IPL 2012: Pune Warriors likely to drop Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly has scored 261 runs from 13 games at a strike-rate of shade over 100 AFP

Pune: May 10, 2012

The Pune Warriors management in all likelihood will have a brainstorming team meeting on the eve of their 14th round IPL clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore in order to decide Sourav Ganguly’s fate during the remainder of the tournament.

The bone of contention will be whether Ganguly, who has gone through a torrid time both as a batsman as well as a skipper, will sit out of last three encounters of Warriors.

Team sources said the management wants the former India captain to take a call on his future in the remaining three matches.

“If Ganguly himself offers to step down from captaincy and decides to sit out for the remaining three games, the owners will certainly be only too happy to accomodate. The general feeling is that, they have lost with Ganguly at helm and with new players, it can’t get worse,” a senior IPL official in the know of things told.

In case Ganguly doesn’t play, there is a possibility that Aussie Michael Clarke or find-of-the-season Steve Smith will lead the side.

Having lost nine out of their 13 matches under his captaincy, which has come under scanner for some debatable team selections, Ganguly’s own batting form has also deserted him in this edition.

With 261 runs from 13 games at a strike-rate of shade over 100 and fielding which is atleast a few notches below the standard set in a competition like IPL, the soon-to-be 40 Ganguly has struggled to fit himself to demands of the shortest version.

“The Warriors management may be resorting to a “wait and watch” policy as their officials are finding it difficult to go up and confront Ganguly over his team selections,” the official added.

Some of the decisions made by Ganguly which have come under scanner include Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal not getting a single game despite being the top-scorer during Asia Cup with four back-to-back half centuries. Also T20 specialist Alphonso Thomas being repeatedly ignored in favour of West Indian Marlon Samuels who did precious little with the bat or ball after first three games.

India international Rahul Sharma got dumped after being clobbered for five consecutive sixes but the feeling among the doemstic players is how and why likes of Rahul and Manish Pandey are getting repeatedly ignored to favour likes of Mithun Manhas who is not known to finish off games.

Last but not the least is Ganguly’s own form. Whether at the top or in the middle-order, one of India’s finest captain looked totally out of sorts having played lot of dot balls in all the matches.

It all depends on whether an honourable exit route could be worked out for this ageing stalwart who in his prime has given a lot to Indian cricket. (PTI)