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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Has the door been closed on Saurav Ganguly?

A guard closes the door as a patron walks in into Saurav's, the cricketer's restaurant in Kolkata

The Challenger Trophy was definitely a chance, what with the new chief selector Vengsarkar making the right murmurs just before the tournament. But alas, Ganguly didn't give Vengsarkar & co. any reason to even discuss his name in the next selection meeting. What's worse, as a result of the twin failures in the NKP Salve Trophy, Ganguly lost his place even in the Rest of India squad for the Irani Trophy. "Oo, Aa, India" notwithstanding, Saurav is frittering the few precious chances he has been getting post the Challenger. He just recorded twin failures in the Deodhar Trophy, even getting out to a below-par bowler from Assam.

Whatever little hopes Ganguly fans entertain of him making a comeback have more to do with Virender Sehwag than Dada himself. Sehwag's insipid performances are keeping the hopes alive for Ganguly. The World Cup is not too far away, and if Sehwag doesn't score soon, the selectors will need to go hunting for another opener. For the the biggest stage in cricket, they would prefer an experienced hand but Ganguly needs to give them some reasons - big and quick. The door is still ajar, but it's upto Ganguly now to keep it from closing completely.

Food for cricketing thought:
1. Sehwag's last One-day MOM came way back on April 2nd 2005 against Pakistan at Kochi.
2. In his last 30 ODIs, Sehwag hasn't crossed 100 even once, and 50 just 5 times.
3. In his last 20 ODIs, Sehwag has scored just 524 runs averaging a poor 27.57

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