Should Ganguly be replaced?

IN FAVOUR OF THE CAPTAIN

FOR almost five years, Sourav delivered as captain. He along with coach John Wright fully backed youngsters such as Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj... His captaincy record speaks for him.

He should be retained skipper till the 2007 World Cup.

V. Bhavani, Chennai

NO, Sourav shouldn't be replaced. In fact we have to back him when his confidence is down. To go through a bad patch is nothing new in sports. It has happened to all great players.

The Kolkata lion is still a force to recon with.

Anjana. C. Kulkarni, Bangalore

IT would be a gross distortion and glaring misinterpretation of facts if it is claimed that Sourav Ganguly's poor run with the bat is not affecting Team India's performance. His perilously short vigil at the crease has made him a butt of ridicule, but not among his band of boys. His Team India colleagues are sparing no words to acknowledge his contribution to the team's cause. Though Ganguly has been penalised much too often for his onfield indiscipline, he remains an inspirational leader par excellence. He had persisted with once-youngsters like Harbhajan, Kaif, Sehwag and Yuvraj in particular, when they were going through lean patches and has been able to pass on his confidence to the rookies.

His present lose of timing and woeful shot selection has not deterred him from implementing innovations, the latest being Dhoni's promotion up the batting order in the one-dayers. The present break in Team India's otherwise busy schedule will allow him to make necessary adjustments in his batting, so that he can be back with a bang in Team India's next international assignment. Ganguly, the modern Indian cricketing icon, should be retained as captain at least till the 2007 World Cup.

Arjun Chaudhuri, Kolkata

SOURAV GANGULY should not be replaced. He has done so much for India since he has made his debut.

He has been the most successful captain of our country and has an average of more than 40 in both forms of the game.

And mind you that he is nearing 10,000 runs in ODI's.

India needs him at least a few more years. Ganguly has the courage and boldness to take decisions at crucial times.

A. Christopher Suraen Raj, Mumbai

SOURAV GANGULY should not be replaced. The statistics show that he is the best captain India has produced in the last 50 years or so.

I hope Ganguly will regain his form and confidence sooner.

Satish, Hyderabad

WE must remember that under Sourav Ganguly we made the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy twice and were joint winners with Sri Lanka once. He also led the side to victory in the NatWest Trophy in England in 2002. We finished second in the 2003 World Cup.

All these have been achieved under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy.

We are the only team which has drawn a Test series in Australia recently and all that started with that magnificent 144 coming from none other than the captain which set the tone for the wonderful series.

Also we have won under Ganguly's captaincy what the cricket pandits term as the GREATEST SERIES EVER against Australia at home in 2001. In fact India broke the 16-Test winning streak of the Australia.

I am sure that with a new coach and a break now the Indian team is enjoying, Ganguly will find his touch with the bat and steer India to many more laurels.

Amit Chandrakant Khamkar, Raigad

SOURAV GANGULY is one of the best Indian captains. He has played a major role in bringing the talent to the fore.

Players like Kaif, Yuvraj, Dhoni owe a lot to him. He is now almost close to 10,000 runs in ODIs.

Losing form is nothing new in sport. It has happened to many great players.

Anup Shankar, Mangalore

WITHOUT any doubt Sourav Ganguly gave Indian cricket an identity and respectability.

It is a fact that his credentials as captain are much better than any other player in the team.

The three- month break should give the skipper time to solve his problems.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

IT is unfortunate that the Bengal Tiger is going through a bad patch.

He should not be replaced from the captaincy. We should not forget the great wins — the NatWest 2002, the tour of Australia 03-04, and the tour of Pakistan last year — under his leadership.

He should be given another opportunity. C. Gadhadhar Gautam, Pondicherry

A FLAMBOYANT personality. An aggressive leader. Spinners' nightmare. Mesmerizing and penetrating eyes. The best timer of the ball. A player who has served the Indian cricket for nearly 10 years, Sourav Ganguly is undoubtedly the `Prince of Kolkata'.

There is no need to press the panic button. With a new coach and the captain fresh from the break with new ideas and mindset, hopefully the team will reach new heights.

Dhanasree Jayaram, Trichur, Kerala

CRICKET is one sport where the captain plays a special role. Without an able captain, a team rarely performs. Ganguly is one captain who handled his role with a natural flair. In cricket, I have seen a natural stroke-maker in Sehwag, a natural swing bowler in McGrath and even a natural Maestro in Sachin. Never before have I seen a captain as naturally gifted as Ganguly. Raw passion, a sharp instinct, an indomitable ego and the supreme trust he places in his players have made Ganguly an epitome of a captain. Imagine a person handling 18 hours of pressure a day, for five years, be it from his opponents, from his board, from his sponsors or from his fans. It is simply not easy. Everyone will acknowledge that Sachin was born to play cricket. If there was one thing in cricket that this genius stepped out of, it was captaincy. That captaincy, Ganguly took up.

His contribution with the bat is just an added asset. His captaincy is his speciality.Will England drop Beckham from the squad? Will Ferrari drop Schumacher? Will one drop Tiger Woods from a US golf team? Will one drop Ganguly from the Indian team? The answers for all these questions are the same.

Karthik Krishna Vasudevan, Chennai

SOURAV GANGULY has done a tremendous job as the skipper of the Indian team. The selectors need to be patient with him and the `Maharaja' deserves al least one final chance. He has served Indian cricket with great distinction during the moment of crisis. He'll be back with a bang soon.

Paul A. K. Paul, Kadavanthra, Kochi

SOURAV GANGULY led the team with passion and pride, courage and commitment. The selectors should not forget his contributions as a batsman as well as skipper. Ganguly will certainly come out of this lean trot and will guide India to pinnacle of glory.

Sanjukta, Belgaum, Karnataka AGAINST THE SKIPPER

NOTWITHSTANDING his remarkable leadership qualities, which made India a force to reckon with even in alien conditions, if the cause of the Team India is paramount now, then Ganguly should leave gracefully.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad

IT is unfortunate that our captain is woefully out of form. Sourav has been our best captain so far. His statistics speak for this. Due to his poor form with the bat and considering his leadership qualities, he can lead the Indian side in the one-dayers and Rahul Dravid can take over the captaincy in Test matches.

Shafqut Majeed Khan, Kashmir

THE Indian captain has to introspect on what his roles are in the team. As a captain, Sourav Ganguly has led his side to great heights. A World Cup final, a series win in Pakistan, and a drawn Test series in Australia are some of his achievements. However, every captain is first a player — be it a batsman, bowler, or a fielder. It is the player's role that Sourav has to remind himself of now.

Seldom has the Indian captain saved a side from defeat. It is really pathetic to see that such a gifted player battling to score runs. He got Indian cricket out of doldrums after the breakout of the match fixing scandal and breathed new life into the team. I think Sourav should be replaced as the captain. This will not only relieve the pressure off his shoulders but also give him time to regain touch with the willow. Right now, he needs to play more domestic cricket and continue his stint with Lancashire. Given his age and contribution for the past five years, he needs to be given another chance not as a captain but as a batsman.

S. Suma, Chennai

SOURAV GANGULY no doubt is one of the great captains India has produced. He uplifted a demoralised Indian team. Now his batting form has dipped and the team also is not doing so well. So it is time the Board found a new captain.

V. Balamurugan, Chennai

THERE is no doubt Ganguly is the man responsible for India's success in the recent past. But now his poor form with the bat has rubbed on his captaincy as well. It is time he was replaced.

Rahul Dravid is the man India should now look up to. Yes it is time for a change.

V. Naik, Dharwad, Karnataka

WE do appreciate and acknowledge the yeoman service rendered by Sourav Ganguly as captain of the Indian cricket team. Past glory cannot be a passport for the future. First, he should find his touch with the bat to make it to the Indian team. The doors are not closed forever. They will open when he regains form. Merit alone should be the criteria for participation in Test matches.

V.B. Nambiar, Kochi

SOURAV GANGULY should make way for a new skipper. If he loses captaincy, he will not find a place in the team.

Rahul Dravid should be replaced as captain. Like Steve Waugh he is our man for crisis. He can lift the Indian team with his spirited performance as he did against Pakistan in Tests on their soil.

Nishanth K. Thadathil, Kannur, Kerala

LIFE has come a full circle for Sourav Ganguly and, what more, for the worst. It was only last year, in fact at the same time, that Sourav Ganguly was at the cusp of success; now he seems a pale shadow of his former chivalrous self. In this hour of crisis, the Indian Board shouldn't take any hasty decisions without consulting the stalwarts of the team. The best way forward is to instil Rahul Dravid as the helmsman. Irrespective of the quandry of the selectors, Sourav Ganguly's time as Indian captain and as a Test match batsman is surely over. He has been given umpteen chances to re-assert his credentials as a consistent Test match batsman; sadly though, he has been good only in patches.

With the Kaifs and the Yuvrajs waiting in the wings, it would be grossly unfair for Sourav to continue as a Test match batsman.

Prabhanjan A. Badami, Bangalore

SOURAV'S time is over. No doubt he has led the Indian side with distinction. But his recent performance against Pakistan in which he had averaged only 9.60 in the Tests and 7.75 in the ODIs show his miserable time with the bat.

The captaincy should now go to Rahul Dravid who is doing so well with the bat. At the same time one should not forget Sourav Ganguly's contribution.

M. R. Praveen, Shimoga