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India’s advantage is the way they’ve played: Sourav

Sourav Ganguly

Dhaka: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly spoke to The Telegraph on Thursday afternoon, before the West Indies-Sri Lanka semi-final.

Excerpts...

QWhat are your thoughts on the eve of the India-South Africa semi-final?

A Should be a good game. India have been outstanding in this World T20 and, hopefully, they’ll get through.

Percentage-wise, where do the teams stand?

India’s slightly ahead, but I won’t be surprised if South Africa take the honours. Just like the West Indies seem to be slightly ahead, but a Sri Lankan win wouldn’t surprise me.

[Sri Lanka, as it turns out, won by 27 runs on the D/L Method.]

You gave India 10/10 after the first match (against Pakistan). How many marks overall?

I’d give 10/10 throughout. But the past is past, tomorrow will be a fresh game.

India’s strength...

Spinners... They’ve bowled very well and done so consistently.

Have you noticed a weakness?

Not in this tournament.

What’s the No.1 challenge for South Africa?

Getting the composition of the XI right... South Africa, in my view, need to play a second specialist spinner (Aaron Phangiso) to complement Imran Tahir.

South Africa played all their group matches in Chittagong. Is that going to be a factor?

Conditions here are different, so South Africa will have to adapt. However, at times, too much information isn’t good. So, they needn’t see it as a big disadvantage.

Then it’s not much of an advantage for India?

Actually, more than having played all their matches in Dhaka, India’s advantage is the way they’ve played. With authority.

India’s key men...

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni... Could be Yuvraj Singh... The spinners. There are many.

Do you believe in the law of averages?

No.

Could India have peaked already?

Even if India have, Dhoni’s men could keep the momentum going.

Dhoni’s such an experienced captain, Faf du Plessis isn’t...

That could be a factor, if it gets tight.

The Netherlands upset England... A revelation?

But The Netherlands beat England in one of the earlier editions (in 2009) as well... Perhaps, there’s a treaty between them! No team has surprised me.

Going into the semi-finals, who has been the stand-out player?

Darren Sammy (the West Indies captain)... Look at the way he finished the game against Australia and versus Pakistan. Both matches were high on pressure... The West Indies needed to win both... They did.

The No.1 captain...

Dhoni... Sammy’s been good... Actually, I thought Lasith Malinga had an out-of-the-box approach against New Zealand, a match Sri Lanka needed to win.

Any words for Dhoni?

Good luck.

Lastly... How do you react to the adulation in Bangladesh?

(Smiles) I consider myself blessed.