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Ganguly sees Dhoni left defenceless


Posted: Sep 03, 2010 at 1503 hrs IST

Kolkata: With the young crop of Indian cricketers falling short of expectation, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would face a big challenge especially after the retirement of the senior players, former captain Sourav Ganguly said today.

"Dhoni's biggest challenge will be in the coming one or two years when Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman retire. Next year, we have about five away series and it will be a test of his captaincy and his players. His future as Indian captain will be determined," Ganguly told a television channel.

Terming Dhoni as the most accomplished one-day batsman, Ganguly said, "The skipper should bat higher up the order rather than down at 5 or 6."

On the other hand, Dhoni should stop making 'immature' statements and concentrate on getting the best out of the side, he said.

Referring to Dhoni's statement of 'too much of cricket' after the debacle in the World Twenty20, Ganguly said: "Dhoni is a mature cricketer but sometimes he makes immature comments. If they will not play, somebody else will fit in. This is the time to play."

India's performance in the Test format, he said, was good, but when it came to the shorter version it was dwindling because of the inconsistency from the young bunch.

"Yuvraj Singh has a lot of ups and downs despite playing for so long. Virender Sehwag too is inconsistent when it comes to one-days, while the youngsters Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan and Rohit Sharma are short of expectations.

"They were termed as the future, but they are yet to perform at the highest level and blossom. There has been a big gap as we are not getting the combination right," he said about India's recent debacles especially in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 and World Twenty20 this year.

Referring to his team's memorable triumphs in Pakistan, England and the West Indies, Ganguly said "Those were the performances that mattered the most for us. Performance is 40 per cent captaincy and 60 per cent player's contribution."

Ganguly held that selectors should pick the side on basis of performance, but not on age.

"It's Sachin Tendulkar who is still your best, while for the Aussies it's Ricky Ponting who is still taking the team through. And, remember Laxman's contribution in saving the series in Sri Lanka," Ganguly said.

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