Indian team selection & Captaincy
As a result of the recent debates in various threads I have decided to try and combine them all into one thread. I am particularly referring to the recent debates re the openers, Sehwag & Ganguly.
At this point it appears to me that the general concensus is that Sehwag opens because there is no other spot for him, and that Ganguly rates ahead of him because of his Captaincy.
The Australian team selection policy for decades has been to select the best available team to meet the requirements (including type of pitch conditions and opposition), and then to select the player they think will be the best Captain from the playing team.
IMO the only time you should contemplate deviating from this is if your Captain is better than above average, not only in his success but also in his leadership, tactics, development etc. Only then should his Captaincy come into consideration v his form. Australia currently has different Captains for the Test & ODI sides, as does SRL.
The issue I wish to raise re India, is does Ganguly's (or anyone elses) form with the bat warrant his selection in Tests & ODIs ahead of other players available - e.g. Sehwag, Laxman, Yuvraj, Kaif etc?
Would any of these players rate selection in the side ahead of Ganguly as a batsman? If so then does Ganguly's Captaincy rate high enough to warrant his continued selection ahead of these players in his position in the batting order?
IMO his recent Captaincy in the last 2 series would suggest not, as I am one of those people who believe the Captain takes responsibility for the performance of the team on the pitch. The Captain makes the primary decisions re bowling changes, field settings, and he can lead by example regards run rates when batting. IMO Ganguly was a liability to the team effort in NZ, and his decision making in the 1st test in this series hampered any slim chances India had to force the issue.
His one saving grace has been his ton, but was this achieved as a personal milestone at the detriment to the team effort? By comparison Fleming failed in the 1st test and yet when required to accelerate the run rate in the 2nd test he did so even tho it meant that he would sacrifice his wicket ahead of his personal run scoring.
The next question is who would you bat in his place? Who is the next best option in that position - Sehwag, Singh or Kaif or someone else? If Sehwag is the option you then open up other possibilities for the opening position - do you select Laxman or Singh & do to them what was asked of Sehwag, or do you select the openers on their merits in that role?
With Ganguly out of the side who would you have as Captain? Further more does the same story apply re the ODI side?
For me if Ganguly did not perform as Captain on the OZ tour and did not contribute with the bat, I would drop him in favour of Sehwag & select a specialist opener to partner Chopra. I would then look at Dravid as Captain.