Time is not right for seniors to retire, feels Sourav Ganguly

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly (R) said none of the younger cricketers has challenged seniors in the team and the time is not right to phase out seniors in Tests Getty Images

New Delhi: Sep 21, 2011

India’s most successful Test skipper Sourav Ganguly says the time is not right for senior players to retire and selectors should not force them to quit the game.

“Players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman should decide on their own when it comes to taking a call on quitting the game. The day their performance drops, they will leave on their own,” Ganguly said.

“Dravid and Laxman have already phased out from ODI cricket. Sachin also plays very less. It is good to see youngsters perform so well in the shorter format but I am more worried about Tests.

“We haven’t seen anyone who can challenge these seniors.

Definitely, the time hasn’t come to phase out seniors in Tests,” Ganguly added.

1983 World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev, however, felt selectors should take the decision and proposed an orderly phase out of the seniors.

“It is the selectors who will have to take a call on their retirement. A player never likes to retire. Selectors should see the bigger picture and take a tough decision. But, they (selectors) should this while giving full respect to these seniors,” Kapil told Aaj Tak.

“All three seniors – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman should not play together in a single Test. Two of them can play and one can be rested so that a youngster can be tested in his place.

“In this manner, we can give a chance to a talented youngster without taking too much risk and making too many changes all of a sudden,” Kapil added.

Kapil felt it is the poor fitness which is affecting the youngsters performance and they should be given more chances at the international stage.

“Everyone knows that it is not going to be easy to find replacements for the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. It is going to be extremely difficult. But, youngsters, even though they might have failed in whatever chances they’ve got till now, have to be given another go,” he said.

“Actually, the problem is not with their (youngsters’) talent. It is their poor fitness level which is letting them down. Coach and selectors will have to play a big role in coming times. Youngsters should also learn to take pride in their cricket,” said the former all-rounder.

Former cricketer Madan Lal, meanwhile, was critical of the attitude shown by youngsters in the current team and said they lack work ethics.

“There is lack of work ethics in today’s players. They have to up their fitness levels. Players like Kohli, Pujara and Rohit will have to be given chances,” Lal said.

“I will though not give another chance to Suresh Raina as he has already wasted too many. Instead, Yuvraj, who hasn’t got much opportunity in Tests, should be tested again.” (PTI)