Pune Warriors considering dropping Sourav Ganguly?
The Pune Warriors' management will, in all likelihood, have a brainstorming team meeting on the eve of their 14th round IPL clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore to decide Sourav Ganguly's fate for the remainder of the tournament.
The bone of contention is whether Ganguly, who has gone through a torrid time both as batsman and skipper, will sit out of the Warriors' last three encounters.
Team sources say the management wants the former India captain to take a call on his future in the remaining three matches.
"If Ganguly himself offers to step down from captaincy and decides to sit out for the remaining three games, the owners will certainly be only too happy to accomodate. The general feeling is that they have lost with Ganguly at helm, and with new players it can't get worse," a senior IPL official in the know of things said on Thursday.
In case Ganguly doesn't play, there is a possibility that Australia captain Michael Clarke or find-of-the-season Steve Smith will lead the side.
Image: Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly has 261 runs from 13 games
Having lost nine out of their 13 matches under his captaincy, which has come under scanner for some debatable team selections, Ganguly's own batting form has also deserted him in this edition.With 261 runs from 13 games, at a strike-rate of just over 100, and fielding which is at least a few notches below the standard set in a competition like IPL, the soon-to-be 40 Ganguly has struggled to into the demands of the shortest version.
"The Warriors management may be resorting to a "wait and watch" policy as their officials are finding it difficult to go up and confront Ganguly over his team selections," the official added.
Image: Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly hasn't given Tamim Iqbal a single game
Some of Ganguly's decisions under scanner include Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal not getting a single game despite being the top-scorer during the Asia Cup with four back-to-back half centuries.
Also, T20 specialist Alphonso Thomas being repeatedly ignored in favour of West Indian Marlon Samuels, who did precious little with the bat or ball after first three games.
India international Rahul Sharma got dumped after being clobbered for five consecutive sixes but the feeling among the doemstic players is how and why likes of Rahul and Manish Pandey are getting repeatedly ignored to favour the likes of Mithun Manhas, who is not known to finish off games.
Last, but not the least, is Ganguly's own form. Whether at the top or in the middle-order, one of India's finest captains looks totally out of sorts having played a lot of dot balls in all the matches.
It all depends on whether an honourable exit route will be worked out for the ageing stalwart who, in his prime, has given a lot to Indian cricket.
Image: Tamim Iqbal