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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 October 2005, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Ganguly gone?
By Ayanjit Sen

Saurav Ganguly
Ganguly is credited with moulding the side into a fighting unit

In the end the axing of Sourav Ganguly as India captain did not come as a huge surprise.

He may have been India's most successful skipper with 21 Test wins and 76 one-day international victories in his five-year reign.

But a public row with new coach Greg Chappell and an elbow injury conspired to give the India cricket board a convenient reason to change the captaincy.

After appointing Rahul Dravid to lead India against Sri Lanka and South Africa this winter, the board said he had been chosen on the basis of his credentials - not for any other reason.

But experts say Ganguly's spat with Chappell did have a role to play in his removal.

And the Indian media and public have debated whether the 33-year-old showed a lack of maturity when he came out in the open with what had transpired in the dressing room.

It was clear there was a power battle and the board have come down on the side of Chappell and Dravid as the men to take India forward.

Nobody is above the game. If Ganguly is fit and in form, then he can be considered for a return
Vivek Razdan
Former India captain, Bishen Bedi, said the board made a progressive move by naming Dravid as the captain.

"It is a good move for Indian cricket," said Bedi.

Dravid has already captained India in five Tests and 17 ODIs in Ganguly's absence and the Indian cricket board's assertion implies that Dravid is here to stay.

So is this the end for Ganguly as a captain and a Test player?

Former Indian cricketer, Vivek Razdan, said Ganguly should not be written off yet.

"Has Sachin Tendulkar not played under Ganguly? With so many runs and an illustrious batting career under Ganguly's belt, there is every possibility of his name being read again on the team list.

"Nobody is above the game. If Ganguly is fit and in form, then he can be considered for a return."

Ganguly took over the reigns of the team in 2000 at a time when Indian cricket was going through a bad phase with batting and match-fixing scandals denting its credibility.

He is credited with moulding the side into a fighting unit and youngsters like Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sewhag flourished under him.

He had an aggressive captaincy style although he was penalised for on-field indiscipline.

Whether we see Ganguly again in an India shirt only time will tell.




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