February 23, 2006

Not the End of the Road for Sourav Ganguly.

Indian team for the first test against England is announced and Sourav Ganguly does not find a place. It must have been a difficult decision but I believe it is a good decision. Is it the end of the road for him? Definitely not.

Teams should be chosen on the basis of a player's ability and with an eye on the future. Ganguly, talented as he is, simply does not have a place in the team if Yuvraj is available. Now that he is not, it is very natural and probably tempting to fill the vacancy with Ganguly. But it stands to reason that this temporary place in the playing eleven is given to those who are likely to be the future of India.

Believe it or not, the time has come to think about future. With Tendulkar and Dravid both around 33 and Laxman at 31, in a few years there will be a gaping hole in our batting. For a smooth change of guard steps need to be taken from now. Kaif and Raina are sure to be at thick of things in a future Indian set up and they need to be nurtured. I especially believe Raina is a special talent. Chappell commented that Raina has the potential to become on of the game's greats. At 19, he is a great prospect for India.

A major decision this time is the inclusion of 17-year old Piyush Chawla. He appears to be a very talented leg spinner and will hopefully fill the shoes of great Anil Kumble, who is 35. Inclusion of Vikram Singh and Sreesanth is also a good decision. Munaf Patel is a bit unlucky to miss out, but I am sure he can claim a spot in future.

Coming back to Ganguly, he is only 33 and there is a good chance that he can play some more cricket for India. For that he needs to regain his touch, which frankly deserted him. He has ample opportunity on the domestic circuit to do that.

This is a very good analysis of the team.


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