London: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who enjoys a massive “Dada, Dada” following here, spoke to The Telegraph on Wednesday.
QWhat’s your take on India’s complaint against James Anderson, his being charged by the International Cricket Council and England’s decision to file a counter-complaint, targeting Ravindra Jadeja?
A We’ve had instances of sledging, of varying degrees, in the past... I wasn’t aware of the incident till it became public on Tuesday... We’ll have to wait for the truth to emerge, but Anderson does need to calm himself. At times, he tends to get carried away.
This could just sour the rest of the tour...
Could, but I hope that doesn’t happen. The relations between the two countries are good, as also the relations between the Boards. Both captains have a bigger responsibility now. The situation calls for calmness and maturity. It has to be handled sensibly.
You’ve played against Anderson. Did he ever abuse you?
It didn’t come to Anderson abusing me, but there were times when he’d come way down the pitch and say something. Have a quiet word.
How did you react?
Would depend on the situation... I’d either give it back to Anderson or look the other way. You just can’t allow sledging to unsettle you.
Where do you stand on players becoming aggressive?
A bit of aggression is fine... In fact, it should be there, but the line must never be crossed. Every player needs to remember that.
Had you been the India captain, what would you have done?
Told the players, especially Jadeja, to forget about it and concentrate on the big Test, beginning not many hours from now.
Cricket-wise, what are your expectations from the Lord’s Test?
Like the first Test of any series, the second is also very important... Both teams will look to punch above their weight and take the initiative. I hope the pitch offers something to the quicks. I wouldn’t like a repeat of Trent Bridge.
Should India play Ravichandran Ashwin?
For Ashwin to come in, Jadeja would have to go out. I doubt if (captain Mahendra Singh) Dhoni will take that step. Of course, if the pitch is dry and brown, then both could play.
[Late in the day, the pitch looked quite green. It appeared to have some moisture as well.]
At whose expense?
I’d then leave out Mohammed Shami.
Don’t England need to revisit their attack?
England have decisions to make... They’ve added Simon Kerrigan to their squad, suggesting he’s very much in the frame. They may omit Moeen Ali. I don’t see any other batsman going out.
Based on the first Test’s showing, who needs to improve where?
Look, both teams had their moments. The pitch was the culprit.
Did the Trent Bridge surface shock you?
Certainly surprised me. Pitches should have some carry, not be so flat.
When could India again start winning overseas?
Could be at Lord’s! You never can tell.
Seriously, do we have the attack to take 20 wickets in Tests overseas?
For that to happen, the spinners have to bowl very well.
Any advice for Dhoni?
No. I’m happy that Dhoni has promoted himself to No.6, something I’d been talking about for years.
Ian Chappell is of the view that Virat Kohli should get the Test captaincy...
That’s Chappell’s view.
The last one... England captain Alastair Cook is struggling. Is it a mental issue?
Cook’s out of form... But he has the class to end his run of low scores. Usually, one innings turns things around.