Ganguly takes a dig at Dhoni

Updated: 13 July 2008 07:56 IST

The former captain said he could not have been able to 'afford' to pull out of a Test series.


Indirectly taking a dig at India Twenty20 and one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni skipping the upcoming Sri Lanka series citing exhaustion, former captain Sourav Ganguly said during his captaincy days he would not have 'afforded' pulling out of a Test series.

"I don't remember missing out on a Test or a series when I was the captain. Perhaps I could not afford that. For captain Dhoni, who is also the wicketkeeper and the batsman of the team, I think he must have felt fatigued," Ganguly said.

"It also depends on your position in the side; I'm sure not many players, with a place in the side not guaranteed, will be able to do that. It depends how much threat for the place you have in the team. I know only one player who has able to do it successfully - Sachin Tendulkar."

Ganguly was quick to add that it was the Ranchi wicketkeeper-batsman's personal decision.

Asked whether the Indian Premier League extravaganza was to be blamed for the player fatigue, Ganguly said, "I don't think it opens up the IPL vs country debate."

Disappointed that he was not among the 30 best one-day cricketers of the country as announced while picking the Champions Trophy probables, Ganguly said it was high time that he stopped looking forward to the 50-over version.

"I was not part of the side for seven months, and, having been ignored for the Champions Trophy probables, for the next three months also I won't be part of one-day cricket. So obviously I don't look forward to that. You may call it I was pushed out or was asked to go out ... what I look forward to is to do well in the Sri Lanka tour," Ganguly said.

The 36-year-old left hander, however, said he was not mulling on retirement from one-day cricket.

On India's final match jinx, especially after losing back-to-back finals, first in Bangladesh tri-series and then in the Asia Cup, Ganguly said, "It will be difficult for me to comment on the side."

"I'm not part of the side for many days and I don't know about the new team. However, it will be harsh to judge them so early. Give them some time before we make a judgement."

Asked whether Twenty20 had robbed one-day of some lustre, Ganguly said, "I don't think there is any lack of interest in ODIs after the advent of Twenty20."

"While I was in England, I went to watch an ODI at a venue there and I saw a packed house. I'm sure when the ODI format returns to India, we'll see the same packed house as it was earlier. All the three formats will have the same public interest."

Asked Ganguly to pick his favourite innings in his comeback years, he said, "Obviously my comeback knock of 239 in the Bangalore Test was important. However, I'll rank my second innings knock of 91 higher than the double century.

"It was much better... I also rate high my 87 in the last Test in Kanpur... as the knock helped us win the match and level the series. Of course, the one at the Eden - my first century at home - is very close to my heart," he said.

In ODIs, Ganguly said, his comeback innings against the West Indies in Nagpur in January 2007 was also very memorable.

" I missed the hundred by just two runs. It helped me remain in the side for the next two months..."

Ganguly was talking to reporters at a function organised at his Behala residence to hand over the Castrol Asian Cricketer and Asian Batsman of the year trophies.

With his ailing father Chandidas Ganguly in London, Ganguly could not attend the awards function a fortnight ago in Karachi.

Wife Dona received the awards in Ganguly's absence.

"My apologies for not making it there (Karachi). At the same time, I'm grateful that the organisers have come all the way from Mumbai to honour me at my residence.

"It gives me huge satisfaction to get this award. For any player there's a lot of ups and downs and I also had to go through this. This award is in recognition to that. It's a good motivation for players to perform; it has motivated me and I'm sure it will inspire others."

Topics : Cricket Sourav Ganguly
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