Ranatunga says struggling Indian team needs Ganguly
by CricketArchive staff reporter
DateLine: 30th November 2006
Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly Wednesday found support from former Sri
Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga, who said he was amazed that the
stylish left-hander was being ignored.
"I simply can't understand how such a good player can be kept out of
the side. Building up for the future is fine, but not at the expense of
experience," Ranatunga said.
India's Aussie coach Greg Chappell has often been blamed for the ouster
of Ganguly, who last played for India in January this year in a Test
against Pakistan, while his last one-day appearance was more than a
"I wonder whether it (his dropping) has got anything to do with
performance. There can be issues within the side, but the country comes
first and all these petty things are immaterial," said Ranatunga.
India, on a tour of South Africa, have conceded an unbeatable lead in a
five-match one-day series. They lost two matches by over 100 runs with
one match rained out. A three-Test series will follow the one-dayers.
"Ganguly is a match-winner and we had the utmost respect for him when
we played against India," said 43-year-old Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka
to an epic World Cup triumph in 1996.
"As a captain he showed a lot of aggression as well, and it's he who
showed recent Indian teams how to be ruthless. He certainly has been
the toughest Indian captain in recent times," Ranatunga said. "I feel
sorry for India. It's a crime to keep out such a talented player and I
don't think India is picking its best team at the moment. The instances
he must have missed out on personal landmarks, for the sake of the
team, are numerous. I love those types of players and teams need them,"
The former skipper also said India were capable of winning next year's
World Cup in the West Indies.
"No team has such a batting line up. When you have Sachin (Tendulkar),
(Virender) Sehwag, (Sourav) Ganguly, (Mohammad) Kaif, Yuvraj (Singh),
(Rahul) Dravid and (Mahendra) Dhoni, you can chase any target. It's
like our batting line up when we won the World Cup," said Ranatunga, a
left-handed middle-order batsman who scored 5,105 runs in 93 Tests and
7,456 in 269 one-day internationals.