Sourav Ganguly's inclusion in India's Test squad for the first two cricket Tests against Australia evoked mixed reaction from former cricketers with some of them describing the move as a "step backwards" while the others hailing the decision.Former chief selector Syed Kirmani welcomed Ganguly's selection, saying he deserved the place and strongly dismissed the suggestion that it was aimed at preparing the stage for his graceful exit."He (Ganguly) deserved this selection. It was expected, you cannot ignore such an experienced player. Ganguly is a source of inspiration to the youngeters," Kirmani told PTI."There is nothing like the stage being prepared for him to exit international cricket gracefully. He still has a lot of cricket left in him," he added. But former coach Madan Lal termed it as a backward move and said the place could have gone to Yuvraj Singh."I think it is a backward step. Not that he's a bad player but everyone has a time and many new players are waiting for their chance. But this selection committee has taken this stance," Madan said. Asked if it indicated that the stage was being set for his formal exit, Madan Lal said, "You make a team to win matches and not for planning people's farewell".
Madan felt instead Yuvraj could have been drafted into the team. "Yuvraj would have been the best candidate in his place". But another former player Kirti Azad, a member of the 1983 World Cup winning squad, felt it was a "catch-22 situation".