~~Ganguly~~s chances to make comeback is bleak~~

Published: Thursday, October 5, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly's bid for a comeback into the Indian squad lasted 10 balls and three runs and after being dropped from the Irani Trophy team experts feel the road to making it to Team India looks a tougher task than ever before.

''He has to perform. It is sad that he has been left out. But there is no alternative to performance,'' Pranab Roy, former national selector said.

Ganguly has been left out in the cold for the last one year and the Challenger Trophy was considered his road to salvation. But scores of 24 and three against pacers on a flat pitch where Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik raised a storm would not help Ganguly's cause either.

Another former national selector Sambaran Banerjee said, ''It's sad. But then performance has no alternative. However, if he is able to put up big scores in Ranji Trophy things could well be different. But the future looks really bleak,''.

Being left out of the Irani Trophy meant that Dilip Vengsarkar was sticking to his words that neither name nor a history of big runs would matter, unless the player was on form at present.

Some of the former Bengal Ranji players were more sceptic. Gopal Bose said, ''They had to take him for the Challenger as he was a contracted player. But coach Greg Chappell does not want him and that is a huge pressure on Ganguly. He was placed in the weakest of the three teams.

''It is under these circumstances that a player tries to overdo things and Ganguly has done that. He knows his is a point of no return and was trying too hard. I see no light at the end of the tunnel,'' he said.

Raju Mukherjee, another former Bengal star, said, ''It was always closed door for Ganguly. He was dropped when he was in sublime touch. And for him it has always been a different yardstick. Failure has been seen as opportunities to prove oneself in case of others, but for Ganguly failure has always been an issue.

''I can hardly remember when a cricketer of his stature was so ill-treated before. It's not cricket,'' he added.

But being left out of Irani Trophy meant that Ganguly will now have to depend on the other domestic matches and put up some tall scores in succession to make a bid. In addition India has to perform below par at the Champions' Trophy and the South African series, which is not expected in the first place.

So if before the Challengers the doors looked half open for the most successful Indian skipper, it looks half closed now.

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