The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hot seat kept warm for Sourav

Colombo, Aug. 8: Rahul Dravid is set to be a “loser” even if he leads Team India to victory (we hope he does) in tomorrow’s IndianOil Cup final against Sri Lanka.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, both here and in India, Sourav Ganguly “will” get back the captaincy for Zimbabwe. The formal announcement, though, can’t be made before Friday when the selectors meet in Mumbai.

“Sourav lost the captaincy wholly because of the ban. As that chapter is over, he’s going to get it back. In fact, the selectors had an understanding in Bangalore itself, last month, when Dravid got the tri-series captaincy,” a well-placed source said.

Another insisted any “debate” on the pros and cons of Sourav and Dravid was, at this point in time, “of no relevance”. In his opinion, a win will merely “strengthen” Dravid’s claims for full-time independent charge.

But, yes, some are sceptical about Sourav’s consistency with the bat.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India was to have emphasised that Dravid’s appointment was only for the tri-series. It wasn’t “properly conveyed” in Bangalore or else nobody would be speculating on the captaincy.

Incidentally, Sourav was captain when India won the DMC Cup in Toronto six years ago, but he didn’t keep the job once Sachin Tendulkar’s injury-induced lay off ended.

Whatever their feelings within, Dravid and Sourav have remained cool. The very private Dravid’s views aren’t known, but Sourav told a confidant that wanting the job full-time was a “fair call” from Dravid.

Till the recent International Cricket Council-imposed ban, Sourav had been at the helm for over five years. He’s already India’s most successful Test captain.

To talk of the morrow’s face-off, Sri Lanka has the advantage of home and form. It won both league matches (in Dambulla) with some degree of comfort.

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