Sourav wants to be coach after being captain

Published: Monday, August 9, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi :Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh are his favourite cricketers; he wants to play for another four to five years and thereafter wishes to become the Indian team's coach.

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has revealed this and much more in a published interview during which he also discloses that he places a picture of goddess Kali and photographs of his wife and daughter on the table of his hotel room while on tour.

The stylish left-hander rates India's win in the Test match against Australia at Adelaide as his best match even ahead of the great win against the same opponents at Kolkata in 2001. "They were a special side, a strong team - indeed the best," he told the Reader's Digest magazine.

On why he named Dravid first in his list of favourite cricketers, Ganguly explained: "He is a very good player and he is a good human being."

Ganguly said he had not thought of retirement and was keen to play for another four to five years and help India scale new heights.

"I have not even thought of retirement. I want to play for another four, five years. I want to take Indian cricket forward and concentrate on more wins for India... At some stage I also want to be involved with the game, may be as a coach," said the country's most successful Test captain.

Ganguly said his emergence as the most successful captain was largely because of the presence of a talented lot of young match winners like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh.

"(VVS) Laxman's arrived as a player and there's Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan. Anil Kumble has bowled in a way I have never seen before."

Asked whether he felt responsible to some extent for the team's success, the skipper said, "Definitely, because when you are captain, you have a lot to do both on and off the field. It's very important that you pick the right boys and find ways to push them to give their best.

"You can't have all eleven in their best form all the time. There will be somebody playing outstandingly, somebody struggling. It's the job of the captain to talk with the guys who are not doing well, encourage him and makes sure he feels good. It's when all eleven perform that we have a winning team."

Ganguly attributed the success of the team to the positive mindset of the players.

"Cricket is a game of the mind. If you think positively you play well. If you are negative than you struggle. Technique, training, fitness -- they're all very well, but if your mind is not in the right place than you struggle."

Ganguly also spoke about his relations with the most senior player in the side, Sachin Tendulkar, with whom he does not have any misunderstanding.

"Why should I have tiffs with Sachin? We play for the same team, we have played together since our Under-15 days."

Ganguly, who was in the eye of a storm following his selection to the national team in 1996 with many alleging that he was picked as part of the quota system, strongly denied that such a thing existed in Indian cricket now.

"It's not there. I have been captain for four years. I have not seen any of that. I don't know whether it existed when I got back into the team. But today it doesn't."

The 31-year-old Ganguly also threw light on his personal life and said fatherhood has changed his lifestyle.

Asked how he felt being a dad, he said "Oh great. It's fantastic. You have someone who is everything. Previously you did things for yourself and your wife... When you have a little girl you do everything for her. So your outlook changes, your lifestyle changes. It's a huge change."

On his mentor, he said "my dad obviously. I am also a huge fan of Pete Sampras. The cool way he approaches the tennis court, the race to win and the example he sets."

Ganguly said he was a religious person but not a fanatic. "I believe in God. But I am not a fanatic. I go to the Kali temple, I pray before a match."

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