September 11, 2008

Indian cricket

The beginning of the end

Cricinfo

From Anil K, United States
So, the squad for the Irani Trophy has been announced; and it excludes the name Sourav Ganguly. The Irani Trophy is certainly not the same as a Test series, but in this case it appears just that. One of the selectors is reported to have stated that Ganguly's future is not necessarily over; and that he may find favour from the new selection panel. That means that he is already out of favour from the existing panel.

Ganguly has found himself out of the selectors' favour before also; but then he had the backing of his age. His contribution to Indian cricket is immense, both in terms of his personal achievements and for his aggressive, deterministic leadership, and no one disputes that. However, everything has an end and so does Ganguly. On one hand, such a decision by the selectors is in the right direction for Indian cricket: someone younger and agile can take his place, and perhaps will contribute more than Ganguly would have. However, on the other hand, there are two troubling aspects of such a decision.

First, should not the BCCI think seriously and sincerely on how to engineer a respectful exit for Ganguly, who, statistically so far, is the most successful Test captain of the country? Public pronouncements of his failing to bat and field are factually correct but tactically deplorable. And, this should be not just for Ganguly but also for Dravid and Tendulkar. They are all legends. Every legend begins unceremoniously but deserves a fitting end. Second, the Trinity of Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar knows that each one of them has been a genuinely great cricketer, and that a big innings may come anytime. However, they seem not to realize that they are currently not performing well, that they do not have many years to keep playing, and that many young aspirants are already aspiring to get the selectors' nod.

This tendency to keep themselves pushing ahead will earn them a bagful of money and a few hundred runs, which will not be statistically great addition to what they already have gathered. However, this tendency will also tell their own fans that all that the Trinity is displaying is a sheer greed. Sooner than later they will fall in the eye of their fans. But, it is still not too late: they can quit now and remain adored for ever.

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Posted by V.S.S.SARMA on (September 13, 2008, 1:34 GMT)

Who should be removed ? Sachin and Dravid ! Who is sought to be removed ? Ganguly. Why ? Is the performance any low ? 841 runs in the last 9 test matches and in the same period the little champion played 6 matches and scored 234 runs. Dravid played 9 matches and scored 400 runs. Is it fair ?

Posted by mini_tugga on (September 12, 2008, 0:51 GMT)

Ganguly has had a distinguished career, and has been possibly the best captain India have had in the last decade. But he is no longer captain. He is now a batter in an up and coming team, and so must be judged as a batsmen. The facts stand that he has avg around 41 for the last 7 years. I know stats aren't everything, but they say a lot. His talent is undoubted and as such he will inevitably score runs when given the opportunity, but consistency is what wins matches. With the depth of talent that India possesses, is an avg of 41 good enough to stay in the team. I don't think it is. There are experienced first class players (Kaif & Badrinath) and exciting young talent (Rohit Sharma is one of the most exciting young batsmen I have seen in a long time) waiting in the wings for an opportunity and they cannot be denied forever. India have made a step forward in their selections for the Irani Trophy. The Fab Four should heed the wisdom of Martyn & Gilchrist and know when enough is enough.

Posted by Aniruddha on (September 11, 2008, 17:31 GMT)

Ganguly was out of the team for over a year. Did he perform in the domestic matches? NO. Why was he back? Because no one managed to take his place in 1 year. Till the time imposters like Yuvraj/Utthappa etc are the only contenders the seniors wont feel enough pressure to pull out. If Ganguly is dropped now... can anyone predict convincingly that he is gone for good? Personally I think Ganguly should have been dropped a fair while ago but then he has made scores last year. As for Dravid only time will tell but if i had my way Dravid should play another 4 years atleast. I would like to ask who else has won so many matches overseas for India. Dravid was the first guy to resign from captaincy after Gavaskar, and I am sure he will also be the first person to retire gracefully since him.

Posted by Brendanvio on (September 11, 2008, 6:55 GMT)

It's a sticky situation. I do believe that Ganguly and Dravid are living on borrowed time, especially after their ineffectual performances against Sri Lanka and Australia.

However, it is hard to dismiss players of that calibre and throw in untried test players against their next opponent which is Australia. I believe Tendulkar needs to stay, because I think he is still capable of matching Australia, as should Laxman.

The other too.....maybe Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Reina should get their chance.

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