Chappell–Ganguly Controversy - Pakistan Tour

Pakistan Tour

With the announcement of the team to tour arch rivals Pakistan in January 2006, Ganguly was again recalled to the Test team, with Kaif dropped. Leading up to the first Test in Lahore, this still left Ganguly appearing to be out of the team, with Yuvraj having recorded consecutive half-centuries. After a debate with Chappell and Dravid in the middle of the stadium before the start of the Test which was reported by observers to be heated, Ganguly found himself in the team, after specialist opener Gautam Gambhir was dropped to accommodate him, forcing Dravid to play as a makeshift opener along with Sehwag. On a batting friendly surface, Pakistan amassed more than 650 runs before declaring. Dravid and Sehwag responded with a 410 run opening stand, just three short of the world Test record set by fellow Indians Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy in 1956. The match ended after Sehwag's dismissal, the last of many interruptions due to bad light. As a result, Ganguly did not have an opportunity with the bat. He was subsequently dropped for the Second Test in Faisalabad as India included an extra bowler on another batting friendly pitch, with Dravid continuing as a makeshift opener. After the Faisalabad Test ended in another high scoring draw, the Third Test was held on a green bowler friendly wicket in Karachi. With six batsmen required, Ganguly was recalled instead of the specialist opener Gambhir. India decided to retain Dravid as the makeshift opener, having scored consecutive centuries in the role. Dravid's success did not continue, failing to pass single figures in both innings. The Indian batsmen were unable to cope with the seaming conditions, and lost the Test and series 1-0. Yuvraj top-scored with a century, while Ganguly managed only 34 and 37, getting out to rash strokes in both innings after playing a few good shots. Critics questioned the tenability of the Dravid opening experiment which accommodated Ganguly in the Test team.

Yuvraj further enhanced his standing in the subsequent ODI series, scoring a century and averaging more than 100, being named man of the series for the second consecutive ODI series. Ganguly was not recalled to the ODI team, which continued its recent success with a 4-1 result.

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