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Ganguly an ODI great but just a level short in Tests: Gavaskar

November 10, 2008 22:13 IST

Sourav Ganguly will go down as a great one-day player but the same cannot be said of the stylish left-hander in Test cricket as he lacked consistency, says former India captain Sunil Gavaskar.

"I think at the one-day level, he is a great player. With the number of runs he has made, the number of man of the match awards he won he is right up there. But at the Test level, he was just a level short because he was not as consistent," Gavaskar said of the Bengal player, who bid adieu to international cricket on Monday.

In fact, Gavaskar feels India will find another Ganguly some time later but what the team would struggle for is a replacement for spin legend Anil Kumble. 

"It is not easy to replace Kumble or Ganguly. Their experience is invaluable but I believe Kumble is going to be harder to replace with his 600 wickets than Ganguly. But we have got the talent," he told CNN-IBN.

And among the youngsters who have impressed him most, Gavaskar rates pacer Ishant Sharma as the best.

"I think Ishant is going to be very special. This is what was spoken about Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath. Let's take Kapil out because he is the greatest. But the deliveries like the slower one which Srinath learnt after four or five years of international cricket, Ishant has learnt in just one year of playing," he said.

"He is learning new balls and with that kind of head on his shoulders, he is going to take a bagful of wickets. He will not let a lot of opening partnerships flourish," he added.

There is no dearth of talents like Ishant in Indian cricket, says Gavaskar, but what the team needs for becoming as intimidating as the West Indians of 1980s and the Aussies post-90s is more consistent performances.

"Talent wise India has everything. Temperament wise they have to toughen up. I would like to see them as ruthless as the Windies were in 80s. There is a touch of sloppiness in the Indian team which they have to get rid of," he said.

"We have beaten the world champions but consistency is the only thing that make us number one," he added.

And the man who can ensure such consistency is new skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, says Gavaskar.

"The baton has been passed on to the youngsters. Today the man of the match was a 20-year-old (Ishant) and we have a captain who is young and energetic. Dhoni is brilliant and I think Indian cricket is on the rise," he said.

Gavaskar said by giving the seniors a warm farewell Dhoni has shown his fresh approach to leadership.

"When he made Sourav captain for those last few moments or when he lifted Kumble on his shoulders in his last match, Dhoni showed enormous respect to the seniors. He recognised their contribution. It's a good sign of a young cricketer who has his feet on the ground," he said.

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