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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ganguly: From Challenger to World Cup??

Saurav Ganguly, concentrating on comeback
The Cricket World Cup 2007 is not too far away - it's actually so close that fans have already started buying tickets to the West Indies! Does Dada hold any chance? And is there enough time to make an impression? The answers to both these questions is an unequivocal yes. The Indian team is in the middle of a big ODI slump and the batting order - both opening and middle order is far from settled. And this coupled with the fact that the World Cup is too close may ironically be the biggest reason why Saurav holds a good chance.

Dravid, by promoting himself up the order has unsettled both the top order and the middle order. And he needs to quickly make some adjustments so that the team has a settled look before the World Cup starts. Sehwag's recent and not-too-recent ODI records have been pathetic and it may not be possible to justify his inclusion for very long unless he posts some consistent scores. An opening slot may be up for grabs, and if it comes to a toss-up, Ganguly's bowling might give him the selection edge. ( Remember that the cricket world cup rules allow only 14 players, and multi-faceted players may be prefered, not the best logic but you can never tell)

But first things first - Ganguly first needs to put some runs on the board to make the selectors look up. And the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy is just the right place to do it. And no one knows it more than Dada himself. Although his team plays their first match only on Monday, Ganguly was the first one to arrive for practise today. he had a long net session ( 45 minutes) and was seen playing his traditional lofted drives. He looks determined, for sure.

Durga Puja celebrations are on in Bengal, and the first match of the Challenger is on the Vijaya Dashmi day, considered the most auspicious day of the year in Bengal. Who knows what the future holds? Maybe Kiran More's perfectly-timed exit and Vengsarkar's entry is because of some divine intervention !!!

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