Calcutta: Unless the mother of all coups is plotted overnight, Sourav Ganguly will be captain for the Zimbabwe tour beginning later this month.
Besides a tri-series, with New Zealand and the hosts being the other teams, India are to play two Tests.
The captaincy announcement is expected after 3 pm, on Friday, once the selectors (Kiran More, Yashpal Sharma, Pranab Roy, Gopal Sharma and V.B.Chandrasekhar) have met in Mumbai.
That Sourav is going to be back at the helm was, in fact, reported by The Telegraph from Colombo on Tuesday.
To keep the captaincy beyond Zimbabwe though, Sourav will have to perform. He can’t, for example, afford a repeat of the awful run against Pakistan, at the end of last season.
Till late on Thursday, the only question was whether Sourav’s return would be unanimous or one of the selectors would put on record his dissent.
“Right now, it’s 4-1 in Sourav’s favour' However, eventually, the decision could be unanimous,” is what a well-placed source pointed out.
Another said: “It was because of a technicality that Sourav didn’t captain during the recent tri-series in Sri Lanka' The circumstances were unusual' Today, it’s different'”
Rahul Dravid captained in the season-launching tournament owing to the uncertainty over Sourav on account of a six-ODI ban.
The punishment got reduced and, so, Sourav (who didn’t play the last two matches versus Pakistan) just missed the first two engagements. He played the next three under Dravid.
With Sourav hours away from getting back the captaincy, Dravid has to be content ' for now ' with being the vice-captain.
The supreme professional that he is, Dravid shouldn’t find it difficult adjusting to his old role and can take comfort from a very high fan following. His admirers include those in the Establishment.
Nobody is going to view Dravid’s return to No. 2 in the hierarchy as a vote of no-confidence.
Sourav, by the way, had a rather quiet Thursday. He went to Woodlands, where his maternal grandfather is battling for life, but didn’t do much besides.
India’s most successful Test captain was, of course, curious to know when More and Co. would begin deliberations.
Being destiny-driven, Sourav is ready for whatever is in store. Everything points to his not being disappointed'
Meanwhile, coach Greg Chappell is understood to be “upset” over the attitude of some players and may call for ‘action’ when the selectors meet to pick the tri-series and Test squads on Saturday.
The selectors are bound to give weightage to Chappell’s views.