I and almost a billion other people agree - Ganguly is not fit to be captain. I will even venture to say that he is not fit to be in the team too!
Chappell is the cricket coach and he should be given the authority to mould the team. If the team fails, then he is responsible. Partially responsible if he is given no power to choose the team. Fully responsible if he can call the shots. For now, I have been led to think that Greg Chappell has not been given free rein in handling the Indian team.
Ganguly, the so-called Prince of Calcutta, has reached the nadir in his career. He can either go back to the Ranji circuit and prove himself all over again or he must just retire. He has a few endorsement contracts anyway, he can live his life out! His English is pretty good too - he can join the ranks of grumpy old cricketers who have now taken to commentating for cricket matches and/or hosting cricket shows. Well, he can now vie for even the position of Coach!!
Basically, Ganguly has lost his touch and luck. How glorious was he on the off side! Dravid's now famous statement about God and Ganguly on the off side vouches for this. But since the loss in the Australian home series, India has become an enervated side. Yes, India won matches against Pakistan. But India lost at home too! Ganguly has been partially responsible for this debacle. He basically is dead weight in the team. He can't bat, can't bowl and can't field at all. If this kind of performance came from say, Mohammed Kaif, he would be ejected from the team immediately. But wait! Kaif is not even in the team in spite of his match saving exploits! And why is that? Because Ganguly is in the team!
I ask again, how often has Ganguly saved a match a la Tendulkar, Dravid or Kaif? Whenever Ganguly has fired, he has fired as an opener when there was no pressure in chasing and the game was still fresh. While chasing, Ganguly becomes a liability!
Yes, Ganguly has had some spectacular successes. But now his failure rate has increased. If Ganguly were a CEO of a company and if he had underperformed - he would have been fired by now or made to choose another role. Don't Indian fans deserve better? We have so many talented players and they can't make it to the playing eleven because one man seems to know the right people and push the right buttons to have his people in the side.
If I were in Ganguly's position, I know I would think - "Well, I have given my all for this side. Now when I am going through a lean patch, these guys are making me quit instead of supporting me. Didn't a badly performing Mark Taylor captain the Australian side for a long time? These guys have no gratitude! Hmmph!"
But unfortunately, Ganguly is the guardian of the aspirations of millions of people. I think they have given him quite a chance by allowing to remain captain for an extra couple of years. Ganguly should have understood and relinquished his position by now (like Tendulkar who wisely chose to remain a good player rather than be a bad captain). Now he faces the unpleasant predicament of getting forced out of the team and is stung. He can't capitulate now. So he is fighting a losing battle! But we never know, Ganguly, being a good "people person", can approach the right people to get Chappell fired!
I think that the solution to this problem is to have a bunch of *paid* administrators lead the BCCI a la Cricket Australia. BCCI should be run like a modern company and not like a medieval fiefdom. Accountability increases and hence everybody feels responsible.
In spite of being a cricket fan, I will have to say that cricket has too big a following in India compared to other sports. Poor hockey players! When Anju Bobby George wins a silver medal in the World Championships, she is overshadowed by Irfan Pathan who takes a bunch of wickets! Or even worse, by somebody like Ganguly who decides to make a private discussion between him and his coach public! This cricket mania in India is the reason why I am even writing this blog up!
I am also appalled by the media behavior here. The media comes across here as spoilsports who have no other job but to get TRP points by publicising into a confidential report sent by a coach to his team administrators. They are the ones who have created the storm in the tea cup! Reporters should exercise discretion before making such things public.
I hope the next few days see more light than heat in this matter.