Sourav Ganguly on Mithali Raj’s omission: ‘It happens in life’

Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, says: “The best in the world are at times shown the door.”

Sourav Ganguly: “Captains are asked to sit, so just do it.”   -  PTI

Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, has said he hadn’t been surprised by the omission of Mithali Raj from the Twenty20 team.

“No. I also have also sat in the dug out after captaining India. When I saw Mithali Raj being dropped, I said ‘welcome to the group’,” Ganguly said at the Tollygunge Club here. “Captains are asked to sit, so just do it. I have done it in Faisalabad. I didn’t play [a One-Day International] game for 15 months when I was probably the best performer in one-day cricket. It happens in life. The best in the world are at times shown the door,” the 46-year-old said, recalling the 2006 second Test against Pakistan.

Read | Former players stumped by Mithali's omission

Ganguly, however, felt it wasn’t the end of the road for Mithali. “You should always remember you are best because you did something and there is an opportunity again. So I am not too disappointed seeing Mithali Raj being asked to sit out. I have not been disappointed to see the reactions on the ground,” he said.

‘No guarantee in life’

“But I am disappointed because India lost the semifinals because I thought they had the team to go the distance. It happens as they say there is no guarantee in life.”

Mithali Raj had been dropped from the Indian team for the ICC Women's World T20 semifinal against England. File Photo: Getty Images


For old warhorse M. S. Dhoni, whose form has on the wane of late, the power to hit big sixes was still present, noted Ganguly. He should be allowed to go on a high, he felt. “He’s another champion. Fantastic career for 12-13 years since winning the World Twenty20. Just like everyone else, he has to perform. There is one must in life: whatever job you do, wherever you are, whatever age you have, [whatever] experience you have, you have to keep performing at the top level. Otherwise someone else will take your place,” he said.

‘Phenomenal’ cricketers

“I wish him all the luck because we want champions to go [out] on a high. I still feel he can hit the ball in the stands. He is a phenomenal cricketer,” Ganguly said.

Ganguly termed the current India captain Virat Kohli ‘phenomenal’ too. He said, “He’s phenomenal. Look at his numbers. He wears his hat on his sleeves and India needs a captain like him for whom winning means everything. I wish him all the luck.”

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Ganguly felt the ODI team to participate in Australia would form the core of the team that travels to England for the World Cup. He said, “I am not a selector but I expect 85-90 per cent of this team to play in the World Cup.”

Win at all costs, but behave

Should India, and by extension, other teams adopt a win-at-all-costs attitude? This Australian policy has been under scanner, in light of the ball-tampering scandal and the subsequent probe. Ganguly said, “Nobody wants to go there and lose. In your journey to the tag of winning-at-all-costs you can still behave, you can still do the right things by not crossing the line. Lot of champions have done it. Look at Rahul Dravid [and] Steve Waugh,” Ganguly said

Australia has to “be careful” of not repeating another ball-tampering scandal, he added.

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