New national selectors have to take the call on GangulySeptember 30th, 2008 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Sep 30 (IANS) Sourav Ganguly’s international career appears more or less over, unless the newly-appointed national selectors take a different view from that of their predecessors when they meet Wednesday to pick the squad for the first two Tests against Australia.Chief selector Krisnamachari Srikkanth and his colleagues could not bargained for a tougher start for a starter to their term as they have to sit in judgment on the utility of India’s most successful captain to the side. Dilip Vengsarkar, who made way for Srikkanth, thought it was time to introduce fresh legs. He wanted to sound a warning to other seniors cricketers that their time too was coming to an end by dropping Ganguly from the Rest of India side for the Iran Trophy as a prelude.
Ganguly’s omission fuelled speculation and some predicted that he would quit the game if he is dropped from the first Test side, starting in Bangalore Oct 9, even though he gave himself another two years of big-time cricket.
He wanted to prove his form by playing the Punjab inter-club league as the rains had kept him off field in Kolkata.
Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag should retain their places not only in the squad but also in the eleven after their good showing on the Sri Lanka tour. Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S Laxman will be keyed up to do well, more so the first two who had a none-too-happy tour of Sri Lanka.
Mohammad Kaif, who had a tremendous run in the domestic cricket last year, has a strong chance of being included in the squad to fill in a middle-order slot. Rohit Sharma is another batsman who is talked about as a possible inclusion but he has to be a lot more consistent to force his way into the Test line-up.
Skipper Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh will be the mainline spinners and left-arm Pragyan Ojha or leg-spinner Piyush Chawla could be the back-up bowler. Vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni should be fresh after the break he had from the Sri Lanka tour.
Zaheer Khan should lead the pace attack with fast-improving Ishant Sharma and the rejuvenated Munaf Patel joining him. Ashok Dinda’s name might come up for discussion along with Rudra Pratap Singh.
The other members of the new selection are: Yashpal Sharma (North), Narendra Hirwani (Central), Raja Venkat (East) and Surendra Bhave (West).