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Ganguly too big to fit in

cricket Updated: Jan 10, 2011 00:56 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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The greatness of Sourav Ganguly the player and captain along with his incompatibility with the T20 format combined to his ejection from the Indian Premier League (IPL), feel people involved with the event.

While nobody was doubting his ability as a batsman even in the shortest form of the game, they were unsure about some other aspects, which they think are essential for success in a tournament like the IPL. Not without reason was the fourth highest run-getter of IPL 3 left out this time, it seems.

"Ganguly is such a towering figure that you can't keep him in the team with someone else as captain. He's the sort who'll instinctively get into the thick of things," sources in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) had said before the auctions. "When we decided to have a new leader this year, Ganguly naturally went out of our equation. "We had long discussions with the coaches and everyone else about how to turn things around after three disappointing seasons. We decided to have a change at the top and Ganguly became a luxury we couldn't afford," the source had informed.

A player who represented KKR last year felt Ganguly's real value to the team shouldn't be weighed in terms of the number of runs he scored only. "It's important how the runs came and what the situation was. An opener has to get going in the first six overs and Ganguly didn't always do that."

The player, who didn't wish to be named, added: "A boundary that you didn't hit in the first six overs because it entailed risk can make the difference between victory and defeat in the end. Mostly, Ganguly was found wanting on this front. He wasn't pacing his innings according to the situation."

A member of the coaching staff of another franchise felt the role performed by Ganguly wasn't deemed suitable by the buyers. "Players like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were asked to perform specific duties whenever they played in the IPL. While Laxman was told to go after the bowling as an opener, Dravid was used as a hitter lower down the order. They adapted to those roles and that's why they're still in demand."

This former India player said Ganguly didn't meet expectations on this front. "Most of his runs came as opener and teams in the IPL want openers who scored at a strike rate of 130 in the first six overs instead of 110. Ganguly got runs but failed to force pace at the rate desired and there was also the problem with rotating strike.