Ganguly should open batting for Pune Warriors: Gavaskar

When Pune Warriors India take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, Sourav Ganguly would want to not only do well personally, but also beat his old team for snubbing him, writes Sunil Gavaskar in a column in The Times Of India.

“He is not in the best of touch and that can happen when one is not playing regular competitive cricket, but his instincts are intact. He takes his time to build the innings and then makes up with a flurry of shots. It is important that he open the batting. Ganguly has been a huge success opening the batting in limited overs cricket. Even if the spinners are on, he can take advantage of field restrictions and hit them,” writes Gavaskar.

Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly's Pune Warriors may have lost four matches in a row but they would find themselves at 'home' as loyalties will be split when they face Kolkata Knight Riders in an emotionally-charged up IPL contest on Saturday, writes The Indian Express.

“The stakes for the match are high with die-hard Ganguly rooting for the contest as a revenge for city's icon after being snubbed by his former franchise following a bitter association for the first three seasons. From celebrities and experts to commoners, everybody is eagerly waiting to see the former India skipper lead the side from the visitor's dressing room at the Eden Gardens, a venue where he grew up as a cricketer,” adds the paper.

Hindustan Times writes that Ganguly comes ‘home’ to battle the Knight Riders in a game being touted as a grudge match. “The D-days in Sourav Ganguly’s life haven’t been few or far between. And to his credit, he has aced most of them. But Saturday will be like no other day, at an arena where Ganguly can walk blindfolded,” writes HT.

“The backdrop will be the same — fanatics long bowled over by his assertive and aggressive captaincy or enraged by the cold shoulder given to him by the Kolkata Knight Riders will passionately cry ‘dada, dada’ in unison, and possibly for the last time at the Eden Gardens. Ganguly might feel he owes his fans one last hurrah, something akin to his farewell Test almost four years ago. And like in Nagpur, where he had flourished with a defiant 85, it can be achieved only with his bat,” adds HT.