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Ganguly has work to do: Chappell

Source: PTI
October 14, 2005 05:13 IST
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India cricket coach Greg Chappell says Sourav Ganguly's exit as captain does not mark the end of the road for him.

"He [Ganguly] has to get fit and form and push for selection. He has work to do," Chappell said after guiding India Seniors to a comprehensive victory in Challenger Series final against India 'B' at the PCA stadium in Mohali on Thursday night.

"He has a wonderful record and that gives him an advantage over others. But, first, he has to regain fitness and form."

Asked whether it was fitness or form that should be considered above the other, Chappell said, "At any given time one thing weighs over the other. But it is fitness first and foremost."

Earlier in the day, the national selectors named Rahul Dravid captain for the upcoming one-day series against Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Ganguly pulled out of the Challenger Series with mild symptoms of tennis elbow and was advised rest for 10 days, till October 17.

The squad for the seven-match Sri Lanka series, starting October 25, will be named on Friday.

Chappell said he is looking forward to working with Dravid.

"He is a tremendous cricketer. He has earned the honour of captaining the country," the former Australia captain said.

"He has a very positive attitude and good cricketing brain. He led the side on and off the field well in Sri Lanka.

"It will be a learning curve for him. Having been through that stage myself, I know that the first few games are very important."

On Dravid being given a relatively long tenure as captain, since captains of the past had been usually named on a series to series basis, Chappell replied, "It is a sign of confidence on the part of selectors and the Board."

Chappell also said Sachin Tendulkar does not need to prove his fitness to earn a place in the Indian team.

"All are equals but sometimes some are more equal than the others," was how the coach put the special consideration for the star batsman.

"There were very good signs from him [about his fitness and form] during the nets. I could see the turning point in him where the timing started to flow.

"Hopefully, this is the start to return of what we know as Sachin of the old."

Chappell said given Tendulkar's calibre, it would be better for him to play international cricket than domestic to get back to peak form.

"He needs some cricket and it is not necessary that playing domestic cricket will help him any more than playing Sri Lanka."

In the same vein, he preferred Tendulkar attending the team camp in Bangalore ahead of the ODI series to playing in a Duleep Trophy tie.

"From point of view playing against Sri Lanka, the camp will be good. But if the medical staff think he should play in a domestic cricket to assess his fitness, I welcome that."

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