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'Team India has always been a myth'

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 17, 2005

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The news that Sourav Ganguly had said that he was asked to resign the Indian captaincy on the eve of the Bulawayo Test, and Cricinfo's subsequent editorial on the issue, attracted record feedback. Here is a selection of your emails. If you would like to have your say then please email us.

Ganguly`s outbursts show that he himself understands that his place is in danger and desperately want to keep his place in the team. If he is not the captain then I don't think he will fit into team as only a player as better players are waiting to take his place. Move over Ganguly, you have been a good batsmen but I don't think you qualify to be in the team any more. Venkat India

Sourav Ganguly has had phenomenal contribution to Indian cricket as a batsman or a captain. It is undoubtedly true and even wholeheartedly admitted by the captain himself that he is undergoing a lean patch. However, Chappell's suggestion on the eve of the first Test suggests impudence and immaturity. Also, given Sachin Tendulkar is not around, Ganguly is one of the fulcrums of this team and none of the batsmen in the reserve bench have displayed such outstanding capabilities so as to be readily looked upon as the replacement for Ganguly. Anindya Chaudhuri India

Both Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell are at fault, the coach for his untimely criticism of the captain & the captain for washing dirty linen in public. It's all well to talk about transparency in Indian Cricket but surely this is not the kind of transparency we expect from mature individuals. In a way it's unfair to criticise a captain who has contributed a lot towards Indian cricket but Ganguly should also realise that he has no right to take everything and everyone for granted. Here is a classic case of a man thinking he is larger than the team. His ego is more important than the success and unity of the team. He should ask him to bow down gracefully before it is too late. Sunil Thadani Hong Kong

Ganguly should prove himself as a good player before being a good captain. When you are not a good player by yourself, as a captain how can you motivate other players to give good performances. It is high time for selectors to make some tough decisions on players like Cricket Australia does. Ganguly should realize that he is not eligible to captain India anymore. Pavan Kunta Australia

Who is Greg Chappell to ask Sourav to step down? Sourav was appointed by selectors. Chappell is destroying the team with his mindless experiments. After all this team which made Aussies look ordinary in their own home turf was largely possible due to Sourav and John Wright. D Manoj India

Ganguly is undoubtedly one of the best captains in the cricket history. I think its totally unfair to degrade his innings; after all, he has been under immense pressure from the media and board. Even though the innings was slow, I think it should be praised and treated like a century. When an innings of this pace is played by Rahul dravid, he gets appreciated for his hard work. Let's not forget how Ganguly has helped to choose the best players for the Indian cricket team. If Ganguly is speaking the truth about being asked to step down, then he has got every right to speak about it. Avishek Barua New Zealand

We shouldn't forget the basic laws of cricket. A coach of cricket team is just for technical, tactical and strategical inputs and improvements. The captain is entirely responsible on the field and team selection/combination, team unity etc. Greg's elder brother Ian Chappell does not even believe in existence of a coach, to him captain is all in all. No one can blame Ganguly of being partisan or biased, he goes by his instinct. Captain is chosen by the selection panel. Only selectors and the board can ask him to resign. Sujit Brunei

I think Ganguly has lost his form and his dignity. He scored a century against the worst bowling attack, but he was clueless against the pace of Shane Bond and co. Ganguly has done lot of good things to Indian cricket, but the time has come now to think about the future. If a player is not performing, the coach has every right to suggest he take a break and let the players who are in form to be part of team. By going public Ganguly has done a great disservice to Indian cricket. All his contributions have come to nothing by his statement. I hope he realises the fact no one can captain of India for ever, and the sooner he realises it, the better it will be for Indian cricket. Yogesh India

India's population totalled 1.027 billion as of March 1, making it the second country in the world after China to cross the one billion mark. Why can't it produce 11 consistent talented players who have the passion and desire for the game. The desire to win should show out in the field in every aspect of the game, specially fielding. It has not been exemplified in this year's performance by this Indian team. A good leader should take a break and correct his flaws rather than to hold on to his place. Leading a team of this importance is a privilege, not a silver spoon that one is born with; let somebody else take over this responsibility. Ganguly should prove himself again before coming back in the squad. Christopher Canada

What Ganguly has done is a sign of a poor leader. India's ship is sure to sink if they don't solve the captaincy issue soon. There is no doubt that Dravid should be the captain. Ganguly has served the country well, but it is time to move on. It was a step backward when he was named the captain of the side. Ganguly can not hold the position in the team as a batsman or fielder. By naming him in the side India is playing with 10 men, this is a huge disadvantage when you are playing against top teams like Pakistan, Australia and England. You can not give them any advantage. I hope that the Indian selectors would do the right thing after the tour, if not they should be sacked. As an Indian supporter this is so frustrating. Kuldip Singh Australia

The last 48 hours has shown how low things have reached. First came the Mohammad Kaif non-selection and now the startling revelation. There could be a lot of pressure from all quarters. But over the years we have come to expect Ganguly to handle things in a strong and no-nonsense manner rather than cutting a sorry figure in public. He should not have gone public with his grievances. Raghesh Vijaykumar Qatar

Sourav, please don't drag the team down with you. And please please step down as a captain ASAP and let Dravid to do the rest. Dravid is the man from now on as we saw him in Sri lanka doing the job perfectly. Dank Sri Lanka

Amid all this confusion, one seems to be missing the one major reason behind India's sudden decline. For all our Gangulys and Dravids, Kumbles and Sehwags, the one name that made India of two years back was a gentleman by the name of Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian team became a worldbeater only because for the first time in its history, it had a cricketer who was universally recognised as a world beater. The kind of aura and fear that Team India could create in opponents (including the Aussies) went missing the day Tendulkar started having troubles with his tennis elbow. Thats when the decline started and I am sure when the lil' man gets back, Team India will be back. Shubhankar Dasgupta India

Ganguly has done good job in backing young players and providing the level of aggression that was much needed. But good leaders are more than these: they lead by performance, they try to channelise the whole system to work in their absence and importanly they know when they need to move ahead to make place for others. It is unfortunate to see team india in such state of turmoil and i really pity the coach. As far as i know he is a real professional and believes in performance and I do believe that he has the ability to successfully take India through to the 2007 World Cup. It all looks bleak at the moment and i don't see any silver lining in the clouds. Rajiv United Kingdom

Just when England's glorious win over Australia showed to the cricket world what a close-knit unit who enjoy each other's success can achieve, Ganguly's statement comes as a rude awakening to the dire straits that Team India is in. Ramesh India

You cannot keep on inflicting a person like Ganguly with horrendous questions. Just because he is the captain of indian team he doesn't have to suppress his instincts. No one raised him to this level, he himself worked all the way to captain. The person who decides his team on a given day definitely knows when he should step down. His remarks are absolutely fine. He's worth giving more time to come out of slump. Subramanian K India

I believe that Ganguly was completely wrong in making those comments. All this will only create a rift within the team. The Indian cricket team is slowly hurtling towards a point of no return. These guys are hopeless and think that a win or two against Zimbabwe is a major achievement. The writer Anand Vasu has summed it all up brilliantly in his column. Ganguly has to go both as captain and player or else he will drag the rest of the team down with him. Rajesh Shastri United Kingdom

Team India has always been a myth and will continue to be so.Indian cricket is a collection of factional administrators, players and media hangers-on, who chose to align instinctively on protecting their interests. Their wins are always a result of select individuals performing superlatively on a given day, and never a collective teamwork. It is not surprising that the media savvy Prince of Calcutta chose to talk of his being asked to step down after scratching a 101 against a club side, pretending to be a Test-playing nation. Whether your advice of not selling himself cheap would be taken by Ganguly depends on what he thinks he needs to do to continue as a captain. The key issue here seems to be survival - winning and teamwork have become incidental. God save Indian cricket. Muthukumar V India

Sourav Ganguly going public about him being asked to step down as captain is something that is probably to be expected of him. If there are differences between he and the new coach, Greg Chappell, they probably stem from Ganguly's ineffectiveness as captain against quality opposition. Chappell is the best thing that could happen for the India team, and if he is allowed to do his job, uncomprisingly, he will take this team to heights they have never experienced before, with or without the spoilt Ganguly. Richard Saviel Australia

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