The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav is a great captain, says Kapil

Calcutta: With the World Cup in South Africa coming closer, the only World Cup winning captain of India feels the present team is in safe hands.

“Sourav Ganguly is a great captain and we should be proud of such a leader,” Kapil Dev said Wednesday. He was here to attend a gathering announcing the launch of Kinetic Boss.

“Gone are the days when the only job of the captain was to do the toss and stay aloof from other matters. Sourav has got the boys together very well and made them work hard.”

However, Kapil stressed that the captain should keep his emotions in check while on the field and work hard at his game too.

Talking about India’s chances in the World Cup, he said: “It will be quite tough in the fast and bouncy conditions of South Africa, but the team does look composed.”

Kapil didn’t seem too satisfied with the idea of a makeshift wicketkeeper for the World Cup. “It is a specialised position and the only point of concern for the team. I think we should have a good ’keeper.”

The former allrounder supported the team management’s decision to have Sachin Tendulkar at No. 4 in the one-dayers.

“He is a complete batsman and with the ability and the character he has shown over the years, Sachin shouldn’t have any problem in adjusting to the No. 4 position.”

Kapil sounded pretty pleased with the quality of India’s current pace attack. “Zaheer (Khan) is really doing well, so is (Ashish) Nehra and (Jawagal) Srinath is such an experienced bowler.”

However, Kapil didn’t say whether it was right to bring back Srinath. “It’s up to the selectors and if he helps India win matches, I don’ have any problem,” said the man with 434 Test wickets.

Kapil ruled out chances of his taking over as bowling coach of the national team. “They are playing for ten months a year and there’s hardly any time,” he quipped.

He appreciated the Indian board’s decision to relay the pitches in the country to suit pace bowling. “Having sporting pitches for the domestic season is important,” he said.

Meanwhile, the former Indian captain feels that the cricketers’ association is a necessity. “The association should see to it that the players are allowed to play freely.” He, however, ruled out any immediate plans of joining the association.

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