Ricky Ponting can be a great candidate for India coach: Sourav Ganguly

CHENNAI: Sourav Ganguly, as an advisor with Delhi Capitals, has played a significant role in the turnaround of the team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). On the eve of their crucial match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), TOI caught up with Ganguly on the sidelines of a promotional event for Advanced Hair Studio, for which he is a brand ambassador.
It has to be Vijay Shankar initially. Shankar has got a place because of whatever he has done in Australia and New Zealand, so it’s not that they have picked him from nowhere. Debate will always be there but I think he has good technique and has the talent to perform on the big stage. His bowling in England will be useful. He hits the seam and there will be movement, so Shankar looks a good choice for now.
In case the middle order falters, do you see Virat Kohli coming down to No. 4 with KL Rahul at No. 3?
I don’t think that is going to happen in the beginning. India’s strength is their top three of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat. If two of them get going in most of the games, it will hardly matter who comes in at 4 and 5.
You have been quite critical about Rishabh Pant’s exclusion from the World Cup team…
Yes, he is an outstanding player and should have been there, but it’s not the end of the world for Pant. He will play many World Cups. He has coped well with the setback of not being picked, has taken some outstanding catches, batted beautifully and has shown leadership qualities as well. He will play in all three formats for India for a long time.
Pant has copped a bit of criticism sometimes for throwing his wicket away at crucial junctures…
Oh, that hardly bothers me! In this format, there will be times when he will not get past the line. But some of his knocks have been exceptional. Don’t forget the Delhi wicket has hurt him as well; he likes the ball coming onto the bat.
Are you fine with Dhoni playing through pain in the IPL ahead of the World Cup?
He has the maturity to know how good or bad the injury is. At this stage of his career, there will be always be the odd niggle, but Dhoni has the understanding to deal with it.
Is there any one new player who has caught your eye in this IPL?
It’s Shubman Gill. You can see there is the X-factor in him. He, along with Prithvi Shaw, are fantastic cricketers; and I see them part of all three formats for India for a long time.