Former India captain and the current head coach of Team India Ravi Shastri’s recent comments that the current Indian team under the captaincy of Virat Kohli has already done things which no other Indian team has done in the past was an indirect jibe taken at Sourav Ganguly and his team who failed to beat Sri Lanka in their territory during his captaincy. As a matter of fact, the only other Indian captain to win a series in Sri Lanka barring Virat Kohli is Mohammad Azharuddin way back in 1993.
Ganguly though decided to respond in a submissive manner and was reluctant to comment openly on that aspect. Rather he wished that he would be able to give India the 2019 World Cup which will be held in England and Wales. Not only did Shastri’s statement was an indirect mock towards Ganguly it also included many other captains including the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Now if you tend to insult Tendulkar then you should know that you are actually insulting yourself.
There is no doubt about the fact that Tendulkar was not one of the best captains but it should also be taken into consideration that the Sri Lankan team now is nowhere close to where they used to be a decade ago. Tendulkar’s tenure as a captain against Sri Lanka was far from impressive. In the tour of 1997, the visitors went on to concede the highest Test score 953/6 against Sri Lanka which made everyone belittle the Indian bowling brigade.
Ganguly on the other hand at least suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of the islanders during the 2002 series. The visitors were without the services of Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman hence the victory in the 2nd Test at Kandy was a special one. Kumble during his stint as a captain against Sri Lanka lost the Test series by a 1-2 margin.
If One Day Internationals are also added, then the record of Tendulkar is very poor as India suffered a 3-0 whitewash during the 1997 tour itself. Another captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, on the other hand, led India to several ODI series victories in the island nation. Ganguly led India to the final of the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2002 but eventually had to share the laurels with the hosts after the final was abandoned due to rain.
Meanwhile, one thing which Shastri must keep in mind that belittling former cricketers won’t make a lion of the jungle. Instead of criticising some stalwarts of the game is insulting yourself and that is what Shastri is doing at the moment. On a personal front he shouldn’t have been the Indian coach but given Kohli’s preference, Shastri was named the coach.