India in Zimbabwe
Spot the Ball Photocaption
Which of the following dismissals was the turning point of the Indian 2nd innings?

Poll Results Archive

5 Star Cricket Fantasy firing squad StatsGuru

Should Sourav Ganguly take a break from Test cricket?


Poll Results Archive

Should Sourav Ganguly take a break from Test cricket?
- The Appeal

The Offside

Sourav Ganguly is an embarrassment to the Indian team. The country simply cannot afford to have a captain who is spoken of with little respect in the cricket world. The Indian captain's relationship with Steve Waugh was well documented in the media. While Ganguly was belligerent in his speech, his achievements with bat did nothing to back up his words.

Ganguly took over as captain of the Indian side in the inaugural Test against Bangladesh in November last year. In the first innings of that Test Ganguly made 84. Since that Test match Ganguly has led India in two Tests against Zimbabwe and three Tests against Australia at home and most recently two Tests against Zimbabwe away. In the first Test against Zimbabwe at home Ganguly notched up an unbeaten 65. After that it has been all downhill. Since that innings of 65 not out, Ganguly's scores are as follows: 30, 8, 1, 23, 48, 22, 4, 5, 9 and 0. A total of 150 runs at an average of 15.00. Not what you might expect from the Indian captain and a key batsman at that.

A closer look at the statistics is more damning. Of these dismissals, Ganguly has been snuffed out an alarming 73% of the time by mediumpacers. This, coming in at number six. It's not like the Indian skipper has to deal with the quick men when they're fresh and using a new ball.

It's pretty clear that Ganguly is unable to handle anything above mediumpace in the longer version of the game. Attacking fields, pressure situations and the lack of restrictions on the use of the bouncer seem to make life a bit difficult for the Indian captain. It's time he took a break, some time away from the game to sort out these issues.

The Evidence:

The Onside

Remember the time Mark Taylor could not make a half century as captain of Australia? Have we forgotten Nasser Hussain's miserable run of form with the bat not so long ago as skipper of England? What happened in their cases? The respective boards backed their players all the way and the decision held them in good stead. The run of bad form ended and consistent triumph in Tests was the result.

Look at Ganguly's record as a captain: Played eight, won five, lost two, drawn one. This includes a one off Test win in Bangladesh after conceding 400 to the minnows in the first innings. This run boasts a 2-1 series win over world champions Australia having lost the first Test in three days. And yes, in search of the first series win outside the subcontinent in 16 years, India began well, winning the first Test of a two Test series in Zimbabwe. Unable to pull of a win in the second Test, India nevertheless put on a good fight.

To say Ganguly was to blame for these losses is a touch unfair. It is said that a captain is only as good as his team. With team selection continuing to be contentious, with there being no steady opening pair, with no support spinner for Harbhajan Singh, how can Ganguly be expected to win every match he leads India in?

Another adage that holds true in Ganguly's case is the one talking about form: 'Form is temporary, class is permanent.' There's little doubt that Ganguly is a top class player. And yes, just supposing Ganguly steps down, who will lead India? Is there a better man? Ganguly is too important to this side, he simply cannot be replaced in the Indian team.

The Evidence:


Results & Scores
Indians won by 10 wickets
Zimbabwe 'A' 103 (32.4 ov)
Indians 108/0 (17.0 ov)

Tour Index

Zimbabwe 'A'
CFX Academy

Top Performer
Hercules Player
of the fortnight
Caught &
Bowled Over

Whatta shot
Third Umpire
Did U Know...

Official Sites
Site Map
Cricinfo Home