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'Now even Sachin has to be careful'

By Harish Kotian
December 14, 2005 22:28 IST
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Former India captain and coach Ajit Wadekar slammed the selection panel for dropping Sourav Ganguly from the Test team.

"It is very sad. The treatment meted out to an experienced player like him (Ganguly) is not done," said Wadekar, who was coach of the Indian team between 1992 and 1996.

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"He has won so many matches for India as a captain. How can they do this to him?" he asked, clearly upset about the sudden removal of the Bengal left-hander from the Test team.

In the just-concluded second Test, which India won, Ganguly played fighting knocks of 40 and 39 against the Sri Lankan spinners that boosted India's chances.

"He did fairly well in this Test and had good partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh. In both the innings, it looked as if he could get a big score," said the 64-year-old former Mumbai player.

He also expressed surprised about the decision to replace Ganguly with Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer.

"You cannot replace a middle order batsman with an opener. It has never happened in the history of Indian cricket."

He also sounded a warning to Tendulkar, who registered a record 35th Test century in the second Test.

"Now even Sachin has to be careful. All the experience and whatever you have done for the country over the years is not worth anything. You can just be dropped without any reason.

"As long as you are fit enough to get runs and fit enough to give guidance to the team then I think there should be no problem. This will now create unnecessary fears within the senior players like Anil Kumble," said Wadekar, who was considered one of India's best captains after leading the team to successive triumphs in the West Indies and England in 1971.

Wadekar cited his own example, when he was dropped from the team after losing the Test series in 1974.

"They did it to me also in 1974; they dropped me from the team. But I also gave them a fitting reply by announcing my retirement. Perhaps they do this to all the left-handed captains of India.

"I feel Ganguly should also resign from all types of cricket. He has done too much for the country and he should not take this insult lightly.

"He must go out now and work on his academy and try and promote the game."

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