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India vs West Indies 2019: Kohli Needs to be Consistent in Selection: Ganguly

In the ongoing Test against West Indies, the spinner that the team trusted - Ravindra Jadeja - scored a backs-to-the-wall half-century that looks set to provide India with a sizeable lead. Still he had to beat a couple of in-form players to get into the XI.

Cricketnext Staff |August 25, 2019, 8:37 AM IST
India vs West Indies 2019: Kohli Needs to be Consistent in Selection: Ganguly

The exclusion of premier off spinner R Ashwin against West Indies in the first Test in Antigua has raised more than a few eyebrows. Captain Virat Kohli’s selection processes have been questioned and former captain Sourav Ganguly has weighed in asking for consistency.

Kohli began his Test captaincy by fielding 38 different XIs consecutively.

"I would say that this is one area where Virat needs to just be a bit more consistent," Ganguly said at an event in Mumbai. "Pick players and give them a bit more consistent opportunities - for them to get that confidence, rhythm, I have said that before. You saw how Shreyas Iyer played in that ODI series (136 runs at 68 against West Indies) - you pick him and you give him the freedom to play those matches and I think that needs to happen with a lot of players and I am sure Virat will do that."

The chopping and changing has often been due to several injuries to key players, but there have also been instances where an aggressive option was picked over otherwise first choice picks like Ajinkya Rahane (Cape Town 2017) and Cheteshwar Pujara (St Lucia 2016).

In the ongoing Test against West Indies, the spinner that the team trusted - Ravindra Jadeja - scored a backs-to-the-wall half-century that looks set to provide India with a sizeable lead. Still he had to beat a couple of in-form players to get into the XI.

"I was also surprised to see Kuldeep Yadav left out," Ganguly said. "The last Test he played against Australia, he got five wickets, if you remember in Sydney on a good flat pitch, he picked up five wickets against Australia. But Jadeja also has been in good form, the surface yesterday at Antigua needed three fast bowlers because we saw the seam movement the fast bowlers got and it was a question of the spin.

"Ashwin's record is phenomenal to leave him out in the West Indies, so it's a decision which Kohli has made and we will find out in the next couple of days how far Jadeja goes on to pick wickets on this surface. Because this pitch will get up and down, as the game progresses, you can see that sort of indication from the first day of the Test, we will have to wait to see but that's the competition of Indian cricket."

Ganguly also felt that it’s high time the Indian team management, especially the Ravi Shastri who has been reappointed as coach for two years, think in terms of world titles.

"Ravi has been around for a while - five years he's completed so he's got an extension for two more years - hopefully now India can now go all the way in the two upcoming tournaments that are coming up, which is the T20 World Cup and the Champions Trophy which has now become a T20 format," Ganguly said. "So I hope they do well, they're doing well, they get to the semi-finals. In 2015 in Australia they struggled, in 2017 in Mumbai West Indies got the better of them and even in this World Cup (2019) so hopefully they will get to the next step and create a winning combination."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
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