Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday said he harbours ambitions of becoming the India head coach at some point if not right now.
“Definitely, I’m interested but not at this point of time. Let one more phase go then I will throw my name into the fray,” Ganguly said at the unveiling of a new range of men’s collections by Senco Gold & Diamonds.
Ganguly, besides being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president is with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also does regular commentary. Ganguly helped Delhi qualify for the play offs for the first time since 2012 last season.
“Currently, I’m associated with too many things — IPL, CAB, TV commentary. Let me complete this. But I will definitely put my hat at some stage. Provided I get selected. But definitely I’m interested. Not now, but in the future,” Ganguly said.
Talking about the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Kapil Dev selecting the next India coach, Ganguly revealed that there are not many big names in the fray who have applied for the job, hinting at Ravi Shastri getting an extension.
India captain Virat Kohli has backed Shastri to continue in the role.
“Going by the applicants, I don’t see any heavyweight names. I heard Mahela (Jayawardene) would apply but ultimately he didn’t… There are not many big names who have applied for the coach’s job. Ultimately I don’t know what the panel will decide. They have been around for a while. We will see how big the term they will give. Not many names who have applied. Whoever they feel is good they should do it,” he said.
Ganguly, however, refused to comment on Shastri’s tenure as India coach. “I will hold my opinion on that. I don’t think it’s right for me to say about that. I’m too far from the system that decides the coach,” Ganguly said.
On the upcoming West Indies tour, he said: “West Indies in West Indies will be a lot stronger. T20 is their preferred format. They enjoy playing T20s and they are the current World T20 Champions. The two matches in Florida will be tough games.
“Test matches will also be tough as they played very well against England. It won’t be an easy West Indies tour as it was five years ago. India will be challenged. There are a lot of young players in the team.
“As I’ve said before you want to see these young players get consistent opportunities. You keep saying horses for courses but I feel don’t judge a horse if you want to keep them on the course. Consistency is important for rhythm and confidence.”
India will play a full series comprising three T20s, three ODIs and two tests starting Saturday.
Ganguly also lavished praise on former Australia skipper Steve Smith who scored a brilliant century in his first test since returning from a one year ban for his role in the ball tampering scandal. “Class is permanent and you could see it. These sort of hundreds will remain in everybody’s memories. Now they are in a big chance of winning the match. First innings scores are very important. From that point of view, it’s a fantastic hundred,” he said.
“To be away for a year and play the World Cup… He has had a quiet World Cup. And then to start the Ashes with a century, especially when the team was down was a remarkable effort. Ashes is the biggest England-Australia battle.”
Ganguly also said he is enjoying his time with Delhi IPL side. “The team had struggled for a number of times and we were joint number one after 14 matches. It’s been a great season for Delhi, hope we will go further.
“Looking after the Delhi Capitals team and being with the team right through the season… which I will be in the future as well. It helped me to work with the players, stay fit. That’s also one of the reasons for me to be in shape.
“I work hard to stay young, stay fit. The hardest thing is when you stop playing and still you have to stay fit. When you stand for six hours in a Test match, you automatically stay in shape.
“But when you stop playing, I train very hard. That’s the way I’ve been. I’ve been involved with sports in a different way,” he added.