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Former India skipper finds a home in Pune

cricket Updated: May 04, 2011 00:06 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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The Pune Warriors decision to rope in Sourav Ganguly in the latter half of the Indian Premier League (IPL's) is baffling and defies any cricketing logic.

Even if you ignore the fact that Ganguly, primarily a batsman, has replaced the injured Ashish Nehra, a new-ball bowler, considering that the Warriors bowling unit is a bit more balanced than their batting, how can someone who last played competitive cricket almost four months ago emerge the saviour for a dismantling lot stuck at the bottom of the points table?

Defies logic
If the Warriors management, which tried its best to defend bringing on board one of their owners' close associates in sports on Tuesday, was keen on Ganguly, then why didn't they bid for him at the player auctions in January?

Ganguly was one of only three Indians from among the 48 who were left unsold at the auctions. It was learnt the former national captain was hurt at being unwanted.

An insider involved in the decision to rope in Ganguly revealed that it was an attempt to "soothe Dada's ego". "It's a win-win situation for the team. Once Nehra was ruled out of the tournament, his slot was going to be vacant anyway," the Warrior, preferring anonymity, said. "If his experience and ability to get the best out of youngsters helps the team in some way, it would be nice."

Coaches not keen
It was also learnt that the core support staff of the team - head coach Geoff Marsh and his assistants Pravin Amre and Dermott Reeve - weren't keen on the move. Since the team is down in the dumps, they had no option but to let the management go ahead with the gamble.

Skipper Yuvraj Singh, however, made it clear that fitness would be the key for Ganguly.

When asked if Ganguly would be considered as opener, Yuvraj, at his media interaction on the eve of the game against MI, said: "He hasn't played much cricket. He needs to come in and show his fitness. If he is fit to play and raring to go, definitely we will consider."