Sourav Ganguly Opens Up On India’s Shortcomings In Test Cricket

Sourav Ganguly has been a huge driving force in Indian cricket for some time now. But, he recently was quite critical of the Indian cricket team. That, too, despite all of his support for them after India lost to Australia in the World Test Championship Final.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been both supportive and critical of the Indian cricket squad after India’s defeat to Australia in the WTC Final 2023. Ganguly says that cricket has evolved and that teams putting huge totals in Tests are now part of the game’s history. 

However, he says that for India to ace the format, they will have to score big in the first innings.

India lose yet another World Test Championship Final

Meanwhile, Team India’s wait for another ICC title continues. They lose their second consecutive WTC final against Australia. That too by a huge margin of 209 runs at the London Oval Cricket Ground.

Scott Boland of Australia bowled a rare spell to dismiss Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over. He closed the door on India. On the last day at The Oval, they were bowled out for 234 in their second innings.

Australia was the better team on all fronts. While India could only blame themselves for yet another loss in a global event. India’s last ICC trophy was in 2013. It was their second defeat in the WTC final, having lost to New Zealand two years prior.

On the first day, the non-selection of R Aswhin was the main talking topic. The failure of India’s high-profile batting lineup was a major factor in their title loss.

Since 2013, India has failed to win a knockout game in eight games. The last time they won an ICC event was against England in the Champions Trophy in 2013. Because these failures have taken various forms, it is tough to draw a pattern. Though certain errors are present across media, they are largely mental rather than physical.

Sourav Ganguly on Team India’s frequent failure in ICC knockout games

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been both supportive and critical of the Indian cricket squad. Following India’s loss to Australia in the World Test Championship Final (WTC) 2023, Ganguly stated that cricket has evolved and that teams scoring big totals in Tests are now part of the game’s history. 

“Aggression is fine, but it must be done after a good performance. Between 2001 and 2006, India’s batters scored 500-600 runs in big venues, whether it was Sydney, Brisbane, Headingley, Nottingham, Oval, Peshawar, Islamabad, or Lahore, putting the opposition team under pressure,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by Star Sports.

“That is something I believe the Indian squad will have to do at some point.” I like how cricket has grown in the last ten years, with more stadiums and grounds. However, in Test cricket, India must ensure that they achieve 350-400 runs in the first innings,” the cricketer-turned-commentator said.

Ganguly says that the current Indian Test team is confident. But he believes that the players’ huge workload is taking a toll. The hard schedule may have an impact on their performance and confidence in vital matches.

“I disagree that this team lacks belief. We played well in England in 2021, and before that, we played well in Australia in 2020-21, where Rishabh Pant won the series on the last day, which I believe only happens with belief. They play so much cricket and travel so much that it goes back for a brief period. So they need to recoup that and bring it back, which I believe can be done,” Ganguly said.

What next for Team India after the WTC 2023 final loss?

In the meantime, India has named their squads for the two-match Test series and three-match One-Day International series against the West Indies in July and August. 

The Test series will kick off the WTC 2023-25 for both India and the West Indies teams. The ODI series will also be huge for India as they ramp up their preparations for the Cricket World Cup later this year. 

Following the loss at the WTC final to Australia at the Oval, India has made some big decisions by bringing in some new faces for the Test setup. Uncap batters Yashaswi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have been chosen in place of senior batter Cheteshwar Pujara.

Pacers Mukesh Kumar and Navdeep Saini are also in the team, with Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav missing out. Ajinkya Rahane is the new vice-captain of the team, with Rohit Sharma as skipper. Jasprit Bumrah is still out due to a back injury. The Test series will begin on July 12 in Dominica and end on July 24 in Trinidad.

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