Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels the seventh Indian Premier League is wide open with the perennial underdogs doing well and the consistent teams faltering for the first time since the T20 tournament began in 2008.
“This is the first IPL where all teams are on equal footing, there are no clear favourites,” Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of CAB’s Vision 2020 batting camp that concluded at JU second campus ground in Saltlake on Wednesday.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors India senior player was referring to Kings XI Punjab’s astonishing performance as they lead the table with three wins from as many matches.
“Glenn Maxwell has been simply unbelievable, so is David Miller,” Ganguly said of the duo.
Maxwell has been Kings XI’s gain this season and loss for defending champions Mumbai Indians who have lost all their two matches so far.
Meanwhile, the Vision 2020 programme launched last month with an aim to produce quality India players may receive a huge setback with reports of its fast bowling consultant Waqar Younis being tipped as Pakistan coach.
Ganguly however said Younis was very much on board along with Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.
“He’s not yet been officially announced as Pakistan coach. At present, he’s contracted with us, let’s see what happens. I have not yet spoken to him.”
“As far as the camp is concerned, it’s just the beginning. We have set up a sort of academy of excellence… The job is to spot talent and groom them, it’s an ongoing process. The aim is to produce Test and one-day players from Bengal but for that you need to score runs consistently.”
Ganguly further said the Bengal trio of Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammad Shami who have played for India, still have a long way to go.
“Manoj, Wriddhi and Shami are still young, they still need to be nurtured as they are not yet a finished product,” Ganguly remarked.
Co-owner of Kolkata franchise in the upcoming Indian Sports League football tournament, Ganguly said they might name the team on May 6 after partners Atletico Madrid officials arrive.
“Atletico officials will be here on May 5 and name of the team is likely to be disclosed on May 6 after a meeting,” he added.