India v Australia 2008-09 / News

Australia in India 2008-09

Ganguly retained for first two Tests

Cricinfo staff

October 1, 2008

Comments: 64 | Text size: A | A


Sourav Ganguly has been included in India's squad for the first two Tests © AFP
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India's selectors have picked Sourav Ganguly in a 15-man squad for the first two Tests against Australia. He is expected to join India A in Chennai for a Test against New Zealand A beginning on October 3 because he isn't part of the ongoing camp in Bangalore. There were also call-ups for Tamil Nadu batsman S Badrinath and Haryana legspinner Amit Mishra, who played three one-day internationals in 2003.

The squad consists of seven batsmen, one wicketkeeper, four fast bowlers and three spinners. The six batting slots are filled by Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly and VVS Laxman, with Mahendra Singh Dhoni as wicketkeeper. The two wicketkeepers used in Sri Lanka after Dhoni opted out, Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel, have been excluded.

Despite the intense speculation on Ganguly's future leading up to the selection meeting, the new selectors apparently felt that he had the three qualities essential for a series against Australia. "[He has] experience, character and resilience," said a national selector. "Besides, whatever his scores may have been in Sri Lanka, we could not ignore the fact that he has scored in the last 10 Tests."

Ganguly had reportedly considered quitting cricket after being overlooked for the Irani Cup match between the Rest of India and Delhi but India's new selection panel, headed by Kris Srikkanth, has valued his experience over youngsters like Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif.

Ganguly has struggled against Australia, averaging just 31.73 in 20 Tests compared to an overall average of 41.74 in 109 Tests. Since his recall in December 2006 and till the end of the home series against South Africa earlier this year, Ganguly scored 1571 runs at 50.67, including a maiden double-century. However, he managed only 96 runs in six innings during India's 2-1 series defeat in Sri Lanka this summer.

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Indian squad
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After being called in as a substitute fielder during the home series against Pakistan late last year, Badrinath had a spell in the cold till he was named as Tendulkar's replacement for the Sri Lanka ODIs, and played three games. Dhoni, his captain for the ODIs, publicly expressed his satisfaction at Badrinath's attitude during the series. He managed only 92 runs in the recent A team series against Australia and New Zealand and had a poor Irani Cup but the selectors have clearly indicated that he is the future.

"I am really happy to be selected to play against Australia," Badrinath said. "I was expecting this call. I will take tomorrow's match as serious practice. It will give me some experience against them."

Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma will lead the bowling attack along with Munaf Patel and RP Singh. Anil Kumble, India's captain, Harbhajan Singh and Mishra, 25, make up the spin quotient. Mishra, who has 289 first-class wickets at 25.21, had a fine domestic season (38 wickets in the Ranji Trophy) and has also staked a claim through his good IPL performances (11 wickets at 12.55).

Mishra, a neat and organised spinner, was included in India's Test squad to face West Indies in 2002 but did not get a game then. He subsequently made his ODI debut against South Africa in Dhaka in 2003 but fell out of national reckoning since. He has now pipped left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who was in the Test side for Sri Lanka and played in the ODI series. Piyush Chawla, the Uttar Pradesh legspinner, was the other name doing the rounds but he too has been overlooked.

Mishra said his stint with the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL - during which he claimed a hat-trick against Deccan Chargers - transformed his career.

"It all started from the IPL. It gave me the platform to interact with greats like Shane Warne," Mishra said. "I specifically worked on my loop and top spin. I am very happy after hearing the news. I feel great as I've been expecting the call over the last year."

Before the selection meeting, the selectors were "briefed" by Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president. Manohar, apparently, delivered a "convincing and forceful talk" on the need to plan for the team's future, given that the senior players are on the last leg of their careers. He also reminded the selectors of the board's guidelines for the committee, including curbs on media assignments.

The first Test starts in Bangalore on October 9. The second is in Mohali from October 17-21. The squad for the remaining fixtures, in Delhi and Nagpur, will be named after the second Test.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Raja30 on (October 4, 2008, 0:22 GMT)

If you say Ganguly should not have been selected than the same privileges that will most likely to be bestowed upon the other members of the so-called Fab Four.

If Rahul Dravid, with 1148 runs in the last 19 Tests at an average of 35, Sachin Tendulkar, who has scored 1287 runs in 16 Tests at an average of 54. and VVS Laxman, with 1136 in 17 Tests at an average of 50, deserve a place in the Test squad against Aussies, then so does Ganguly, who has 1565 runs against his name in the last 19 Tests at an average of 58.

Posted by RISHAV003 on (October 2, 2008, 9:18 GMT)

retaining dada is quite a good job by kris and men.but i have been little disappointed that selectors think so about dada. why only prince of kolkata? have sachin and dravid played a fabulous cricket in srilanka? this partiality have put indian cricket into deep trouble. i dont say dada have played a very good cricket to sure his place, but he had also not played very bad to lose his place in test cricket. dada dont worry the whole of calcutta is with you. lastly i seriously thank cricinfo for taking public opinion.best of luck dada and team india. be sure to beat aussies 4-0

Posted by survival on (October 2, 2008, 4:14 GMT)

I think this is the right team for this series. The selectors should inform the senior players that they are looking foward to give chances to the youngsters,so if they cannot perform well in this series,so they have to drop them. Kris Srikkanth has done a good job by retaining senior batsmen-Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman- in the team which will face Australia in the forthcoming test series. Experience is always a factor when a team faces Australia.Thanks Indian new Panel of selectors! Sourav has contributed much in building Team India

Posted by Raman01 on (October 2, 2008, 3:40 GMT)

I don't understand y Sourav is the scapegoat everytime. Sachin scored less than Sourav against SL and Dravid's overall avg in the last one year is way less than Sourav (excluding SL series). Other 4 seniors are as bad in ground fielding as Sourav. Note that one guy who changed the entire way the Ind. ckt. team is being looked up as true competitors and potential winner belongs to Sourav (when the so-called great Sachin left captaincy crying). In the hey days, they were looked as bunnies. I don't mind Sourav being out, but then the same yardstick shud be applied to others including Sachin. Sourav has asked to be included in the Ind A team, whereas Sachin is taking rest. Cricinfo, for the last few years, has been on `Mission crusade Ganguly'. Nowhere, I read that he talked about retirement except the farfetched claims in Cricinfo.

Posted by MaksoodChaiwalla on (October 2, 2008, 1:49 GMT)

The Indian selectors have played it clever. Failure against the Australians can easily be blamed on the senior players and success would give the selectors a head start to their tenure. This gives a last opportunity for the seniors to reflect and consider hanging their boots. In the process cricket lovers as a whole would hope to see Tendulkar and Ganguly in particular leave on a high note. Kumble too should follow suit, especially with the likes of Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla and Nanda around who all are promising young leg spinners. I still feel Dravid has a lot more to offer and that he deserves another couple of years serving Indian cricket. Both Dravid and Laxman need to click in this particular series. Their performances in this series will be crucial both for the team and their places in the side. Lets hope we see a fresh Indian team led by Dhoni when England visit in November.

Posted by AusDarin on (October 1, 2008, 23:11 GMT)

The new committee has done really a good job in selecting a balanced team. By including Ganguly they have done good by not abrubptly ending the career of India's successful captain. Whichever way his form goes he will be announcing his retirement. By selecting Badrinath and Mishra selectors have really started to look the face of Indian Test team beyond Ganguly and Kumble. We definitely need a very good spin option when Kumble retires. So its time to groom a second spinner. No point in selecting Yuvraj as he is one batsmen who hasnt been good enough in the longer verion of the game. Experienced Yuvraj was cluless in the the one day series when most of the team did well. Debudant Badrinath played a match winning innings. Technically Good player will be capable of batting against any opposition and with loads of experience in Indian conditions it wont be a bad idea to start Badri's international career in a home series.

Posted by HarisMohmad on (October 1, 2008, 21:51 GMT)

I think this is the right team for this series. The selectors should inform the senior players that they are looking foward to give chances to the youngsters,so if they cannot perform well in this series,so they have to drop them. IPL and ICL is there so senior players donot have to worry. Even they can take retirement after this or England series with pride since they are playing in India. Good Luck to the Indians and specially the five senior players.

Posted by Ecurus on (October 1, 2008, 20:19 GMT)

Thanks Indian new Panel of selectors! Sourav has contributed much in building Team India, yes he is in the twilight of his career but Prince of Calcutta deserves this chance to call it a day in a grand style. I think one of the more successful captain in Indian cricket history wont dishearten his fans.

Posted by Krishna.M on (October 1, 2008, 19:56 GMT)

Selectors did a good job by selecting the right team. But in my opinion, yuvraj should also be picked as he is very good aginst fast bowling. He is weak against quality spinners but the australian attack will have 4 fast blowlers.Australia will be palying with 3 pace blowler, one allrounder (watson) and a spinner. They do not have a good spinner in the current squad. So picking yuvraj would have been a good option

Posted by Ashjai on (October 1, 2008, 19:00 GMT)

How insesitive can these selectors be??? Here was a commitee which selects a team based on the overall attributes of a player, Sourav Ganguly is dropped not only for his mediocre batting in the SL series(which may apply to Sachin as well),but most imporatantly for his poor fielding and pathetic catching as well.Everytime he is dropped for these same reasons, a huge hue and cry emanates from everywhere - Why?? On what basis do you keep Mohd Kaif out of the team?Just because he is a through professional still, inspite of being put on a perrenial standby all through these years because our so called seniors hang around the middle order? When will you let him in? When Saurav Ganguly raises his hand and announces that He is quitting cricket? Well I don't think that will happen in this country because on each such occasion, someone will dig up his old records and hold the selectors to ransom.Will Kaif spend his prime cricketing years only waiting for these 4 guys to announce retirement?

Posted by anmol2806 on (October 1, 2008, 17:57 GMT)

i m very happy on inclusion of ganguly in the squad. but i m kind of shocked on yuvraj not being included in d squad and his place has been given to badrinath...its ok dat badrinath is in good form..but including him in d squad for the first match and dat too against australia is a very big gamble...cud hve been much more significant if yuvraj was dere for first two matches n for d 3rd match..IF NEEDED.badrinath cud hve been included

Posted by Parth-Guwahati on (October 1, 2008, 17:22 GMT)

The new senior selection committee of the BCCI led by Kris Srikkanth has done a good job by retaining all four senior batsmen-Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman- in the team which will face Australia in the forthcoming test series. Experience is always a factor when a team faces Australia and the decision to keep all four senior batsmen in the team may play a big role to decide the fate of the series.

Posted by shim on (October 1, 2008, 17:01 GMT)

Why are our selectors such insipid and visionless? When are we going to retire the old deadwood foggies and get some new blood in to the team. I though there some hope of getting rid of Ganguly (which should have happened a long time ago)when he wasn't selected for the Irani cup. Alas, he sneeked back in. Don't the selectors realize they need to let the young guys play and gain experience at the highest level?

When will India stop hero worshipping and sticking to the past?

Posted by cricket_is_my_life on (October 1, 2008, 16:35 GMT)

I agree that the fab 4 have to be out of the team as soon as possible - but this should not be against Australia. Australia is a very tough team and failure for a youngster against them may break his heart. It is good to continue with the old team up to the Australia series and then the selectors should try to get rid of the old folks. Also it is good to have a debut against England (e.g., Azhar) and Pakistan (e.g., Sachin) rather than Australia. In my opinion, after the Australia series, Dravid, Ganguly and Kumble should be omitted and they should be replaced by Kaif, Badrinath and Chawla respectively in the England series. Then after the England series, Laxman may be replaced by Suresh Raina to debut against Pakistan. Then after the series against Pakistan, Tendulkar may be replaced by Rohit Sharma. So, for the upcoming New Zealand series, the playing XI may look like this:

Dhoni (captain), Sehwag, Gambhir, Sharma, Kaif, Badrinath, Raina, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Chawla and Ishant.

Posted by cricketaholic on (October 1, 2008, 16:23 GMT)

Being a true admirer of Indian cricket, I just want to mention one thing. Sourav Ganguly has retained his place due to his own credentials. He has been a champion batsman and faliure in 3 tests shouldn't make him a inferior player. The question is...Why poor Ganguly suffers all the time? If he has scored only 96 runs in last 3 tests then Sachin has scored only 95. Believe me, I am not drawing a comparison between them. We all would like to see a yardstick that doesn't vary from person to person. Why questions are being raised only on his form and fitness. Even our test captain is not the fittest of the legs in the Indian field. But what makes Mr.Kumble a great player is his tremendous dedication to Indian Cricket. I am sure that this test team is the best possible Indian Team at this moment(Perhaps Murli Karthik deserved a place in the 15). Congratulation selectors. We would like to see justice from your partin the future also.

Posted by Perfect_11 on (October 1, 2008, 16:10 GMT)

Hats Off !!! Kris.. You are not only proving that you are one of the best criketers but proving your stand as a selector too in your first step. Many were looking for a last chance for Ganguly and now he got it because of you.. Let him prove it !! though against a second class bowling attack of Aussies...Ganduly All the Best.. Show what class you are and what you are capable of !!! Cheers Selectors..

Posted by snaren777 on (October 1, 2008, 16:04 GMT)

Its good to have Ganguly back in the squad. He rightly deserves this chance. However the inclusion of Amit Mishra ahead of Murali Kartik is baffling. Though Murali Kartik has been performing consistently whenever given a chance, it has gone unnoticed.

Posted by Nampally on (October 1, 2008, 16:01 GMT)

The selectors have played it safe by choosing a conservative side of experienced players. First 8 positions are already filled with Harbhajan, Khan and Ishant making up the 11. It is an unbalanced team with no consideration for future development. It is weak in running between the wickets, catching and fielding which will put the team at minus 100 runs in these 3 departments.Hiding 5 aging players close to the wickets and manning the outfield and crucial cover point will be a challenge. Raina & R. Sharma who are brilliant fielders & with so much talent are not even amongst the 15. One would expect that the "Fab. 4" will be phased out by playing 2 of them at a time, making the other 2 positions available for younger players. The team will depend heavily on Fab.4 for building a big total, which failed in recent Sri Lanka test series. India cannot build their future without giving younger talent the playiung experience. Teams are built on playing experience and not just selection in 15.

Posted by Gilliana on (October 1, 2008, 15:59 GMT)

The only reason I welcome the inclusion of Saurav Ganguly into the Indian Test team is to solve his legitimacy in the Indian side. Is all fairness, Tendulkar's inclusion must also be questionable as this tendency of the selectors keeping a blind eye on him is so very evident. The best way to end this Ganguly saga is to allow him to play in all the Tests against Australia and if he does not meet the expectations of those concerned, he should not be ever consisered again. But then, the intelligent person he is, Saurav will announce his own retirement.

Posted by krish45 on (October 1, 2008, 15:33 GMT)

We, Indians, always live in the glory of the past. We do not think of the present requirements and never contemplate what is required in the best interest of the future. This applies totally to present Cricket team selection. Selection of Sourav is a clear indication. No body can deny the fact that sooner or later, we should think of a team without the Four Stalwarts, Rahul, Sachin, Sourav and VVS. Instead of replacing all the four with inexperienced but talented youngsters at one go, we should think of inducting one junior at a time in place of one of those seniors, before time runs out. If this process is overlooked in our zest and admiration for the past contributions of a senior, then team's cause will be lost. When are our selectors going to look ahead for the future?

Posted by nasampath on (October 1, 2008, 15:21 GMT)

Cheeka and co. didnt live up to expectations. With due akcnowledgement of the great service rendered to Indian cricket by the fab 4 , it was time to bid good bye to all of them from all forms of cricket.Infact what signal was sent by not drafting in dada into the Irani team has been reversed by the new selection committee. Instead of going one notch up by dropping two more atleast ( Sachin can be considered only for this one series to give him a chance to break Lara's record which by his standard he should have done in Lanka.)during this series in order to consider the performing youngster like Raina, Rohit, Yuvaraj and Kaif who have the added advantage of agility and reflux, its sad that all of them are pursued despite a good bench strength.The way Dravid was repeatedly missing to connect his short arm pull in the Irani match was indication enough of his drop of reflux.Very unfortunate that at this critical juncture Selectors with conventional and retrograde thoughts have taken over.

Posted by truthspeaker on (October 1, 2008, 15:21 GMT)

what worries me about India - After Sachin, Laxman and Kumble India will look a mediocre test team - Dravid and Ganguly are playing liabilities today - Harbhajan hovers around match bans and temperamental troubles - Yuvraj still has not sorted out whether cricket is his core competancy or Bollywood acting is - also, Yuvraj is a pale shadow if his former fielding skills

Badrinath has flattered to deceive, Chawla, Mishra are no Mendis - Ishant is a prospect but with Zaheer's career near his end, the pace bowling options are blank - Sreesanth is tap dancing while his cricket is languishing - too much money too fast has taken a toll on several Indian cricketers

so dear Srikkanth, can you please help me understand how you will make this Indian squad win the world cup 2011

Posted by Devang7 on (October 1, 2008, 15:20 GMT)

This is propostorous. Very bad job by the new committee. Ganguly and Dravid included in the sqaud after dismal performances?? Ganguly should not be in this squad especially considering the fact that we have the likes of Rohit Sharma and more importantly Suresh Raina. Ganguly and Dravid are done, instead the youngsters need to get a shot at this. Another big hole is where the hell is the match winner Murali Karthik?? I like Amit Mishra but why not include Karthik?? If Ganguly and Dravid do not step up in the first 2 tests than these two should be sacked immediately. Dissappointing to see selectors ignore talent that we have waiting in line. Horrible decision, hope they perform well because i do want India to succeed but as of the current track record this is a bad decision.

Posted by AnyoneButVettel on (October 1, 2008, 15:13 GMT)

People just seem to have forgotten Irfan Pathan. I don't suggest he should play but doesn't he deserve even a mention in an entire article about probables.

Also, we're essentially looking at making 3 bowlers sit out. Could the choice get any tougher? Munaf is the only person who makes it easier on the captain - can't take wickets, can't bat and certainly can't field.

Posted by TwitterJitter on (October 1, 2008, 15:03 GMT)

It is time for the Indian fans to decide whether they want a winning team or they want a Indian team full of their idols because at this point with the inclusion of Ganguly it is getting to be mutually exclusive. You can't have both at this point. If idol worship is what they want, then we should bring back Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, and Srikanth himself. Why bother winning when we can see our idols out there limping on the field throughout the day on television?

Posted by Harishrocks on (October 1, 2008, 14:31 GMT)

I think the team selected is a good one.It is also proper on the part of the selectors to give a proper farewell series to ganguly who has served the country with distinction and he deserves one.But I feel sorry for Murali Karthik whom every one in the county Middlesex rate him as a special talent.

Posted by yeah_right on (October 1, 2008, 14:29 GMT)

Picking Ganguly is the most sensible selection as we need experience against Aus.This is the best possible line-up for now however I do feel for Chopra. I don't understand why people get excited about the juniors. Hello Saibaskar, Yes I agree that Rohit didn't play any test in SRI but what about the ODIs and where do you find the consistency (which is very imp in tests) among the juniors? Firstly, the juniors who are waiting need to understand the imp of consistency.Gambhir was consistent and now he is almost a permanent member in the team. Do you folks think the selectors are so novice to pick them after the 20/20 and ODI success? Rohit has himself to blame for being dropped just like Yuvraj. Yuvrajs case I believe is not solely based on non-performance. The selectors are professional enough to know if a player is learning from his past mistakes or not. In that case I feel Yuvraj is non-sense. He might even have to fight for a place in ODIs if he continues like this.

Posted by Jaisimha on (October 1, 2008, 13:27 GMT)

Thanx to new selection commitee.... instead of giving so many chances for yuvi and kaif, it's a nobel idea to trust & give chance for experienced player like dada, who has been performing consistentely compared to them.

Yuvi had been given enough chances, even kaif....... they have failed most of the time..

let them fight honestly for the place in the team...

Just because they r young means, they can't be the future of indian team unless they exploit there talent to fullest and take responsibility consistentely...

Fact is that till today yuvi can't play well for geniune spinner, how can u consider him for a test match????

Even though kaif as performed well @ domestic level, he has faced more failures in international arena....... Even in IPL match, kaif could not play upto the expectations of Rajasthan Royals...

Posted by yorker9 on (October 1, 2008, 13:25 GMT)

i hail the decision of the new selection committee.chika proved that he is not only an astute cricketer but also a fair and square selector.i do oppose the decision to get rid of the fab-4.as the grooming of youngsters has to be done under them and moreover there is really nobody pushing for their places as such.atlast badrinath is given his due.his plea to the selectors to atleast give him a chance to fail finally seems to have reached the concerned.it has to be badri before the rainas,rohits,kohlis as they are yet to prove themselves atleast in ranji trophy consistently.the selection of amit mishra is also appreciable as there must be some leggie breathing down kumble's neck...not to doubt kumble's committment...thogh his performance in srilanka was ordinary to say the least...the batsmen are reading him well as he is playing for more than 17 years now... the replacement must be given enough exposure under kumble.to say in a sentence...the team is 'WELL EQUIPPED TO MAUL THE AUSSIES'.

Posted by sri-23 on (October 1, 2008, 13:13 GMT)

I am totally dejected with cheeka&co.There are 2 reasons.The inclusion of ganguly is one.I thought by dropping ganguly for irani cup they were sending strong messages to other seniors including sachin.secondly,i'm surrised by the non-inclusion of a left-arm spinner.Don't they remember what murali kartik did to australia in two previous occasions at mumbai.

Posted by rakeshdas08 on (October 1, 2008, 13:03 GMT)

Right decision by the selectors ... also new selection committee is playing a bit safe ... no harm in that ... playing safe resulted a good team .. and I believe still, this is the best test team that India can produce except one person ... Akash Chopra should have been included (may be instead of Badrinath) ... remember he is a good close-in fielder too .. which will be important while Kumble or Bhajji is bowling to the Ausie batsmen ... and if any of the opener is injured, he could have been a great option as an opener. Anways, best of luck 'men in blue' ... though the fielding is a matter of concern for this team ... Hope for the best

Posted by ramnathtce on (October 1, 2008, 13:00 GMT)

first of all hats off to krish & his members for selecting DADA, THE TEAM IS OF GOOD COMPOSITION, backup wicketkeeper such as partiv patel could hav been included in the team , pragyan did well, hard luck 4 him.i think for "fab 4 "it will be a outstanding tournament for them. DADA will surely prove his selection in the team.

Posted by Sorcerer on (October 1, 2008, 12:43 GMT)

Inclusion of Ganguly amidst reports that he was considering quitting are somewhat reminiscent of final Test game accorded to Inzamam after he was unceremoniously sacked as skipper and punished by WC-debacle official commission. In all fairness, just like Inzamam, Ganguly does not now merit a place in the team as major talents like Rohit and Raina are itching to gain their experience against the world's top team at the mainstage. His inclusion will simply be a step backwards especially given the obvious talent identified in the two youngsters. True that the Aussie bowling does not look that potent but there is nothing which Ganguly can do which Rohit or Raiana could not against the Aussies. Dropping him would have been a right move just like it eventually turned out to be when fallen crock Inzamam was dropped for the more reliable Misbah-ul-Haq. The former's few diehard fans were bitter at that time but then realized that past had to be parted with and the way ahead was the future star.

Posted by Jose on (October 1, 2008, 12:42 GMT)

Its high time for team management to rethink about a strategy to keep Fab-4. No more than 2 out of Fab-4 should be allowed to play in a test and allow other youngsters to play in those slots. So, youngsters will get an opportunity to nurture and showcase their talents. Good to see Amit Mishra in the team and also he is good with bat compared to Piyush and Ojha. However, he might not get a chance to play because of Kumble and Bhajji.

Posted by TheTopEleven on (October 1, 2008, 12:40 GMT)

Well i think the panel has done a very good and brave selection by picking the squad. Ganguly has always performed well in bangalore and i expect him to do it again this time as well. So all the very best to Dada.. hope he stands tall and fullfills all our expectations. All the best to the Indian team.

Posted by faizcricketfan on (October 1, 2008, 12:30 GMT)

Well the selectors have given Ganguly another chance. I think it was sort of good only because i have a feling that he will himself announce his retirement if he is not able to perform in this series. For this series i think that the team chosen is a good one, perhaps the best one which we could have though i am a little baffled by the inclusion of Amit Mishra in the squad. Someone like Yousuf Pathan should have got a chance as he would have been really handy against the aggressive Australians!!

Posted by Abhimanyu on (October 1, 2008, 12:25 GMT)

I would like to know whay did the selectors did not select Murali Kartik. Kartik was the match-winner in the final game of Australia's last two tours to India: he took 7 for 76 on a worn-out pitch in the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in 2004 and had figures of 6 for 27 at the same venue when Australia visited India for a seven-ODI series.

Posted by bjmorgan on (October 1, 2008, 12:13 GMT)

If I was Brett Lee I would rather bowl at Gambhir than at Chopra, & if I was an Ausralian batsman I would prefer facing Kumble or Mishra than Kulkarni.

Posted by tanu87 on (October 1, 2008, 12:12 GMT)

I have a feeling that team india is gonna lose very badly and the fielding would be worst then the school cricket teams as this team has 80% of uncles who are not fit at all. Dropping of star batsman like JAFFER and brilliant fielders like KAIF and YUVI would result as a major loss for India. Kris Srikkanth has allready started to play politics and he is a big time looser....

Posted by merchant_parth on (October 1, 2008, 12:12 GMT)

well agree with most of the comments about ganguly that he deserves to keep his place in the test side atleast for now. But its high time now that a few of these old guards realise that they should leave the arena with their heads held high.. ganguly for one has to go post this series. he is an absolute liability on the field. i dont disagree to the fact that even laxman and dravid are a liability apart from their slip fielding but ganguly just cant move anymore. no one in india will ever doubt his contribution to indian cricket but we need to understand that he was never a great great test player as he was an ODI player. though he has won us so many test matches but they have been more so due to his tactical nous and less so for his batting. as for dravid i believe even he needs a re-think. the guy has been out of form for more than a year if i am not wrong. till the time we dont allow the rohit sharma's and badrinath's and raina's to play we will never know how good they are.

Posted by Saibaskar on (October 1, 2008, 12:09 GMT)

Another instance when India succumbs to Hero-worship. So the 'Fab-4' as they are called will play another game together after failing for 6 consecutive innings. To put in proper perspective apart from Sachin none of the other batsman can be counted as a match-winner on their own. They did dominate when their form was at peak. But, giving them such an extensive run is unfair on the juniors. The argument that there are no replacement is unacceptable. How can we judge the juniors in tests when they dont get to play even a single innings. Rohit Sharma went to SriLanka but did not get even a single game to play yet he is out of squad now. He lost his place so that Ganguly could be in. This is so unfair! Except for 2 tests series win in England and 2 tied test series in Australia their career span has very little to show as a team. At best apart from Sachin all the others are just good international cricketers with decent record and not worth of the LONG rope that board is giving

Posted by ssm2407 on (October 1, 2008, 12:04 GMT)

Disgrace ! Absolute Disgrace ! How many times do the muddle order have to fail before decisive action is taken ? What signal does this send to those waiting in the wings ? How many selectorial back scratches can the muddle order expect ? Too many times recently, the pampered four have failed to produce when it has mattered most. They were hopeless in Sri Lanka & were bowled out for 76 in the series before v Sth Africa. This may not be a great Aussie side, but rest assured they will expose the tired, unfit, ageing, over the hill, injury prone muddle order for what it is. New selectors they may be but this is an utterly depressing backward thinking squad selection

Posted by kiwi_inaus on (October 1, 2008, 12:02 GMT)

its a strong squad. ganguly deserves his spot, but it is time for big scores or a big name may go. Even more important is the inclusion of Badrinath. they have decided not to take an extra keeper (d.karthik) for his inclusion. The spin department still has me puzzled, im sure Mishra is a good bowler, but the pecking order for an aging kumble's place is constantly shuffled, where do Chawla and Ojha figure. good luck to those chosen. GO INDIA!!!

Posted by mr_amin05 on (October 1, 2008, 11:53 GMT)

Ganguly is right person. Go on Ganguly.

Posted by Artha on (October 1, 2008, 11:48 GMT)

This will be Ganguly's Test for his abilities. If he plays well and dominates this series a little, not much more, he will not face difficulty in future for his spot in squad. He need to show his strength and co-operate as a sportsman. Wish him all the best.

Posted by gargaldo-dada on (October 1, 2008, 11:47 GMT)

I am not surprised that Dada is included. He deserves his place. Glad to see Cheeka n co. supporting him. I am sure Dada will show his true worth during the series. I don't understand why the India has always been reluctant in playing left arm spinners. Karthik has proven himself again and again and Pragyan did quite well. According to me, Piyush Chawla should always be there as an understudy to Kumble.

Posted by sk089 on (October 1, 2008, 11:43 GMT)

Ganguly must be allowed to ply on if he performs in thi series.Itstime thathe BCCI finds a new scapegoat with whom they can do whatever they ( i.e pick and drop). I am quite sure that Ganguly will silence his critics once again and show them who the real maharaj is.

Posted by OneInAMillion on (October 1, 2008, 11:38 GMT)

Ganguly has made strong comebacks in the past and I'm sure he will be able to do it again. Age shouldn't be considered a factor when choosing a team. Ganguly now has what he wanted but now it is up to him how he will utilise that oppurtunity and try to perform his best.

Posted by HarishVS on (October 1, 2008, 11:34 GMT)

Thanks to Krish Srikkanth and his team to keeping in the fab 4. They deserved to be in the team for this home series. But the selection of the third spinner lacks consistency and I fully agree with whatever Katri has said in his comments. I think the selection for the last two tests will be automatic as the seniors will either perform or call it a day themselves. But my feeling is that this famous batting line up is still good enough for one or two seasons more. But the real concern is the decline of Kumble and his non-existing replacement.... Hope Kumble also will come good and ease the tensions...

Posted by Subra on (October 1, 2008, 11:33 GMT)

Our culture reminds us that we must never forget the past good deeds. In a way it is nice that Ganguly has been picked and I hope he will play. Knowing him to be a fighter, I am sure he will be out to prove everyone wrong and if he does so it will be good for India, and for India's sake let us hope Gangukly and for that matter the other senios put aside their performance in Sri Lanka and show us their true worth. And when the time comes, let us bid them goodbye in a dignified manner appropriate to ourculture.

Sivasubramaniam from Singapore

Posted by indianbadboy on (October 1, 2008, 11:31 GMT)

Ganguly again ?? I am sure one of the old boys will score a big one in the series . But come on this is by far one of the bigger mistakes. The indian middle order has been playing since the days of Ambrose , S.Waugh , A.Donald. All those greats have left the building and started there own respected careers. Are we Indians to good to retire. I just hope the likes of laxman n Sachin pull us out of this series.

Posted by sgd120 on (October 1, 2008, 11:24 GMT)

A great time for Ganguly to say that this will be my last Test series, and I am going to retire after this. There could be no better farewell than beating Australia. If he doesn't do well, he will be put out to pasture anyway, with Badrinath, I suspect being the replacement unless Dravid is out as well. No real surprises in the squad, although dropping Pragyan Ojha is harsh, he is one for the future.

Posted by siva_22379 on (October 1, 2008, 11:22 GMT)

Its a good decision by the selection panel. Why does everyone blame on Ganguly for the series loss against Srilanka. This is applicable to entire team, just not an individual. DADA knows when to end his career. Come on DADA prove to the selectors that you are still in good touch... I wish DADA to perform better and quit from the international cricket in style...

Posted by Abhimanyu on (October 1, 2008, 11:18 GMT)

I am no fan of DADA, but I think that he deserves his place in the TEST team. I mean this guy scored 1571 runs at 50.67, including a maiden double-century now what other player did any better than him ? All the DADA fans should be very thankful to Kris Srikkanth (head of the selection committee). Kris Srikkanth is the best possible person you can find for this job. I really like this guy, because he is not shy to speak his mind out in front of the media. He used to be the person who CNN-IBN would talk with for the post and pre-match conversations. I am 100% sure that Kris Srikkanth will bring the best of the young Indian players in the of the ground and not just in the dressing room warming the bench, Kris Srikkanth you ROCK !!

Posted by vignezh on (October 1, 2008, 11:05 GMT)

Saurav does not deserve such a sad/forced send-off. After all, he has lead the Indian team to World Cup finals after Kapil Dev and he obviously deserves a better send-off. Only Saurav insisted on including young blood into the national team (Yuvraj, Harbhajan) years ago. Now he is been forced to retire because of one bad series... not fair... Thanks to Kris, he has given a little respect for Dada by including in this series, otherwise i would imagine Saurav's career would have ended abruptly. I hope selectors treat others (Rahul, Anil and Sachin) the same way as Dada...

Posted by Katri on (October 1, 2008, 11:00 GMT)

Consistency is eluding the Indian test team's performances and the selection policy as well. The Ganguly affair aside, there is no clear cut policy on who will be Anil Kumble's understudy in the spin department. First it was Piyush Chawla who made way for Pragyan Ojha and now its Amit Mishra's turn to replace them both. Ramesh Powar, Rajesh Pawar and man-to-use-when-there-is-no-spinner-around, Murali Kartik, have come and gone. Unless Harbhajan is hit by the itching hand syndrome and is induced inturn to hit Sreesanth or Kumble's aging shoulder gives way, I dont see Amit Mishra getting a game in Bangalore or Mohali. So I guess its Yusuf Pathan's turn next?

Posted by Sudhakar_alex on (October 1, 2008, 10:49 GMT)

I believe its a good move considering Ganguly....But its better mention him clearly to "PERFORM or PERSIH".

Lets see how DADA takes this chance...

Now again its time to prove seniority or lets wait and see if freshness (fresh and young blood) is needed for INDIA.

Pls let every one in the team know that Indian team needs only performers and not celebrities!!!!!

Posted by vivek461 on (October 1, 2008, 10:48 GMT)

not a bad move by BCCI. Seniors should understand that the team for the future should be groomed slowly and not suddenly. I would like one senior making way per per year, not all at once.

Posted by wild-tigers on (October 1, 2008, 10:39 GMT)

I think this is a good step by the newly appointed selection panel, let dada play one or two more series and then say a good bye with a decent farewell. it would have been very harsh to ignore him and force him to say good bye to a very remarkable cricketing career.

Posted by SKUMAR2009 on (October 1, 2008, 10:36 GMT)

This is a great decision. Why only Ganguly has to prove him every time? Why only him will be axed every time to supress the performance of the whole team? It has to be applicable for all the players including Sachin. I believe the senior players should be rotated with the juniors so that they also can be groomed with them and the seniors can also be rested. How can the board fix up their retirement? They are quite matured to fix up their own retirement. Certainly if they are not performing well they can be axed from the team. But if someone has performed well in the last year, how can you ignore that? It can not be measured with one tour only. I thank the new selection committee for their brave decision. I also request them to make a plan so that juniors are also not neglected. They can rotate the seniors along with the juniors including Dhoni who thinks himself junior.

Posted by DjRicks on (October 1, 2008, 10:36 GMT)

thats a welcome move by the board as i feel ganguly truely deserved a chance,hats off to the selectors to bring in the prince of kolkata....

Posted by buddy303 on (October 1, 2008, 10:34 GMT)

Amit Mishra is a good addition. More than worrying about the replacements of ageing batsmen, India needs to focus on Kumble's replacement. Good positive step from Kris N Co.

Posted by Utpal23 on (October 1, 2008, 10:27 GMT)

I love this man.. He will simply rock n will give the answer to the world that he is @ very best. His attitude always the best thing in him. I wish him the best success in this series. Utpal

Posted by switchgrind68 on (October 1, 2008, 10:26 GMT)

The inclusion of Ganguly was probably expected and these might be his last two tests. Badrinath also justifies his place but Amit Mishra is a bit of a surprise.

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