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Sehwag needs to be free of captaincy responsibilities
The rise of Jesse Ryder, issue with Sehwag's captaincy, players strike in Windies and a discussion with the fans (20:40)
March 30, 2009
The Tony Greig Show
Sehwag needs to be free of captaincy responsibilitiesMarch 30, 2009
News of the Week:
When Jesse Ryder was first selected to play for New Zealand there were mixed emotions expressed by former New Zealand players. Richard Hadlee was excited about Ryder's potential to provide an explosive start alongside Brendon McCullum at the top of the innings in both forms of the game. Adam Parore, on the other hand, hit out at the selector's decision to pick Ryder, claiming that he is "too fat" and not in a fit state to play for New Zealand. Then there were the behaviour problems - Ryder badly cut his hand trying to break into a toilet at a Christchurch bar at 5:30am the day after New Zealand had won the one-day series against England. New Zealand Cricket warned Ryder that his behaviour was unacceptable. Since then Jesse Ryder has not looked back, he has been in phenomenal form in the Test series against India so far and judging by the confident way he goes about his business he is already battling with Brendon McCullum for the title of New Zealand's best batsmen. I just love watching him bat because he combines brute force with style.
I have often mentioned how impressed I have been with the captaincy of MS Dhoni but it usually when he is absent that one appreciates just how good a job he is doing. Mind you I think it's a little unfair to criticise Virender Sehwag who along with the rest of his Indian team mates are at the time of recording having a nightmare against New Zealand. To be honest I have been impressed with Sehwag's leadership on the few occasions I have seen him do the job but it may just be that he is a wonderful vice captain. Often batsmen who play the way Sehwag does, need to be freed of the responsibilities of the captaincy. With this in mind, I was surprised to hear a normally conservative former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe criticising Sehwag for his poor leadership. There is no doubt that India's performance in the second Test in Napier has been sub-standard and more performances like this will see to it that they never become the world's number one team. Crowe said Sehwag's leadership was one of the prime reasons for India's desperate situation He blasted Sehwag for his tactics and termed the Delhi dasher's decisions as "unfocused thinking". There was worse to come, Crowe went on to say he has never seen captaincy so bad as that of Virender Sehwag….very harsh!
At the close of play on day four in Napier, India in their second innings, are 252 for 2 and still trail by 62 runs with 8 wickets remaining. Gambhir has 102* and Tendulkar 62* and India have played themselves into a position where they could now save the match
It seems that the Duckworth-Lewis gaffe by John Dyson, Chris Gayle and the West Indies team in the 1st ODI has spurred them on to greater things. In the 2nd ODI they bounced back as Shivnarine Chanderpaul rounded off a week of personal honours and awards with his 10th one-day international hundred to lead West Indies to a series-levelling 21-run victory which I am sure helped ease the memories of the first match farce. His unbeaten 112 enabled the home side to post a challenging 264 for 8 on another slow surface and despite Andrew Strauss's third ODI ton, England pulled up short.
England produced a pitiful batting performance in the third ODI to crash to a humiliating eight-wicket defeat. Batting first, they were bowled out for 117 on a good wicket, making their lowest score against West Indies since 1986. Windies skipper Chris Gayle then put the pitch into perspective by smashing eight sixes in a stunning display. His 80 from 43 balls helped get his team home in just 14.4 overs for a 2-1 lead in the series with two to play. All this despite their ongoing row over contracts with the WICB. News has broken that the West Indies are considering a boycott the fifth one-day international against England due to this dispute. Chris Gayle has confirmed that pay talks between the West Indies Players' Association and the WICB have been inconclusive and that a boycott of the final match of the series in St. Lucia was being seriously considered
England seem in a bit of a state, acting coach Andy Flower surveyed the wreckage of England's Caribbean tour on Saturday and cancelled the players' day off, ordering 'naughty boy' nets ahead of a match that could define his future and that of some of his players. If England lose to the West Indies in Bridgetown on Sunday not only will they have lost yet another one-day series but their winter will officially be an unmitigated disaster, and Flower will be the man most likely to suffer the immediate consequences. Kevin Pietersen is also inviting problems he and the team don't need. West Indies captain Chris Gayle has hit out at England batsman for comments about Chanderpaul. Pietersen was quoted as saying that Chanderpaul "never fields" after making a big score and "plays for himself". At the time of recording the match in Barbados is about to get underway.
Both Australia and South Africa will be very happy with the way one of their bowlers has come on in the current series. Mitchell Johnson has definitely taken over as Australia's leading strike bowler and now that he has started to swing the ball into the right handers he is even more dangerous. The fact that he is also being talked about as an all rounder is a further feather in his cap and one that is thoroughly justified. Johnson is a superb striker of the ball and all he needed was a little time to acclimatise to the big time. He has done this superbly and is now one of the most valuable five cricketers in the world game. South Africa on the other hand has struggled to find a spinner and Paul Harris has more than stepped up. Harris will now be picked in every South African team because he is not a spinner who will only succeed when the ball spins, he contains well and is also an aggressive bowler…what good news for South Africa.
What's eating Tony Greig?
The IPL has been forced by politicians to move its second edition to South Africa and every cricket fan should be hoping it's a huge success. So far, the IPL has been good for cricket and cricketers and we need to find out how popular similar tournaments will be around the world. There is no doubt that all the major crick playing countries will want a form of IPL at home in an effort to ensure they get a slice of the pie. There is however one worrying trend and it is to do with the IPL TV rights. Recently the BCCI sent a notice of termination to MSM, formerly known as Sony Entertainment Television, citing an alleged breach of contract. This is serious when one considers the size of the deal but times are tough and the word is that many companies associated with the IPL are frustrated with the losses they are incurring. Then out of the blue, the BCCI sign a new TV agreement with Sony which they proudly say is even more lucrative for the IPL than the previous one. The new contract said to be worth in the region of $180 million a year compared to the previous deal's figure of $103 million. Despite growth in India predicted at 5% this year, I just can't see how this deal can do anything other than lose money for the rights holder. There is an old adage that should be implemented in cases like this - leave a little in the deal for the other guy.
Talk to Tony:
Tony Greig discusses with Rohit Dwivedi and Ranjit Madgavkar whether the current Indian team is the best ever that Indian cricket has seen.
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