Just one Test after making a comeback – he played his previous Test in January 2022 – the national selection committee headed by interim chief Shiv Sunder reappointed Das Rahane as Rohit Sharma’s deputy for the West Indies Test series.
So wasn’t it ideal to get someone like Shubman Gill ready for the part?
“Yes, I think so,” Ganguly said MOT during an exclusive interaction from London.
“I won’t say it’s a step backwards,” said Ganguly. “You’re out for 18 months, then you play a Test and you become vice-captain. I don’t understand the thought process behind it. There’s Ravindra Jadeja, who’s been there for a long time and a certainty in Test matches, he’s a candidate .
“…but to just come back after 18 months and immediately become vice-captain, I don’t understand. The only thing is that selection shouldn’t be hot or cold. There has to be continuity and consistency in the selection.”
“Selectors need to have a clear picture of him [Pujara]”, said Ganguly. “Do they need him to play Test Cricket more or do they want to continue with youngsters, and communicate this to him. Someone like Pujara cannot be dropped, then picked, dropped again, then picked. The same goes for Ajinkya Rahane as well.”
‘I feel for Sarfaraz Khan’
The selections of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad for the West Indies tour suggest that the selectors have emphasized IPL performances over those in domestic cricket, but Ganguly does not believe this to be the case. However, he hopes that Sarfaraz Khan and Abhimanyu Easwaran, who have been prolific in the Ranji Trophy in recent seasons, will also get their chance.
“I think Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored a lot of points in Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy, Duleep Trophy. I think that’s why he’s in the squad,” said Ganguly. “I feel for Sarfaraz Khan. At some point he should be given a chance for the number of points he has scored in the last three years.”
“And the same goes for Abhimanyu Easwaran for the many runs he has scored in the last five to six years. I am surprised they have both been left out but they should be given a chance in the future. But Yashasvi Jasiwal is a good selection. “
Ganguly has closely followed Sarfaraz as director of cricket at Delhi Capitals. He rejected the idea that Sarfaraz has a soft spot for fast bowling.
“If you don’t play him against fast bowling, how do you know?” he asked. “If he had been in trouble, he wouldn’t have scored so many points [India]. Personally I think he has no problem with fast bowling and he should be given the chance.”