India debut when Mohammed Shami sustained a fractured forearm and was ruled out of the final three Tests. The fast bowler picked up 3/37 and 2/40 on his Test debut, followed by a maiden five-wicket-haul in the final match in Brisbane. Shardul, on the other hand, on his debut, picked up seven wickets in the match and scored a vital 67 with the bat. Even T Natarajan, who replaced the injured Jasprit Bumrah, put up an impressive show, recording figures of 3/78.

“We spoke about Bumrah for all of last year, but India wins without him as well. In Australia the last Test match, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, no Ishant Sharma in the squad, and you beat Australia in Australia. That’s remarkable,” Ganguly added.

Ganguly informed he is doing well after two rounds of angioplasty and will be travelling to Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium for either the second or the third T20I between India and England. The five-match T20I series starts Friday, with all games taking place at the world’s largest cricket stadium, and while the BCCI president has shown his eagerness to travel, the former India captain won’t be doing so without getting a vaccine for Covid-19 first.

“I will travel and go for the T20Is. I will go to Ahmedabad for either the 2nd or the 3rd T20I. I could not travel then because I was just two weeks out of the hospital. I was not allowed to take a place,” Ganguly said.

“Now it’s fine, everything is healthy, I will take the vaccine and then start flying. I am back at work and absolutely fit to be honest. Absolutely spick and span, medical science is so good these days.”


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