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Dropped from Irani Cup, could be the end for Dada

cricket Updated: Sep 08, 2008 23:55 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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Unless the new selection committee committee thinks radically differently, Sourav Ganguly’s omission from the Irani Cup squad could start the most remarkable phase-out period in the history of Indian cricket.

Is it time to say goodbye to Indian cricket legends who contributed to 17 Test victories abroad between November 2000 when Ganguly became captain and 2008 compared to 14 from 1932 to 2000? It’s just that the process to shelve them has started with Ganguly, India’s most successful captain with 21 wins in 49 Tests.

“You have to look at the future and start somewhere,” a national selector unwilling to go on record told HT. “We have a pool of youngsters who are ready to be tested and this is the right time.” Ganguly made 96 runs in six innings in Sri Lanka last month.

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar said: “Ganguly’s experience is still needed in Test cricket.” That would comfort the 36-year-old with 6,888 runs from 109 Tests. But would it inspire another comeback?

With the Irani tie being the only practice outing before the Tests against Australia, it seems Ganguly won’t be considered. A schedule without a break follows and like the younger legs in the one-day side, people able to cope better with such hectic pace will be preferred.

For Ganguly, who didn’t take calls or return text messages, Monday could seem like October 2006. Failure in the domestic one-day Challenger Series made it seem like it was curtains for him. Two months later, he was India’s highest scorer with 214 runs in three Tests in South Africa.