Conclave 2016: Steve Waugh opens up on rivalry with Sourav Ganguly

first_imgFifteen years have passed since the historic Test series between India and Australia but fans, experts and the players involved in those iconic contets have not stopped talking about VVS Laxman’s epic 281 or Harbhajan Singh’s sensational run across Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.However, something else happened during the series that had ticked the Australians in the Indian summer of 2001. Then India skipper Sourav Ganguly would repeatedly walk out late for the toss to try and “get under the skin” of Steve Waugh. The Australian captain was known for his mental disintegration tactics and encouraged his men to sledge, talk and get in the opposition’s face. (Kohli reminds me a bit of Tendulkar: Waugh )Ganguly decided to change all that. His delayed arrival at the toss undoubtedly angered Waugh and the Indian players backed that up with constant chatter on the field. Several Indians have for years revelled in Ganguly’s shrewd act but a few others questioned the spirit behind the move.Waugh, who has long since retired, and turned up in New Delhi for the India Today Conclave 2016, said Ganguly’s decision to arrive at the toss late was against etiquette and it had nothing to do with “mental disintegration.”Match referee Cammie Smith was very upset about it. He came to me and said he had to do something about it. I don’t think he got under my skin. It was just an etiquette thing. What he wasn’t doing wasn’t in the spirit of two captains walking out together and shaking hands after the toss,” Waugh told Rajdeep Sardesai.advertisementHowever, Waugh said he holds no grudges against Ganguly and insisted that he has moved on from that episode. “Of course, I have forgiven Ganguly.”Waugh has plenty of respect for Ganguly, who he credited with changing the way modern Indian teams play their cricket. Answering a question on the major difference between Indian and Australian teams, Waugh said there was nothing to distinguish between the two sides now. But Waugh said that 20 years ago, Australian teams were far more aggessive while Indian cricketers were more laid back.”Ganguly was the first captan that changed the perception of the way India played their cricket. Now, there is not much difference between the Indian and Australian teams,” Waugh said.last_img read more