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Zimbabwe tour acid test for Ganguly

The tour marks the most difficult phase of the Indian captain's career, writes Harsha Saparia.
PTI | By Harsha Saparia, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 23, 2005 01:23 PM IST

India's tour of Zimbabwe will be an acid test for skipper Sourav Ganguly as it would decide his fate as India's captain. It marks the most difficult phase of Ganguly's career. Although he is leading the side, Ganguly goes to Zimbabwe with the challenge of justifying his presence in the squad.

Ganguly's record as captain is outstanding with more Test wins to his credit than any other Indian captain. He has proved himself as tough, intuitive and an uncompromising leader on numerous occasions. The credit for transforming the players from a group of individuals into members of a team goes to him. He has brought a refreshing sense of aggressiveness and assertion to Indian cricket.

Under him Team India has won most Test matches away from home. His record as captain against the hosts Zimbabwe has been good, with India winning 15 out of the 18 ODIs played. But India's performance against the Kiwis has not been very encouraging with the Men in Blue eking out 5 wins from 13 ODIs played. India's New Zealand tour before the World Cup was a disaster.

Ganguly's appalling form has been a cause of major worry for the Indians. Since the World Cup, he has averaged just 32.23 with the bat in the ODIs and not scored a single century. His batting record in Tests is equally disappointing. Ganguly, therefore has to prove himself as a batsmen if he has to retain his place in the side. And the Zimbabwean tour will provide him ample opportunity to do so with India scheduled to play two Tests against the hosts after the ODI series.

But what is important for Ganguly is that the selectors have shown faith in his abilities. Regardless of his poor form, he has been renamed captain. Therefore, Ganguly's performance in the series will decide his future as captain and his place in the team as well. The Zimbabwean tour marks the final frontier for him.

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