Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has backed out of form Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and believes that the duo will be back among runs when they resume national duty. Besides backing the Indian stalwarts, Ganguly heaped praise on the latest pace sensation, Umran Malik.
Both Rohit and Kohli endured a poor IPL with the five-time winning Mumbai Indians skipper making just 268 runs from 14 innings at an average of 19.14. Similarly, Kohli, the former RCB skipper garnered just 236 runs from 13 innings. Although the modern-day great hammered a brilliant half-century against Kolkata Knight Riders, he scored three golden ducks.
Commenting on the form of the two, Ganguly during a promotional event said, "Everybody is human. There will be mistakes but Rohit's record as captain is outstanding. Five IPL titles, Asia Cup winner, he has won whatever he has captained, so his record as captain is outstanding. Mistakes will happen because they are all human.
The BCCI president further termed the duo as 'very good players.'
''They are very good players. I'm sure they will be back among runs. They play so much of cricket that at times they go out of form. Kohli played very well in the last game, especially when it was required for RCB. "That's why he (Kohli) was so happy that RCB qualified. They are all great players, it's a matter of time they will be at their best," Ganguly said.
'Don't Compare Pant with Dhoni'
The comparison between Rishabh Pant and the legendary former India captain has been going on ever since Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket. Although Pant has grown in stature, both in wicket-keeping and batting wise, he is yet to fill in the big shoes of Dhoni, especially while taking calls related to DRS.
Backing the India wicketkeeper-batsman, Ganguly said, "Don't compare Pant with MS Dhoni. Dhoni has so much experience, has captained in 500-plus games in IPL, Tests and ODIs. So it's not fair for Rishabh to be compared with Dhoni."
'Malik's future in his own hands'
Umran Malik, the Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer, who earned a maiden India call-up has been one of the star performers who lit the IPL with sheer pace, clocking consistently over 150 kmph. The former India captain lavishing praise on the young pacer said that fitness will be the key to enduring a long international career.
"His future is in hands. If he stays fit and bowls at this pace, I'm sure he will be around for a long time. Many have played well in this IPL. Tilak (Varma) has done well for MI. Rahul (Tripathi) for Sunrisers, Tewatia for GT. We have seen many emerging fast bowlers like Malik, Mohsin Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan. It's a place where talent gets exposure," he said.
India will next play a five-match T20I series at home against South Africa. Captain Rohit, Kohli and senior pacer Jasprit Bumrah have all been rested and in Rohit's absence, it will be KL Rahul who will lead the side.