Mumbai: Mohammad Azharuddin has slammed Ravi Shastri after the latter did not include Sourav Ganguly in his list top Indian captains. Azhar, who is vying for the president’s post in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), went a step ahead and termed the former Team India director’s comments stupid.
Shastri and Ganguly had come at the loggerhead after the former, who had been with the Indian side as Team Director, was ignored for the job of Indian cricket team’s coach. The committee which included Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Ganguly and was asked to pick the Indian coach preferred the former leg-spinner over Shastri.
Shastri, who was not pleased with Ganguly’s absence during the interview, had lashed out at the former Indian skipper. The former Bengal batsman, who is not someone to hold back, had hit out and questioned his decision to give a video presentation while holidaying in Bangkok instead of being before the committee in person.
While there was altercation since then, Shasti, in his recent interview had praised MS Dhoni’s captaincy but omitted Ganguly from his list of top Indian captains.
Azhar lashed out at Shastri. “It was such a stupid thing to say. Can’t he see statistics? It doesn’t matter to me what he thinks of people but when Shastri refers to great Indian captains, his personal bias shouldn’t be used to insult those who have contributed more to Indian cricket,” Azhar said in an interview to the Hindustan Times.
Shastri, while referring to Dhoni, who had stepped down from India’s ODI and T20 captaincy, had told Wisden India: “My salaam to a dada captain. MS has won everything there is to win; he really has nothing to prove. Again, the reason I say he has nothing to prove is that he is easily India’s most successful captain, by a distance. There is no one even close to him in that regard.”
“The names that follow in that list a fair distance behind are Kapil Dev, who led India to the World Cup title in 1983 and because of whom we won the Test series in England in 1986,” Shastri had said.
“And Ajit (Wadekar) in an era before there was one-day cricket, when we won successive Test series in the West Indies and then England in 1971. And of course, Tiger (Pataudi) for flamboyance. There is no one else,” concluded Shastri.