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Go Ganguly, for the sake of India: NZ media
Reuters, PTI
Wellington, January 06, 2003
First Published: 13:48 IST(6/1/2003)
Last Updated: 13:48 IST(6/1/2003)

New Zealand media have been scathing in their condemnation of India's cricketers after the team's capitulation in the seven match one-day series, which goes into the fifth match on Wednesday with India 4-0 down.

Writing in Auckland's New Zealand Herald, cricket correspondent Richard Boock said it was time Saurav Ganguly took a leaf out of Antarctic explorer Captain Oates' book and considered "taking a long walk in the cold".

"The Indian skipper has been missing in action so often on this tour, that it would hardly be a major blow if he sat out the Wellington match, if only to give his team mates a break," Boock wrote.

Boock said that if Ganguly was a man of impressive influence, able to inspire despite his own lean run of form, there would be a strong case for retaining him.

"If he was a shrewd old fox capable of pulling strings in the field or reading the New Zealand tactics and manufacturing counter strategies, there would again be some sense in leaving him at the helm.

"But Ganguly appears to be a player who relies on his own considerable genius to change the game single handedly and never really has to think much about the team."

NOT TEAM MAN

Boock said Ganguly was not a good team man, and repeated a tale about the Indians' first tour match in Napier when the skipper, his wife, his maid and child comandeered the 40-seater team bus to take them to their hotel.

"The rest of the team were left waiting at the airport twiddling their thumbs while the captain was indulged and the bus was then despatched to pick them up."

Boock believes Rahul Dravid, who he describes as a "jack of all trades" being shuffled up and down the order according to Ganguly's whim, should be appointed skipper for the rest of the tour.

Jonathan Milmow, writing in Wellington's Dominion Post, said that to label India the worst cricket team to tour New Zealand might be over the top considering the country hosted Bangladesh last summer.

"But in terms of the most disappointing, it is a one-horse race," Milmow wrote.

"India have been shown up as spineless and directionless in the test and one-day series, which would not be such a bad thing if they did not go round the world parading themselves as the most talented batting lineup in commission.

"Their batsmen's inability to play the seaming ball not only makes a mockery of their reputation, but brings one to the conclusion they are hopelessly short in the courage stakes."

Milmow also had a poke at Ganguly, who he described as a moody, one-dimensional leader.


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