Kolkata: In a desperate bid to beat the drop, the Bengal selectors on Friday decided to continue with Sourav Ganguly as the captain of the state side for their match against Delhi from December 13-16 even though regular skipper Manoj Tiwary was available.
While there are theories about Tiwary being stripped off captaincy, chairman of state selection committee Deep Dasgupta defended the committee's decision.
"Saying Tiwary was stripped off captaincy would be wrong. He has been always kept in the loop and he has agreed to the development. The (team's) situation is a little weird now. It's difficult when someone suddenly comes back to the squad."
"To keep the continuity, we retained Ganguly as skipper," Dasgupta said.
Tiwary would only join the side a day before their match against Delhi that is beginning on December 13 as the last ODI is scheduled to be held on Sunday.
Under the former India captain, Bengal conceded three points against Haryana while in the Friday's-concluded match they conceded bonus point win to Tamil Nadu with a 10-wicket humiliation at home.
But the selectors felt that Ganguly, who has made himself available for the entire season to hone his skills for Pune Warriors in IPL Twenty20, is the best possible option to keep a "continuity", even as Tiwary made a return after his one-day stint.
The chief selector was non-committal but it appeared that Ganguly would lead the side in their last league match against Baroda in Baroda from December 21-24 before flying off to Australia for his commentary assignment in India's four-Test series beginning December 26.
In case of Bengal's unlikely passage to the quarters, Ganguly's commitment to the state will be interesting to see.
Bengal are currently languish at the bottom of their Elite group B table with five points, with two more matches remaining in the league.
"We need someone like Sourav at this stage when the relegation fears are looming large...," CAB joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee said.
"He has been all-time greatest captain of India. As a leader, we think he is the best available person to pull the team out of the woods," he said, indicating that Ganguly will lead the side in the upcoming matches against Delhi (home) and Baroda (away).
With back to back century and double century, Tiwary is the leading run-getter in the inconsistent Bengal batting line-up with 399 runs, averaging a huge 199.50 from two matches.
Under Tiwary, Bengal logged four points - three against Gujarat and one against Madhya Pradesh.