India need Cheteshwar Pujara (in pic) and Zaheer Khan in their one-day line up, former captain Sourav Ganguly said on Sunday as India began their New Zealand tour with a defeat in Napier. (1st ODI highlights)
Criticising Ishant's selection, Ganguly felt India leaked too many runs even as they had the "world's best" one-day batsman in Virat Kohli. (Read: Kohli overtakes Ganguly as fastest to reach 18 ODI tons)
"I feel selectors should think about two players - Cheteshwar Pujara and Zaheer Khan. Pujara is the most-needed batsman in these conditions. He has adjusted well in the Test mould and I'm sure he will do well in the ODI format," Ganguly said. (Watch: India batsmen need to emulate Virat Kohli, says Sunil Gavaskar)
"Similarly Zaheer is must-needed in the bowling attack. If he can bowl 30 overs in Tests, why can't he do that for 10 overs?" he asked.
Questioning the selection of the lanky pacer who conceded eight runs per over in the first ODI on Sunday, Ganguly quipped "Ishant Sharma remains to be an enigma to me."
"He is the seniormost Indian bowler with experience. But he has been inconsistent under pressure as Mohammad Shami has become the backbone of Indian bowling. He's no doubt the find of Indian cricket as I've said earlier," he said.
Ganguly hoped that Bengal pacer Ashok Dinda will make a comeback after his Ranji performance this season.
"I hope Dinda will get a chance this year. He is good in his length and line."
Ganguly also hailed Kohli who scored his 18th century to keep India in the hunt in their chase of 293 before being bundled out for 268 to trail 0-1 in the five-ODI series.
"He is no doubt the best one-day batsman in the world at the moment. He has scored runs in all parts of the world. But the target proved too much in such conditions. In India, it would have been easy," Ganguly told a Bengali news channel.
Bengal might be staring at an innings defeat against Maharashtra in their Ranji semifinals in Indore, but the city's favourite cricket icon said Laxmi Ratan Shukla should not lose heart after their commendable performance in the Ranji season.
"It's really unfortunate, the match seems to have gone out of their hand. It seems toss became crucial. But they should rejoice about their performance this season. Hope they go forward from here," he said.