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Ganguly's ODI average has dipped

cricket Updated: Jan 20, 2008 18:56 IST

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The omission of former captain Sourav Ganguly from the Indian squad for next month's one-off Twenty 20 tie against Australia and the triangular ODI series might have come as a surprise, but the Bengal stalwart's one-day form has been in steep decline since his comeback.

Ganguly made a startling comeback into the ODI side by accumulating 509 runs - with 98 as his best - from 10 ties between January and March, 2006, averaging 63.62 in the process, higher than his career average of 41-plus.

However, from the tour of Ireland in June to the end of the Natwest ODI series in England in 2007 - after having been rested for the tour of Bangladesh in ODIs along with Sachin Tendulkar - Ganguly's average had slipped back into the early 40s.

In this period, the left handed stylist scored 515 runs from 13 ties with 88 being his best score.

But in his last nine ties at home, five against Australia and four against Pakistan, Ganguly has notched up only 216 runs with 86 as his top score and his average of 27 is a clear indication that there had been a steep decline in his form.

The last ODI hundred scored by the veteran, who has made 22 in all in his run tally of 11363 from 311 ODIs, came in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

Since then he has scored three 90-plus scores and also crossed 80 thrice in his tally of 22 knocks of 50 and above.

With the selectors laying emphasis on fielding abilities and youth, the lack of enough runs with the bat of late in ODIs also seems to have weighed against India's most successful Test captain.