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Age no criterion for selection: Ganguly

Sourav says the Big Three still had a lot of fire left in them and selections should be performance-based.

cricket Updated: Oct 06, 2007 23:33 IST

Even as Chief Selector Dilip Vengsarkar laid down the law that seniors in the Indian cricket team had to perform or perish, Sourav Ganguly on Saturday countered that age should not be a criterion for selection and the Big Three still had a lot of fire left in them.

"Performance and not seniority or juniority should count," the former captain said amidst calls that he, along with Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid should make way for younger players in the one-day team.

Ganguly said that the experienced trio were among the top four run-getters against England, the last time India played an ODI series.

"People who question Sachin Tendulkar's form are mad," Ganguly said in an interview to IBN-7.

He also pointed out that too much was made of players' age in India and public opinion was very fickle.

"It's typical of India to be excited and get lost in hype."

But the three veterans were tough enough to overcome the latest challenge as well, India's most successful Test captain said.

"Had they not been mentally and physically tough, they would not have survived the rigours of international cricket over a decade successfully."

Taking an indirect dig at former India coach Greg Chappell who claimed the credit for Ganguly's return to the team during the series in South Africa, the Bengal left-hander said his ouster had nothing to do with cricketing reasons and no one else believed that he could make a comeback.

"It (his omission) was driven by some personal agenda," he said.

Ganguly is impressed with the leadership skills of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said the Jharkhand player had the right temperament for the job.

"Captain should be more like a friend to his team members and Dhoni does indeed epitomises that spirit," he said.

But Ganguly said it was too early to make judgements based on the Twenty20 World Cup triumph as "50-over cricket and 20-20 cricket are as different as Test cricket is from ODI cricket."