India have replaced their captain Sourav Ganguly with Rahul Dravid for the upcoming Test series with Sri Lanka. Ganguly has been out of form and has been involved in a dispute with the team's coach, the former Australian batsman, Greg Chappell.
India's chairman of selectors Kiran More admitted that it was time for a change of direction after appointing Dravid, who has impressed in the captaincy role in the recent one-day international series against the Sri Lankans. India, who England travel to face in a three-Test series in the spring, won 6-1.
Dravid is also in charge for the ongoing limited-overs series against South Africa, and on Saturday guided his side to a six-wicket win to end the Proteas' 20-match unbeaten run.
With India flourishing under Dravid's leadership in the one-day game, More insists it is only logical that he is handed the chance to lead the Test team as well. However, Ganguly's public row with Chappell will not have helped. The feud was exacerbated when an email from Chappell to the Indian Board, suggesting Ganguly be replaced, was leaked to the press.
"We are looking ahead and I must say Rahul is going to be our future captain," said More, chairman of the five-man Indian selection committee.
The decision to drop Ganguly - the most successful captain in India's history - from the one-day side in October caused a furore. But More believes the decision to relieve him of the captaincy was the right one.
"We always have a lot of discussions on players before they are picked. The committee's decision is unanimous," More said. "Sourav has not performed that well. We acknowledge that he scored a century against Zimbabwe. But we are not very happy with his performance during the last two to three years."
Regarding Dravid, who has previously stepped in as Test captain, More added: "He won matches against Pakistan and Australia as stand-in captain. Winning matches against Zimbabwe should not be the criteria. We should be winning against teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Looking at the overall performance of Sourav, we are not happy."
Whether Ganguly will be included in the Test squad for the Sri Lanka matches remains to be seen. During five years as captain, Ganguly broke Mohammad Azharuddin's record of leading India to the most Test wins, with 21 victories from 49 matches.
* The Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie has signed a one-year contract with Yorkshire. "I am looking forward to the challenges of county cricket," said the 30-year-old. Gillespie, the fifth-highest wicket taker in Australian Test history with 251 victims at 26.61 runs each, lost his place during a disappointing Ashes tour.Reuse content