Should Ganguly be replaced?

In favour of the captain

CHANGING the captain wouldn't do any good to the team. Can anybody guarantee that the change in team or the captain would bring success? Change is definitely needed, not of the captain and the players but in their attitudes. We all know the difference between performance and talent. The whole team, including the captain, are a talented bunch. To convert it into performance, we need to encourage them and of course we need a good coach to succeed John Wright.

Swati Salila, Patna * * *

ALL great cricketers go through a lean patch and Ganguly is no different. He has a fantastic ODI record besides a good Test record. His captaincy record speaks for itself. Ganguly has time now for a few months to work on his form and flaws in his technique, and then get back into the Indian team to once again show the aggressive leadership that has earned him plaudits from critics all over the world. He has been described as India's most aggressive captain and Arjuna Ranatunga has called him India's best ODI captain. The World Cup is only two years away and India can ill afford to have a new captain besides a new coach. With a refreshed outlook and improved batting form, Ganguly would certainly lead India to a World Cup victory in the West Indies.

Ram Mohan Sridharan, Pune * * *

GANGULY should retain the captaincy after the triangular tournament in Sri Lanka in which he cannot take part because of the six-match ban. Though his confidence level is low now, I am sure he will get over this phase by hard practice and assistance from the likes of Gavaskar, Boycott and Greg Chappell. Ganguly has the fire in his heart to excel and he should be given back the opening slot in one-dayers pushing Tendulkar down the order. He will succeed and he will carry forward the momentum to Test cricket as well.

S. Krishnakumar, Coimbatore

GANGULY should be retained as the skipper. As a captain his record has been quite admirable. He has inspired India to memorable victories in Australia, England, West Indies and Pakistan in Test matches, and has led India to the finals of the World Cup. Ganguly's aggression has rubbed off on the team and turned it into a fighting unit.

The other possible captaincy contenders like Dravid, Tendulkar or Kumble have not displayed Ganguly's supreme confidence while leading the team. Ganguly has made master moves like asking Sehwag to open, getting Dravid to keep wickets and promoting Dhoni in the batting order.

He has also inspired young guns such as Harbhajan, Kaif and Yuvraj to bloom. Ganguly has even sacrificed his favourite opening and No. 3 slot in ODIs for the team's cause. He has another three or four years in him both as captain and batsman.

Sunil Nambiar, Mumbai * * *

I ENDORSE Sanjay Rajan's comments that having taken the Indian team to great heights, the `Prince of Kolkata' will now regain his majestic batting touch as "the only man after God on the off side," as his own deputy puts it. His innings in the Brisbane Test in the last Australian tour gave confidence to the whole Indian team.

Prasanna, Bangalore * * *

GANGULY will be back to his winning habits. The need of the hour is for him to go back to the maidan and play competitive cricket and here he lost the opportunity to play the Times Shield Final for Tata in Mumbai. It also appears that, in international cricket, the umpires have given Ganguly out a few times when actually he was not. Such incidences have shaken his confidence.

A. G. Kanetkar, Mumbai * * *

GANGULY should be retained as captain till the 2007 World Cup. Greg Chappell should be appointed as coach. Recently, two software engineers from Bangalore developed a new software for improving team performance. The Indian cricket management should use the software. The technical skill and brilliance of our country should be used to win matches for India. Ganguly will come back to glowing form and will make India the world champions in 2007. That would be the most precious moment for all children and teenagers in India.

G. Meera, Thrissur * * * Against the skipper

GANGULY has achieved great feats in international cricket both as a captain and player. But, of late, his performance has been pathetic and hence he should be dropped from the Test team. One can't be in any team by virtue of good captaincy alone. After the Ganguly-Wright combination, we need another combination in planning out success in the longer version of the game. Ganguly should be retained as captain in the ODIs — he is on the verge of making 10,000 runs, which is a great achievement.

Debasis Ganguly, Kolkata

GANGULY has walked away with the credit for Test victories, which were fashioned by the Herculean contributions of players such as Dravid, Tendulkar, Srinath, Kumble, Laxman and Harbhajan. On his own, he has not won Test matches for India. He has been partial to his favourite players such as Yuvraj, Kaif, Nehra, Zaheer and Parthiv Patel, who have failed repeatedly and yet made it to the side regularly. He has also been silly enough to make Kumble sit on the bench in many matches. Because a new coach is being hired, it is the time to appoint a new captain as well.

Jayaprakash Padiyath, Mumbai

AGREED, Ganguly is the most successful Indian captain in the history of Test cricket. Along with John Wright, Ganguly has taken Indian cricket to new heights outside the Subcontinent. But, his current form in both forms of game does not meet the standards for a good international batsman. He is losing ground in captaincy also. His recent 6-match suspension due to slow overrate is testimony to this. He is no more the aggressive motivator on the field for which he is known.

Chetan Bhandi, Mysore

GANGULY should be relieved from the burden of captaincy. It is not just a loss in Ganguly's form but his batting has simply disintegrated. At this stage he should simply forget about captaincy and just concentrate on regaining his batting form. Going to England for a short stint in league or county cricket is a step in the right direction. However, he must go with a fresh mindset. Taking away Ganguly's captaincy may be the right thing to do, but it is important to do it with dignity. We should not forget his contribution towards the success of this side.

Mayur Lookhar, Mumbai

GANGULY must take a leaf out of Sanath Jaysuriya's book. The Sri Lankan star gave up his captaincy last year when his own devastating batting form was going through a slump and now he is back as a super batsman though not the captain. More than being a courageous captain, Ganguly is a world-class batsman who can dominate as an ODI opener. He needs to now relieve himself from the chains of captaincy. Though history might pronounce him as the most successful captain of India, it's now time for him to become what he originally is — one of the fiercest openers in the world in ODIs.

Samuel George Mathan, Chennai

THOUGH Ganguly and Dravid began their careers together in 1996, why is Ganguly still struggling to reach 5000 Test runs when Dravid is nearing 8000? The reason is obvious. When Ganguly became captain in February 2000, he and Dravid had a similar Test record. He had 2505 runs (7 centuries) to Dravid's 2821 runs (6 centuries). Since then, Dravid has scored another 4875 runs (14 centuries) compared to Ganguly's 2444 runs (4 centuries) in Tests.

Clearly, the pressures of captaincy have stunted Ganguly's growth as a batsman. Dravid's case for captaincy cannot be ignored anymore. From a talented youngster he has metamorphosed into one of the all time greats. He can take the team to the next level as he is more ambitious and single-minded than Ganguly. Without the additional burden of captaincy, Ganguly could regain his position as one of the leading one-day match winners.

Ashish Naik, Mumbai