Why Ganguly?

September 17, 2008

I cannot help but ask. Why? Why Ganguly? Is it because something had to be done? Someone had to go? Some stop gap arrangement needed to be made to smother the screaming for including young talent? Or is it Peter Roebuck? We’ve reacted to Chappell’s remark on Sehwag before the tour of Australia late last year. So is that the new mantra to selection – listening to the Aussies? But now Ponting is questioning Ganguly’s omission. What do we do now?

The bigger question is this. Is Sourav not even good enough for the Irani Trophy. Well, the condescending talk from some of the “unnamed” selectors does make it seem that way. But then, I have another question. Why Jaffer? What has Jaffer done between his disastrous run in Australia earlier this year and now, to justify an inclusion to the dress rehearsal for the upcoming Aussie series. Or was he an automatic selection given that we are playing Australia at home or because Jaffer plays for Mumbai?

Turning our attention back to Dada, if you asked me, I could argue both sides: for and against the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly from the Irani Trophy squad. The argument against is jaded, so I’ll pass on that. Why does a Ganguly fan think this exclusion is good for him? Because it will wake up the lion in him – thought I’m not sure how many times he needs to prove his worth. Honestly, if he gets selected for the series against Australia, which he should, it will only have helped to have the lion (or should I say tiger) in Ganguly to be awake and growling. But one wonders, how long will he fight this sort of battle?

On the Kirsten/Kumble’s hand in this, I think the media has again sensationalized the story. I suspect it had more to do with Kirsten than Kumble. But maybe that’s just me, for I’ve never hid my dislike for Kirsten.

So why was it Ganguly? There are times like this when being a team man counts for more than anything else; when just that fact that you’ve tried as hard as you could have counts to your advantage. There is something about Ganguly that makes you think he took a situation casually. Maybe it’s his persona. Perhaps it is way he projects the facts. Maybe it is deju-vu from the old “I-don’t’want-to-play-the-new-ball” tactic. This is when you feel a little sad, that someone so gifted has thrown it away, almost arrogantly, like the straight sixes Sourav hits. This is why, I think, Dravid escaped the axe. If Dravid wasn’t the team man that we know him to be, even Kumble could not have saved him. But all isn’t well for Dravid either, for he scored two, yes, 2, in the Buchi Babu tournament in the match against Tripura. For once, I don’t think that’s very good news and feel a bit more apprehensive about this than I have before. If Dravid makes it past Irani, past Ausralia, he will have a good run for a year or so. If not, well yikes! God save Dravid and India.

Most of all this selection for the Irani Trophy seemed to me like the populist union budged this year. It tries to make everyone happy: the senior fans sans the Ganguly fans and the young aspirants. But the inconsistencies are glaring and it has been so through the years. Dravid was dropped from the ODI squad 3 matches after a brilliant match-winning 92 in Bristol. Yuvraj was persisted with after several failures for over a year, not more than 2 innings over 50. But that is Indian cricket for you!


A round up thus far on the NatWest ODI series

August 29, 2007

So 3 ODIs are up and England lead 2-1, after two top order batsmen let India down in their chase of 280+ plus score in the 3rd match in the series. Considering the order in which the results were achieved, it seems almost fairy tale; it seems like it was made to keep the fans interested and guessing.

After listening to Ian Chappel’s comments on the changes to the one day game, I would definitely agree with them: they are messing around with it a little too much. The new rule which states that non-striket can start his run when the bowler’s backfoot reaches the ground does seems like “cheating” (again, quoting Ian Chappel). Enough has already been done to degrade the quality of the one day game. The powerplays in my opinion are bringing the game down; you can win or lose a match because of the it. The shortened version of the game is becomming more of a mind game than a sport; granted, cricket has always been a 50-50 psychology-sport, but the balance has started to tilt, and I don’t like it. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

Here are some highlights/lowlights from the ODIs thus far :
Hightlights:
– Flintoff’s near come-back and 5-for (or should I say Michelle) 🙂
– India’s batting on ODI-2
– Piyush’s 2 of 2 against Pietersen
– Monty’s first succesful run-out

Lowlights:
– Umpiring standards and Tendulkar’s missed ton (again!)
– Paul Colligwood’s hogging of England’s bowling attack
– India’s fielding
– India’s chasing
– Agarkar’s bowling

Meanwhile, there’s a very nice interview of the Prince of Calcutta. Check it out here. Siddartha writes this one beautifuly, evoking a good amount of emotions. You tend to picture scenes from the Ganguly’s younger days: those of power, aggression and attitude, all of which provided team India with a dimension that it never had (or wasn’t seen for some time until then). You see tinges of that very dimension now in Zaheer, Sreeshant, RPSingh, and Tendulkar.

Cheers to the improved team India!