New Delhi: Even as Indian cricket fans read with concern the doctor's verdict on Sachin Tendulkar's back injury, Saurav Ganguly said the world's best batsman would have a team "ready to go for the kill" on his return from Australia, where he is consulting sports medicine experts.
"Because of the triumph (against the West Indies in Toronto), the confidence of our team has reached sky high," Ganguly, who captained the squad in Canada in the absence of Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja, told The Indian Express newspaper.
"When Sachin comes back as captain, he will have a team which will be ready to go for the kill," Ganguly added. According to him, the young players have tremendous appetite and energy for victory. The interview was published the day after Peter Barnes, specialist at the Australian Cricket Academy at Adelaide where Tendulkar is undergoing treatment, told reporters that the master batsman's persistent back problem may "limit" his career. Ganguly has been winning accolades for leading a team without some of its top players to victory in Toronto.
Missing from the side were Tendulkar, Jadeja, Mohammed Azharuddin, Nayan Mongia, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble. Ganguly, who has been appointed vice-captain for the forthcoming four-nation Nairobi tournament, explained that his concept of man management on the field is the way different players are used during different situations in a match.
"I changed team strategy and game plan according to situations. I did not always traverse along the beaten track," he said. Asked if he felt, after the Toronto experience, that those on the "reserve bench" should be given more chances, Ganguly said: "It is not a question of the old or the new. It's a question of whether you are doing well consistently on the field. If you can't do well you have to give way for others, whether you are below 30 or above." "Look at Robin Singh (36)," he said.
"Look at his agility, his stamina. He is an asset for any team." Ganguly said off-spinner Nikhil Chopra is the find of the season. "In fact, after the final match I looked for the ball so that I could gift it to Chopra," the stylish left-hander said.