Beleaguered Dravid gets Ganguly's backing

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Rahul Dravid found an ally in former India skipper Sourav Ganguly who rubbished claims that the 'Wall' is showing signs of vulnerability.

Updated: December 16, 2008 09:25 IST
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Rahul Dravid's prolonged lean patch seems to have become a national obsession but the Karnataka middle-order batsman found an ally in former India skipper Sourav Ganguly who rubbished claims that the 'Wall' is showing signs of vulnerability.

"Dravid is a great cricketer with lot of maturity. It will be wrong to say that it's over for him," Ganguly told reporters after a practice session at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

Dravid, who fashioned number of wins for India abroad, has 10,366 Test runs under his belt but has managed just two centuries and nine 50s in 48 innings he had played in the last two years.

To further add to his woes, the former India skipper's last five innings read a dismal 11, 11, 0, 3 and 3. But Ganguly, who retired after the Test series against Australia recently, hopes Dravid will return to form soon. "One should not judge him on account of a few failures.

He is having a temporary loss of form and I am sure he'll come up with a big knock soon to silence his critics," Ganguly said.

The former India captain is currently keeping himself in shape and hopes to play in the Ranji Trophy Plate group semi-final and help Bengal return to the Super League.

Ganguly had earlier expressed his desire to turn up against Vidarbha in the Plate group but since Bengal had already made the semi-finals, he chose to wait for the last-four stage encounter.

"I am eager to play for Bengal in the semi-finals. We are currently doing well at the League stage and I am sure we'll make the Super League," Ganguly, who had a rigourous indoor and outdoor session, added.

Asked, whether India should tour Pakistan in the wake of Mumbai terror strikes, Ganguly declined to comment. "I am no one to comment on this. It's between the Board and the government. They have to decide on this, I don't want to get into this."

However, Ganguly did condemn the terror attacks. "It's a heinous act and we must condemn the terrorists who are targetting innocent people."

Asked whether the terror strikes will put a shadow on Pakistan cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul turning out for his Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Ganguly said there's still plenty of time for the second edition of the Twenty20 competition to begin.

"IPL is still some months to go. I hope things will get normal by then," Ganguly said, adding that Eden will host a KKR camp from January 6 to scout talent from the domestic circuit.

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