Dravid appointed captain for Lanka Test series

This means Ganguly has been stripped of Test captaincy also after being sacked as ODI skipper.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2005 03:00 IST

Sourav Ganguly's long stint as captain of the Indian cricket team came to an end on Tuesday with the selectors handing the Test reins to Rahul Dravid for the upcoming three-match series against Sri Lanka.

Ganguly, India's most successful captain ever, was stripped of the one-day captaincy last month and his future as a player will be decided on Wednesday when the Test team is announced.

The decision to replace Ganguly was taken by the five-member selection panel which met ahead of India's third one-dayer against South Africa, a move which brings about a new era in Indian cricket.

Dravid, who led India to a 6-1 series triumph against Sri Lanka, was rewarded for his fine leadership skills and is being projected as the future captain, keeping the 2007 World Cup in mind.

"We are looking ahead to the future and I must say Rahul is going to be our future captain," Chairman of Selection Committee, Kiran More, told a press conference.

Asked whether Ganguly will find a place in the Test team as a player, More said, "we have not ruled him out. The matter will be discussed tomorrow when we pick the team for the three Tests and remaining two one-dayers against South Africa.

"We always have lot of discussions on players before they are picked. At the end of the day, the committee's decision is unanimous," he said.

Replying to persistent questions on the reason for sacking Ganguly, More said, "Sourav has not performed that well. We do acknowledge that he scored a century against Zimbabwe. But we are not very happy with his performance during the last two to three years".

More said, in contrast, Dravid had performed well. "He won matches against Pakistan and Australia as stand-in captain (in Tests)."

"Winning matches against Zimbabwe should not be the criteria. We should be winning our matches and series against teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. The fact is that we have not won a series on foreign soil in 19 years. Looking at the overall performance of Sourav, we are not happy," he said.

Asked whether today's decision had anything to do with Ganguly's spat with coach Greg Chappell, More replied in the negative. "We did not discuss the issue. We discussed only cricketing matters."

Ganguly's ouster was on the cards after Dravid replaced him as the ODI skipper for the series against Sri Lanka and South Africa and led the team with aplomb.

Although the Bengal left-hander has gone on record saying that he expects to find a place in the Test squad on account of his experience and past performance, it remains to be seen whether the selectors include him for the home series starting on December 2.

Ganguly surpassed Mohd Azharuddin's record of leading the team to maximum number of wins, with 21 victories to his credit from 49 matches. He lost 13 matces and drew 15 matches as skipper.

In ODI's, he won 76 and lost 66 matches as captain while five rubbers ended in no results during his nearly six-year reign.

First Published: Nov 22, 2005 12:41 IST