Sourav Ganguly has expressed his surprise with the exclusion of Hardik Pandya from India’s Test series against Sri Lanka, stating that the young player should play more games now. He has also asked Virat Kohli and management to separately speak to MS Dhoni and fetch a more effective T20 approach.
BCCI’s new rotation policy has seen Team India taking out almost different squads in the three different formats of the game, which although effective, has seen many good performers missing out on the longer format. After stunning displays against Australia and New Zealand in the ODIs and T20Is, the likes of Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal saw themselves out of the Test squad.
It has forced critics to oppose the policy, which impedes the players’ development when they are in top form. The latest to join the bandwagon is former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who stated that he was surprised by the exclusion of all-rounder Hardik Pandya from India’s Test squad.
"I'm surprised. I don't know if he's injured. He has played only three Tests... This is the age to play. I don't know the exact reason. Hope he's fit,” Ganguly told TOI.
He added, "India won't play with three spinners, definitely not at the Eden Gardens as the pitch here is different. They will play with two spinners and now since they don't have Hardik Pandya they may have a different combination for the all-rounders slot."
The 45-year-old also hopes that Sri Lanka will pose some challenge to the hosts this time after a confident boosting 2-0 win over Pakistan in the Test series last month. “Of course, India are the favourites. They are a much better side than Sri Lanka… I hope it won't be a one-sided series. The recent (limited overs) series against New Zealand was competitive. Hope Sri Lanka will play well.”
Ganguly also became the latest name to ask MS Dhoni for a changed approach in the T20 format. During India’s 197-run-chase on Rajkot, a struggling Dhoni made it difficult for India to get going. With India eventually losing the game, Dhoni had come under a lot of criticism with some even asking him to retire from that format.
However, Ganguly remains confident on Dhoni’s abilities and has asked the team management to speak to him separately to change his approach. “I think he should keep playing one-day cricket, but he has to play differently in T20Is. He has to play T20Is freely. It depends on the selectors and how they would like to play him," said Ganguly.
He added, “His record in T20I is not that good compared to ODIs. Hope Kohli and team management will speak to him separately. He has immense ability. If he approaches T20Is differently, then he will be successful.”
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