"Virat Kohli has got qualities of being one of India's great captains, there's no doubt about it. I think next 15 months will be important for him when India go to South Africa, England, Australia and the World Cup. I think he is in the right direction. He is preparing his team, he's picking players and giving opportunities. They will beat New Zealand and Sri Lanka, there's no doubt about it. India will be challenged when they go to South Africa but I feel this side has got the ability to do well there as well," Ganguly told India Today.
Enjoying a mini-break, the Indian players are set to regroup from Thursday as the T20I series starts from Saturday. Dashing India opener Shikhar Dhawan has made a comeback into the 15-man squad for the upcoming 3-match T20I series against Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Sunday.
Dhawan opted out of the recently-concluded ODI series against the same opposition to look after his ailing wife. Ajinkya Rahane took his place in the line-up and slammed four consecutive fifties, while opening the batting with Rohit Sharma.
However, Rahane has now been left out of the squad to make way for the southpaw. Moreover, Rahane hasn't been part of the line-up in the shortest format of the game for a while now as he didn't feature in the one-off T20I against Sri Lanka last month as well.
Also included in the squad are Ashish Nehra, who is seen as a T20 specialist and Dinesh Karthik — who did very well during India's tour of West Indies, right after the Champions Trophy 2017.
India are scheduled to play three T20Is against Australia, whom they thumped 4-1 in the five match ODI series and go top of the ICC rankings. The Men In Blue would also like to improve their T20Is rankings as currently they occupy the fifth spot on the table.
Ganguly also lauded the selectors' decision to include Nehra in the 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 series against Australia. Calling Nehra an exception players, Dada said that the left-arm pacer will have a huge say in the upcoming series.
"It’s a good news for Indian cricket that they have picked ability and not age. He is an exceptional T20 bowler. We saw him in last T20 World Cup. He is a left armer and he creates a different angle. I think he will come out with flying colours in this series as well," Ganguly said.
First Published: October 6, 2017, 8:50 AM IST