BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that he has spoken to India captain Virat Kohli during the coronavirus lockdown and asked him to live up to his standards during the upcoming series against Australia.
Talking about India's upcoming tour of Australia for a 4-match Test series which starts from December, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has that it would not be a repeat of 2018, when India demolished a Steve Smith and David Warner-less Australian team. However, the former captain expressed his belief in the strong batting and bowling unit of the Indian team. Sourav Ganguly said that India will have to pile up massive runs on the scoreboard as that was the key when his team triumphed in England, Australia and Pakistan. "It’s going to be a tough series. It’s not going to be what it was in 2018 when they went. It’s going to be a strong Australia but our team is as good. We have the batting, we have the bowling. "Absolutely (hopeful of the team). We just got to bat better. You know the best teams overseas, they bat well. When we were so successful away from home, in England, in Australia and in Pakistan, we were getting 400, 500 and 600 in Test matches," Sourav Ganguly told Consulting Editor Boria Majumdar on latest episode of 'India Today Inspiration'. Sourav Ganguly also revealed that he refers Virat Kohli as 'chief' and added that he has tremendous regard for the Indian captain, Rohit Sharma and Jaspirt Bumrah. Ganguly, said that in a call to Virat Kohli, he has expressed his expectations from Virat Kohli. "I have said that to Virat also. I said ‘chief’, I have tremendous regard for him, tremendous regard for Rohit Sharma and Bumrah as well. "I said ‘because you’re Virat Kohli, your standards are high. When you walk to play, when you walk with your team, I, watching on TV, don’t expect you to just play well against Australia. I expect you to win. So for me, that is what it is. Because you have set the standards. It’s not anybody else. So you have to live up to the standards," Sourav Ganguly stated. Sourav Ganguly further said that the duration of his tenure as BCCI president is uncertain because of a compulsory three-year cooling-off period rule and he might not be there when the Australia series starts but for Virat Kohli it will be a "milestone series". Ganguly stated that he has advised Virat Kohli to stay fit and ask his players, especially the pacer to do the same. "My presidentship tenure, I don’t know whether I will survive by this December or not. But his captaincy tenure is going to be a yardstick. This will be a milestone series. I have been in touch with him, telling him ‘you have got to stay fit. You haven’t played cricket for 6 months, you don’t want your fast bowlers to come back and get injured because they have been training. Training and playing cricket is different. You have got to make sure your best bowlers are ready for the tour and fit. Whether it’s Shami, whether it’s Bumrah, whether it’s Ishant, whether it’s Pandya, they have to be at the top of their match fitness when they land in Australia," Sourav Ganguly concluded.