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Ganguly's inclusion a fair decision - Renin Wilben column

2008 Oct 03 by DreamCricket

The BCCI selection committee's decision to include Sourav Ganguly for the first two Tests against Australia has shocked many. But considering that fact that Ganguly has had only one bad series in Sri Lanka since making a successful comeback, the decision seems a fair one. After all, even Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman had a bad time in Sri Lanka and if they retained their spots there was no reason why Sourav shouldn't have. But whether there has been a compromise formula signed between BCCI and Sourav or not, it is crystal clear that it is perform or perish time for the ex-Indian skipper now. And so must be the case with the other seniors too.

The BCCI selection committee's decision to include Sourav Ganguly for the first two Tests against Australia has shocked many. But considering that fact that Ganguly has had only one bad series in Sri Lanka since making a successful comeback, the decision seems a fair one. After all, even Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman had a bad time in Sri Lanka and if they retained their spots there was no reason why Sourav shouldn't have. But whether there has been a compromise formula signed between BCCI and Sourav or not, it is crystal clear that it is perform or perish time for the ex-Indian skipper now. And so must be the case with the other seniors too.

But as we all know Sourav's has always been an extraordinary case. When he was dropped during the Greg Chappell era, not many had given him a chance of making a comeback. But when provided with an opportunity he grabbed it with both hands. It wasn't that he had done exceptionally well in domestic cricket to earn a recall. But whatever the reason Indian cricket benefited from it. The way he batted on the tour of England was heartening. And when question marks were being raised about him not being fit enough to get the big scores, he came up with a double century at home against Pakistan. But all that was forgotten once Sourav's troubled times in began in Sri Lanka.

And now that he has got a last chance to prove his worth, he will have to make the most of it. And he may just surprise us again. A look at Ganguly's international career will justify this statement. With him it's never been about form. He got a recall for his debut Test series in England out of the blue. He had done nothing much on the domestic circuit to earn the Test spot. But the selectors spotted something in him and though India lost the series they had discovered a gem in Sourav Ganguly.

Again on the 2003-04 trip to Australia, not many had given Ganguly a chance of succeeding on the bouncy pitches considering his weakness against short bowling. But it was he who set India on the right track with a captain's knock at Brisbane. As mentioned earlier, the same happened when he was recalled to the side after being dropped on the basis of his poor performances some seasons back.

It has to be said that Ganguly was lucky to hold his spot in the side for a long period during his captaincy days. He was looking completely out of sorts and when he was axed at that time it was definitely for the good of Indian cricket. Another criticism that can be made of Sourav is that he gets complacent once he feels he has a settled place in the team. This was evident in the days when he was captain. There were times when it seemed he was taking batting as leisure and over time, it resulted in him losing his touch. Maybe it has something to do with his princely origins. And thus he needed a wake call which eventually worked wonders for him.

History maybe repeating itself again. Will Sourav's exclusion from the Irani Trophy squad act as a tonic for him to get his act right again? We will know very soon.