Sourav Ganguly © PTI
Sourav Ganguly (above) praised West Bengal all-rounder, Laxmi Ratan Shukla © PTI


Kolkata: Jan 15, 2014


Urging Bengal skipper Laxmi Ratan Shukla not to lose hope for a India comeback, Sourav Ganguly said the national selectors would surely be noticing the allrounder’s sparkling show if they make the Ranji Trophy 2013-14 final.


“If Bengal make the final, Shukla’s performance will be counted by the national selectors, Ashoke Dinda will also make a strong case for himself for a comeback,” Ganguly said of Shukla who played three ODIs way back in 1999.


Despite having got the Lala Amarnath award for the best all-rounder in domestic limited overs by the Board, the 32-year-old is still being overlooked as Stuart Binny was chosen for the allrounder spot in India’s five ODIs in New Zealand.


Defending the decision, Ganguly said the selectors had considered the burly all-rounder’s IPL  show for the Rajasthan Royals and rued that Bengal had little representation in the Twenty20 (T20) extravaganza which is taken as a yardstick.


“He (Binny) had been a stand out performer for the Rajasthan Royals and in their qualification into the IPL  final. He has also been retained by Rajasthan Royals.


“But if you look at Bengal, our boys are not even getting a chance to play in Indian Premier League (IPL) regularly.


“On form, Shami is the best Indian pacer at the moment, but it’s unfortunate that he’s not retained by the state franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.


“These are the things national selectors take into account. Selectors are bound to give importance to a big tournament like IPL, that’s the way it is, that’s the system,” Ganguly pointed out.


Hailing Bengal for making the Ranji semifinal for the first time since 2006-07, Ganguly said: “They have all performed under from pressure, right from skipper Shukla, Dinda who is still being overlooked by the national selectors.


“All these players have stood under pressure. For four years, they have fought relegation. I’ve seen it very closely.


I know how tough it is,” the left-hander told a Bengali news channel.


“On paper, Bengal have beaten stronger teams to make the semis than Maharashtra who have come from lower rung group C.