By leaving out Sourav Ganguly [ Images ] from the Rest of India [ Images ] squad for the Irani Trophy, the national selectors have made their stand clear: Deliver or be damned, whether you are a senior or junior player!
India's ageing middle order Test batsmen are facing the repercussions of their poor showing on last month's tour of Sri Lanka [ Images ].
India lost the three-Test series 1-2, but the young ODI team, under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni [ Images ], showed the senior batsmen how success can be achieved. The ODI team returned triumphant, winning the series 3-2. They came out trumps against the same bowling attack that the famed batting line-up caved in to tamely in the Tests.
Rahul Dravid [ Images ] and VVS Laxman [ Images ] will also need to pull up their socks and make significant contributions in the forthcoming Test series against Australia [ Images ] else they too could be consigned to the same fate.
Now, one can safely say that barring a miracle, Ganguly's international career is as good as over. At 36, the left-hander's dipping fitness levels are obviously an area of concern, and with pressure mounting from youngsters on the fringe of selection, it is hard to see the selectors having a rethink.
Ganguly struggled in the three-Test series in Sri Lanka, where he scored just 96 runs in three outings, at an average of 16. In fact, a close look at his recent record says that in his last 15 innings the former India captain scored just two half-centuries.
Ganguly, who has made a few comebacks in the past, is known to be a fighter, but this time it appears a battle lost. He has not figured in the ODI side for nearly a year now and, barring a super showing in the upcoming domestic season, there is no other platform for him to push his selection claims.
It also does not help matters that his Ranji Trophy team, Bengal, is relegated to the Plate Division after being knocked out in the Group Stages last season.
So, is it time for Ganguly to quit international cricket? Should 'Dada' keep fighting to make one more comeback? What do you think? Tell us.