Former cricketers feel Sourav Ganguly's vast experience will help Pune Warriors, who are struggling to stay afloat in the Indian Premier League, but caution that the former India and Kolkata Knight Riders captain won't have it easy living up to the hype.
Ganguly, who went unsold in the January auction for the fourth edition, has replaced injured fast bowler Ashish Nehra for the remaining IPL. He will play under the captaincy of Yuvraj Singh.
Warriors are languishing at the last position in the IPL with only two wins from their eight matches.
Bengal's Ranji Trophy winning captain and former national selector Sambaran Banerjee described it as a "great news."
"It's good to hear that he will be back in action. With his experience he will be asset."
"Now everyone will look forward with much interest to the Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors clash. And I think Kolkata fans will be divided between the two teams. A large chunk of people will root for the Pune side as Ganguly is still the darling of the people here."
Asked whether it would be possible for Ganguly to make a mark in the Twenty20 league now at his age and after being away from competitive cricket for a year, Banerjee said: "Nobody is expecting him to perform as he did in 1996 or 1999. His body cannot take that. But look even Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are playing fine. If Ganguly can play at 60 percent of his ability, he will be an asset for Pune."
Former player Atul Wassan feels going by the lukewarm performances of veterans Rahul Dravid and V.V.S.Laxman, Ganguly will have to pull off something extra from his armour to turn things around for the Warriors.
"He has played a lot of cricket which will come handy. It remains to be seen how much can he perform with the bat. Players like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who have been regularly playing Test cricket, have found it difficult to bat, though they continue to add value to Indian Premier League with their vast experience. Ganguly will also add value to the Pune team."
Former India player and commentator Arun Lal feels that Ganguly's presence will benefit the Warriors.
"IPL has been missing Sourav. Pune Warriors have been going through a rough patch and has won only two of the eight matches. Someone like Sourav can boost them, he is the right inclusion for them," he said.