Even after he scored his debut century at Lord's in 1996, Sourav Ganguly did not get the kind of attention he is currently drawing. Some of the attention is the kind he could do without but as his public relations advisor(s) will probably tell him, any kind of publicity is good. For nearly a week, Ganguly was on the front pages of practically every newspaper in India, thanks to the spat he had with Greg Chappell. On the trail of this came the revelations of Andrew Flintoff who seemed to echo every charge made by Chappell but for the fact that Flintoff had finished writing his book before the captain-coach cause c'l'bre. The taint put upon Ganguly's reputation by Chappell and Flintoff has been partially removed by the fulsome testimonial that Ganguly has received from the players and the chairman of the Glamorgan County Cricket Club. This should please the Indian captain and his fan club. The pro- and anti-Ganguly camps can only claim a draw.
What most cricket-lovers will hope for is that this entire episode will leave Ganguly more introspective than he has ever been. There are far too many things that should be weighing on his mind. First and foremost is his batting form. This concerns not merely the fact that he is not getting runs but also how he is batting and getting out. He got a century against Zimbabwe but he was struggling all the time. Nobody knows better than Ganguly that his timing and his footwork, even on the offside, his strongest, have deserted him. Placing of the ball has become virtually non-existent. His running between the wickets, always the weakest aspect of his cricket, has become worse than before. More and more bowlers are now exploiting with success Ganguly's many failings and inadequacies as a batsman. The irony is that Ganguly has fought with the one person who could help him with these aspects of his game. Chappell is an outstanding coach who is particularly good on batting techniques. On previous occasions, Ganguly has gained from the informal advice that Chappell has given him. He needs to forget his squabbles with the coach and go out to the nets with him. It is only there and with the help of Chappell that he can overcome his many shortcomings. He should not allow either his ego or his vanity to come in the way of his self-improvement.
In fact, the last thing Ganguly needs now is media attention. He needs to be away from the limelight and in the nets, working hard at his batting technique. He knows ' and the authorities have underlined this ' that he needs to perform if he is to stay in the team and remain captain. There is only one way that Ganguly can get to improve his performance: by working hard with the coach. Ganguly should treat the patch-up manufactured by the review committee as his lifeline.