New Delhi, July 22 Former England cricketer David Lloyd feels that Sourav Ganguly was the catalyst for India to shed their image as poor travellers and become a force to reckon with away from home as well.
Lloyd, who was part of the England side that bowled out India for their record lowest total of 42 in the 1976 Lord's Test, said that the overall shift in focus in Indian cricket to fast bowling over the years coupled with the Ganguly era has made India a side to reckon with regardless of the conditions.
"Over the years it then became an endeavour in Indian cricket to find fast bowlers and probably Kapil Dev led the charge. Javagal Srinath was a wonderful fast bowler," Lloyd said on Sony Ten Pit Stop that was aired on the network's Facebook page.
"There were wonderful spinners but the realisation probably came that we need something else. And that development has meant better fitness, better awareness and an endeavour by senior players around the world that we need some quicks.
"I think that when Ganguly got hold of the team, I think he gave the team a real steel. That we will not be dictated to by quick bowlers because we will find some of our own. It was always a suggestion that India away from home don't like the bouncing ball.
"I think he has been a catalyst for Indian cricket to be a worldwide force. India in India is so difficult but you always felt that (against) India away from home you had a chance.
"There was an axis of Ganguly, (Rahul) Dravid and (Sachin) Tendulkar. Now if you've got these three, you bring in a quality spinner and a couple of good pace men, now you are in business worldwide," said Lloyd.
He also said that current skipper Virat Kohli has taken it to a different level. Kohli captained India to victory in a Test series in Australia last year and in his captaincy, India have developed one of the most potent fast bowling units in the world.
"I think Ganguly has been a massive influence on Indian cricket and Virat Kohli has taken it to another level. Kohli apart from his greatness as a player is also a great leader and he fears nothing. My own view of Kohli is that he is there to win matches and not to accumulate runs for himself. And he leads by example because he is the best," said Lloyd.
( With inputs from IANS )