Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan captain, has said that Sourav Ganguly should no longer be selected based on his current form, and feels that the time is ripe for Rahul Dravid to lead the side. Ganguly's prolonged batting slump has been a cause for concern for the last year and many former cricketers have tagged him as a liability to the side.
"Sourav is a great batsman but I am afraid on present form he does not deserve to be selected," Waqar told Press Trust of India. "If I were a selector, I would definitely not select him. I think the Indian cricket board and the selectors should decide how they feel about Sourav because they are the ones who chalk out [long term] strategies. They should ask themselves if they are ready and prepared to move-on without Sourav."
Ganguly had a disastrous series against Pakistan where he mustered just 48 runs in three Tests. His performances in the one-dayers were taking a similar course before he copped a six-match ban for India's slow over-rate in the fourth ODI in Ahmedabad.
Speaking about Ganguly's replacement, Waqar said, "Every captain has to go and the BCCI should start thinking about it. Dravid has done a good job in the past and he will improve if provided with an opportunity to regularly lead the team," he continued. "But if he doesn't get the chance, how he will improve? The other thing that needs to be decided is how badly the Indian cricket team needs Sourav. That's why I am saying it's for the Indian board to decide how they evaluate the current situation."
Waqar's statements were in contrast to what Wasim Akram, his bowling partner for most of the 1990s, had said earlier this week. Wasim urged the selectors to stick with Ganguly and felt that India had missed his leadership skills in the last two ODIs against Pakistan.
Viv Richards and Ravi Shastri also backed Ganguly's case. "I think he must keep his head above the water and continue to believe in himself, because when you lose doubt in yourself, everyone else does so. Let's hope he does these things," Richards was quoted by NDTV, a national television channel.
Shastri too was confident that Ganguly would bounce back into form after a period of introspection. "Sourav needs a little bit of time to think about his game. He has a few months now on his hand. He can go back, watch tapes, see what is going wrong, relax a bit and start thinking with a clear mind. He is an experienced player. He has been a world-class one-day player.
"It is a real treat to watch him when he in full flow," he continued. "I see no reason why he cannot come back if he works hard and works on his game. He has got the experience. He has got the runs behind him, which is close to 10,000 in ODIs. So why should he not make a comeback."