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Sourav’s proved everything he had to: Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell

Melbourne: The talismanic former Australian captain, Ian Chappell, also lauded Sourav Ganguly in a one-on-one with The Telegraph.

The following are excerpts

On Sourav as a cricketer

The first things that come to mind are his off-side shots and the timing... Glorious shots and such wonderful timing.

On Sourav completing a century of Tests

It’s a lot of cricket and I can’t imagine playing that much... What I saw of Sourav in England, some months ago, was the best I’d seen him play... Obviously, having time away from the game has rejuvenated him... Also, it probably made him sit down and see just how much he really wanted to play... That’s probably the most important thing he did (when out of the team in 2005-06)...

On how should a 100th Test be treated

As Sourav himself put it, like another Test... Indeed, as a player, that’s how to approach it... It’s when you finish that you should really reflect on the moment.

On whether Sourav’s comeback surprised him

No... I never think that this or that bloke is finished, particularly the better players... You can’t write off the good blokes because what makes them good is their determination... If they’re bothered about being left out, then they will come back. If they aren’t, they won’t. Sourav was bothered and came back a better player.

On Sourav finding more time for his game after losing the captaincy

Different people handle the responsibility of captaincy differently... Sourav did a few things to improve Indian cricket, particularly performances overseas... He made a big difference there, but I thought the time was right for him to finish when his innings did end... Sourav had done all he could and it was time (in October 2005) for someone else to do the job.

On whether Sourav, who turns 36 in July, has proved that age isn’t a factor

(After a pause) The age issue differs from person to person... Some blokes are old at 35-36, others aren’t... So, for me, it’s an individual thing...

On whether Sourav should only play Tests now

If it’s left to him, it’s an individual thing... Retirement (from one form or the sport totally) is the one decision in life which should be very selfish... You make that decision for one person — that’s you and nobody else.

Finally, on the future he sees for Sourav

The way Sourav’s playing, it’s whatever he wants... The important thing now is that he should himself go when he’s decided he’s had enough... It shouldn’t get back to a situation where he gets dropped. Sourav’s proved everything he had to and, the next time, should go out on his terms. Perhaps a bit early than a bit late.

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