When India won a Test series in Australia for the first time ever in January 2019, there were two opinions on this achievement. There were those who lauded the Indian team for having achieved one of the greatest triumphs in its history. Then, there were those who wanted people to remember that the Australian team that lost was far from full-strength.
However, the monumental nature of the win led to wild celebrations that drowned out the noise of those who asked fans to be moderate in their praise. Some experts even went to the extent of saying that even if David Warner and Steve Smith were in the Australian team, they would still have ended up on the losing side.
India's head coach Ravi Shastri too dubbed this triumph as the greatest ever by an Indian team and captain Virat Kohli also didn't seem inclined to disagree. However, how big a difference Smith and Warner can make to an Australian team playing at home became clear after the return of the two men to their national side.
Reality check by Dada
Sourav Ganguly, who seems to be getting on well with Virat Kohli and looks also to have repaired his relationship with Ravi Shastri, recently made a comment about that Test series win which needs to be paid attention to. In an interview to India Today, he said that Virat would be aware of the fact that his team defeated a weakened Australian team.
Dada then went on to set another target for the current captain – defeating Australia in Australia when they are at full strength. "They beat Australia in 2018. But I still expect (Indian team) to win in South Africa and England. And I think, they are going back to Australia next year.
"That's going to be a bigger challenge and I am sure with the standards that Virat sets for himself and the others, he will know at the back of his mind that the 2018 Australia team was not the best Australian team of this generation. And what he is going to face next year, which is not very far away, is going to be a different Australia," the former captain stated.
Shrewdness of Ganguly
In other words, Ganguly, whose on-field aggression is contrasted with his soft-spokenness off it, has gently reminded both Shastri and Kohli that they shouldn't get too satisfied with the series win in Australia. The Prince of Kolkata also chose his words carefully when he said "He (Kohli) will know at the back of his mind that the 2018 Australia team was not the best."
Rather than telling the truth himself in a blunt manner, he has put the onus of realizing the true value of the 2018/19 series win on Virat and his competitive spirit. Now we know why Dada was such a great tactician in his playing days.