Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Dancing on Thin Ice

No captain is good enough to be in the side for just being a captain. Now, I'm not suggesting that Sourav Ganguly is not a good enough batsman to warrant a place in the national side, but in his current form, he isn't quite leading from the front. And that is important. I believe Ganguly is treading on somewhat dangerous territory here, since the home defeat to the Aussies and the embarrassment in Bangladesh are probably not distant memories in the selectors' minds. Nor should they be. Add to the whole mix the personality of the captain (the tendency to be his own man) that tends to rub some people the wrong way, and you have a minor crisis every time the captain goes through a lean patch. To be fair, since the inspirational century at the Gabba that set the tone for an entire season, Ganguly has not quite made a hefty contribution in test matches. So far the selectors have shown faith in his abilities both as a batsman and a captain, but there should be no doubt as to what his primary role in the team is. For what it's worth, in my opinion he is the best captain India has ever had - certainly on par with Pataudi, if not better - and that has been reflected in recent results, although dizzy highs have been interspersed with disappointing lows. It would be a shame if his batting form were to come in the way of his ability to lead and even if there is no need for panic, there is certainly cause for concern. - NK

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