When Indian skipper Virat Kohli gave Sourav Ganguly the credit for setting up the winning-mentality in Indian cricket, Sunil Gavaskar had contradicted the statement saying that India in the 70s and 80s were also a great force.
However, Gautam Gambhir has come in support of the Indian captain and said that Kohli was right in saying that the Indian team started winning more away under Ganguly.
But the cricketer-turned-politician also reminded that in home conditions India were always a strong team and captains preceding Ganguly were as dominant as him on home soil.
“See that’s Virat Kohli’s thinking and there is no doubt that we started winning more away from home under Sourav Ganguly,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by Times Now.
“Even previous Indian captains and almost every Indian captain has been dominant. From Gavaskar Ji’s time or Kapil Dev’s time till now India has been a dominant force under every captain at home but under Ganguly’s leadership, we started winning overseas,” he added.
With a win-loss ratio of 56-29, India have been the best Test team in the ongoing decade. Led by Kohli, the team have not only had an incredible run at home but also boast of some great away victories.
Speaking about the path to becoming the number one Test team, Indian captain Virat Kohli acknowledged Ganguly. He said that the current Indian team are carry-forwarding the legacy which was started by Ganguly’s team.
“Test cricket is a mental battle. We’ve learnt to stand up – it all started from Dada’s (Sourav Ganguly) team. The belief is key and to be honest we’ve worked hard, and reaping the rewards of it,” Kohli said at the presentation ceremony after India’s historic win over Bangladesh in their first-ever pink-ball Test.
However, the words had not gone right with Gavaskar who on his part reminded everyone that the Indian team back in 1970s and 1980s were also potent travellers.
Notably, the Indian team had defeated the West Indies at their home in 1971 and won a Test series in England in 1986. They had also defeated Australia in Melbourne in 1981 and could have won the maiden Test series during the tour of 1985-86 had the rain gods shown some mercy.
“The Indian captain said that this thing started in 2000 with Dada’s [Ganguly’s] team. I know Dada is the BCCI president, so maybe Kohli wanted to say nice things about him. But India were also winning in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He wasn’t born then,” Gavaskar said while commentating in the Day-Night Test between India and Bangladesh.
“A lot of people still think that cricket started only in the 2000s. But the Indian team won overseas in the ‘70s. The Indian team also won away in 1986. India also drew series overseas. They lost as other teams did,” he added.
The Indian team, led by Kapil Dev, also had the famous World Cup-victory in 1983. In 1985 under the leadership of Ravi Shastri, the team won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final.