Ganguly played one final time for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy helping them get promoted into the Elite Division. Vijay Lokapally of The Hindu does an interview with Ganguly. The usual stuff about how he changed captaincy, cricket, backing players, etc.

Lokapally writes that while the Ranji match was on at Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi, Ganguly was more interested in what was happening in Mohali.

When Rahul Dravid reached his fifty, Ganguly was relieved; and mighty delighted when Dravid scaled the century mark. A captain was reliving his past, only this time he was not around to pat his “dear friend” in the dressing room.

As the article continues, various questions on many things from the past.

On Virender Sehwag,

I backed Viru for that South Africa tour (2001). There were important people who actually said Sehwag had no clue about fast bowling. They (fast bowlers) would clean him up. The selectors said Viru should be sent to Hong Kong Sixes. Look where Sehwag is today.

On captains having a say in team selection,

It was said he had a clout that no India captain ever had. “That’s a fallacy,” he asserts. “Complete fallacy. I stood firm with certain players because I was the one to see them the closest — at nets, ground, dressing room, hotel room. I did put my foot down. Like taking Anil (Kumble) to Australia (2003-04) when the selectors preferred a left-arm spinner (Murali Kartik). A captain may not have a vote in selection but he certainly should have a say.”

On India’s increased success, especially overseas –

“Well, we won when I wasn’t the captain. The difference was we started winning overseas more consistently and that was because of the quality of players we had. We had players like Sachin (Tendulkar), Dravid, Kumble, Sehwag, Laxman, myself playing at their peak. We were almost the same age and keen to change the impression that India was soft when playing overseas. We played with aggression and it came with the foreign coach (John Wright). He played a big role, a very big role.”

On captaining India and Dhoni,

I had decided early not to worry about what people say. I had to do what I thought and not what others thought. To be a good captain in India, you have to be thick-skinned. That is why (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni is a good captain.”

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