Wisdom speaks: Just hang in there, Taylor to Ganguly

Published: Monday, February 17, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Former Australian Test captain Mark Taylor, who went through a long lean patch like the one Saurav Ganguly is currently experiencing, has a word of advice for the embattled Indian skipper - "just hang in there".

Taylor, who came in the line of fire after going through 21 Test innings without a 50, was at hand to watch Australia take on India and said he knew how mentally agonising it was for a captain to hit poor form. "It's not a nice feeling. You are worried more than anyone else that you are not scoring runs, the media is jumping on your back, the former cricketers are calling for your head and there's always someone who is being projected as the next captain," the 38-year-old told a Website.

"All this after you have worried yourself silly about captaining the team. It can be a very frustrating time if you are the captain and not scoring runs. Ask Ganguly and he will tell you," said Taylor, who finally shut up his critics with a brilliant 129 in an Ashes Test to cement his place once again in the side. His advice to the fellow left-handed Indian skipper was, "Hang in there, things will turn around. He is a good batsman and he should be back among the runs but not this way (the way he got out against Australia).

"You can't hope to slog your way back to form. You need to spend time in the middle, take blows on your body if need be and you should have that determination to get back to form," Taylor said. Taylor said there was bound to be a lot of debate on Ganguly and in turn the skipper feeling the pressure of captaincy. "It's bound to be. He is the captain of the side, of a nation that takes it's cricket very, very passionately and the Indian public is never satisfied. They want fifties and hundreds all the time. I can understand the pressure Ganguly must be feeling," Taylor said.

The former cricketer said he was baffled by the Indian batsmen's performance against the world champion. "I am not sure what they were trying to do. They have come off a disastrous series against New Zealand where none of them got runs and here they were, trying to hit their way out of trouble. "You can't bat like this against a quality bowling attack. Ganguly, Sehwag and others played some really stupid shots," he said.

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