India Have Always Won Matches Batting First Like Leeds In 2002 Or South Africa In 2018: Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
/

India Have Always Won Matches Batting First Like Leeds In 2002 Or South Africa In 2018: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly has the answer to what India preferably would want to do if they win the toss in the crucial final of the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand.

Former India captain and present BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly suggested that India should bat first even if the conditions are overcast because that has worked well for the team on overseas tours.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly: India Have Always Won Matches Batting First Like Leeds In 2002 Or South Africa In 2018

As India gear up to take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl, Sourav Ganguly is hopeful that Virat Kohli & Co. will bring the Test Mace home. At the same time, he also suggested that it won’t be an easy task, given the quality and depth of the Black Caps.

While speaking to India Today, Ganguly said, “If you dig into the record books and see India’s best overseas performances (save 2021 Australia), we have always won matches when we have batted first. It’s about a choice whether you want to face the pressure first up in adverse conditions or wait for the fourth innings.”

 Sourav Ganguly said that the role of openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will be crucial for India in England (AFP Photo)
Sourav Ganguly said that the role of openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will be crucial for India in England (AFP Photo)

“Look at Leeds in 2002 or 2018 South Africa, we batted first in bowling friendly conditions, soaked in the initial pressure, put runs on the board and that’s how we won those games. Even Mark Taylor or Steve Waugh’s Australian teams rarely fielded even in seaming conditions. Maybe occasionally when the wicket used to be damp,” said Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly, who had a staggering average of 65.35 from 9 Tests in England, also said that India’s fortunes will depend a lot on how India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill perform in the upcoming Tests.

Sourav Ganguly: Opening Is A Very Important Aspect When India Tours Abroad So The England Tour Will Be Crucial For Openers Rohit Sharma And Shubman Gill

Sourav Ganguly further opined that it will be a big responsibility for openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill who would be required to blunt the new ball attack of New Zealand in the WTC Final and then England in the subsequent 5 match Test series.

“Opening becomes a very important aspect when you tour abroad. When we toured Australia, England, and Pakistan, we played well because we had openers like Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra, who used to play out the new ball and make it old. When your middle-order batsmen come out to bat at 30 for 2 then it becomes really difficult for a side to compete,” Sourav Ganguly said.

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill | Photo Credit: AP
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill | Photo Credit: AP
“If they are able to do that then they will be able to set the game for the batsmen coming after them like Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and India’s best batsman on current form Rishabh Pant,” he added.
New Zealand is the only team to beat India in the WTC. The Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton.
Indian opener Rohit Sharma has amassed 1030 runs in 11 Tests averaging 64.37 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21. Another opener Shubman Gill has played only 7 Tests managing 378 runs averaging 34.36 with 3 fifties.