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The former skipper isn't happy with the team selection

Sourav Ganguly criticizes selection policy of India

Umid Kumar Dey
Published Date: 11 Jan 2018 | Update :

Sourav Ganguly is one of the most revered figures in the history of Indian cricket and his words carry a lot of weight. And according to him, the selection of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan is something that is bothering him.

Indeed, the forms of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan away from home isn’t anywhere near to what they do at home. As a result, Ganguly is baffled with their selections and thinks that KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane should have been picked up instead.

"History of Rohit Sharma and history of Shikhar Dhawan in overseas conditions are not very good,” Ganguly said to India Today.

The former Indian skipper is not one to mince his words as he used the analogy of chalk and cheese to describe the contrast in the performances at home and away.

“You look at their records, it's like chalk and cheese when they go away and when they are in India. So you are basically depending on Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli as the two best performers in overseas conditions

"Look at Cheteshwar Pujara. His 13 of 14 Test hundreds have come in sub-continent conditions. I keep saying about KL Rahul because he has scored runs in Australia, he has scored runs in West Indies and Sri Lanka. It's not just about form, it's also about where people score runs,” he continued.

The legendary former left-handed batsman, however, asked for the team to not panic too much as this sort of a result was expected on South African soil. He, however, admitted to his admiration for Virat Kohli and isn’t of the opinion that Ravi Shastri and the captain would bring in many changes in the side for the second Test.

"But let's not panic too much. I was not surprised by the result. I have tremendous regard for Virat Kohli and we will see an improved performance in the next game," he added. However, he felt that much changes may not be made for the upcoming match.

"I don't think Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri will change the team straightaway. There is a possibility that one of them (Ajinkya Rahane or KL Rahul) may come back. It could be Ajinkya Rahane in the middle in place of Rohit Sharma and there's a possibility of KL Rahul coming at top of the order.

Ganguly believes that the pitch at Centurion will benefit the pacers a lot more than it did in Cape Town. And, as a result, would prefer playing 5 bowlers instead of an extra batsman.

“India will have to bottle down and fight hard in the batting. The wicket in Centurion will be quick as well. It will have a lot more bounce than Cape Town. It may not seam as much as Cape Town but it will be lot quicker," he commented.

“I would actually play five bowlers and play KL Rahul in place of Shikhar Dhawan. Rahul because he has done well in overseas conditions. I would give Rohit Sharma one more opportunity. I wouldn't tinker with the bowling line-up.”

He finally concluded by stating his expectation from the next game, calling for the batsmen to make more runs and make a comeback in the next Test.

“All the batters have not scored runs. There's not been a single fifty from the order. You got to put this behind and try and comeback stronger in the next Test. Preparation is important and India have lost a bit there and faced not much of criticism. So India will have to fight their way into the next match.”


Picture credit: Getty Images


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