Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, Durban May 5, 2009

The lost and lonely leader

Karna S
The saddest part of this tournament has been watching Brendon McCullum slowly go to pieces
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The saddest part of this tournament has been watching Brendon McCullum slowly go to pieces. The swaggering, tattooed hard-hitting batsman has become almost a thing of memory, replaced by a lonely figure wearing an increasingly haunted look as his team stumbles from one nightmare to another.

His trials have not been on the field alone; they have come in the press conferences, where he has attempted to explain the inexplicable. At Port Elizabeth, he snapped at a journalist who asked him whether the exodus of Sanjay Bangar and Aakash Chopra was a sign the team would crack down on poor performers. "What are you trying to get at, mate?" was the terse reply. In Durban last week, asked whether his announcement that he would quit as captain was an emotional reaction, he said, "That's your call. Captains all over the world feel the pressure and I think should be accountable."

Like any top sportsmen, McCullum is a very competitive man and though his national side, New Zealand, don't win everything, they don't lose as badly as Kolkata Knight Riders or look as pathetic. And he has never captained before. "It hurts 20 times more when you lose as a captain," he has said. Especially captain of a team that can't bat, can't bowl and can't field itself through to a win.

Worst of all, the captain has been among the chief non-performers. A man who scored 69 off 55 balls in his last Twenty20 international just over two months ago has been out first ball, has patted short wide balls to fielders, dropped sitters, demoted himself and reinstated himself.

He has tried everything but nothing has worked. That has probably hurt the most. "I have found it difficult to deliver messages to the team without having individual performances to stack up," he said. Only good captains can pull off that trick. Mark Taylor went a year without any batting performances and Sourav Ganguly has been known to get angry with his players for fielding lapses despite being the slowest on the field. It takes strong character and a sense of ownership to achieve it. McCullum's lack of captaincy experience has been shown up in this tournament. He might have made the offer to quit on grounds of accountability but it has perhaps led to an image of a weak captain and a sensitive man under duress.

And alone. Most of his visits to the press conferences have been solo; he's tried to be frank but has often meandered into an emotional ramble. At various times, he has looked like he could do with a comfortable hug.

He got one today in public view. He had just finished the post-match ceremony and was heading towards the press meet when his coach, John Buchanan, stepped from the shadows of the dug out, put a hand over his shoulder and led him all the way to the media room, all the while talking in his ear. It was like an uncle comforting a young nephew over a deeply personal grief.

Buchanan tried to deflect the tough questions to himself and butted in with words of encouragement even when the question was directed to McCullum. "It's no use focusing on the negatives; we have positives to look and something to pat ourselves on our back." Finding water on a desert must be easier than finding positives from this game or indeed this tournament.

Yet he's maintained his dignity and sense of humour. After an earlier match, when presented with an envelope at the end of the press conference, he peered into it before breaking out into a weak smile: "Does it have any ideas for me?" Today, he handled a tough question with a soft touch. "In this competition, where the points table has been a very close thing, only one thing has been constant. Knight Riders have been always at the bottom." There was a collective gasp of silence in the room following the question and all eyes turned to McCullum. His lips somehow managed a smile before he said, "That point has not been lost on us as well. But we can't dwell on that. We need to look at ways to increase our performance; if the results don't go our way it's fine. At least we know we tried."

It's that attitude, that sense of pride, that has won him compassion from even the usually cynical press pack. The talk before the conference today was whether anyone would remind McCullum about his captaincy-quitting promise. In the end, no one asked. Some lines just can't be crossed.

Karna S is a freelance cricket writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Ulio on | May 7, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    @vinaybhatta couldn't say it better. I am not sure why many players are given so many chances even they are not doing anything near OK. Take Agarkar for example, failure after failure. Shukla, he is always trying to go after the ball, never gives himself some time to settle. Ishant Sharma, well another wrong investment by SRK, Ishant is not good t20 player PERIOD. Their bowling attack sucks.

  • POSTED BY NikekiN on | May 7, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    Remove Ganguly and try to get balance in the team. This season is lost but they can try to trade a few of the overseas players to get some decent domestic players or atleast the sort of overseas players that suit their team composition. They are definitely missing Ponting this year. He could have atleast led the side and utilised the resources better.

    In this regards Delhi Daredevils have gone the right way by selecting most of the players that play for Delhi in the domestic league. This way they know the strengths and weaknesses of their players and can utilise them accordingly.

  • POSTED BY vinaybhatta on | May 7, 2009, 5:58 GMT

    Again regarding the entire blame on Buchanan, agreed that he tried to experiment too much on a team, which stays as a team only once in a year and forgetting the basic fact that they needed some time to gel in as a team. Now coming to other culprit, Ganguly, whom I think should have played for his team and supported the appointed captain because he is playing for Kolkatta, and not for SRK. Ganguly has a lot to learn from Dravid who as well was removed from captaincy and was criticized openly by the team owner for the team not performing. Yet today Dravid still is the pillar of support for RCB and stands by his captian and is easily the star performer of the team. Even for that matter Anil Kumble, inspite of being neglected for captaincy for a long time, he stands as the best Indian bowler and one of the greatest spinners of the world. Ganguly may be a performer, but not a sportsman like Dravid or Kumble, he still lacks the maturity and high thinking.

  • POSTED BY Tamkin786 on | May 7, 2009, 4:55 GMT

    I am a big fan of KKR. I have watched all their games and after all that i have only one thing to say is that they need a good team manager. The way the team manager choose his team, it's defenitely not the way we want him to choose. First of all they need to move Ajit Agarkar out of top 11, i dont why they didnt let Mashrafe Mortaza play a single game yet, he is a very good all rounder, he can even hit the ball at any part of the ground. So, i really recommend that they should take Masrafe Mortaza instead of taking Henriques. They should call back Akash Chopra because they need a batsman and he is experience and he have the ability to make some quick runs. I personally dont want to see Ajit Agarkar in the next game .

  • POSTED BY Ulio on | May 7, 2009, 4:47 GMT

    @Nashdwaj, to be honest with you, the team has no good young Indian talent. The management team is so horrible that they are not hunting for talented young indian players, after all this is IPL why keep playing same bunch of people again and again when they cannot perform. They kicked Mendis after 2 matches and every other team is winning with the help of their spinners. Why Mortaza is not playing. I wonder how SRK is so silent to all this, its just stupid to pay 600kUSD for a player and then not have him even for one game.

    But this team needs young indians, because they will want to do their best some losers are taking things for granted in this team. I am really not happy with Ganguly either. I think he should just leave cricket before he gets any more humiliation and I think there is more coming for him\.

  • POSTED BY Coach4KKR on | May 7, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    Hellow KKR people, please include Murtaza if you really want to see a win.

  • POSTED BY ssarka11 on | May 6, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    first thing, i dont understand why they annnounced the captain just one day before the game. from the start, they never develop as a team. i think, they should made ganguly captain, at least it could have been better than this. why they keep trying henriques? marshafee could play last match as we already seen henriques capability. above all, i would like to say, players are not responsible for everything. it is the management who is resposible for everything especially bucha.

  • POSTED BY HorseH on | May 6, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    http://content.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/271912.html Once is forgivable, twice is disgraceful. He is a deserving memnber of The Little Grub Club. He gets no sympathy from this sports fan.

  • POSTED BY nashdwaj on | May 6, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    Responding to Ulio. Ganguly tried to be a big man with a big heart and tried to win a game for KKR. He was desperate to win a game against RR. But he could not do it...that guy Yashpal Singh would not listen to him...After such an effort you know what SRK says...he should have won the game..can he not hit 2 runs from 2 balls..this sort of attitude kills anybody's spirit. Actually you are right the truth is owner SRK is on a planet of his own, toooo much ego that too unabashed. The comments he makes...as though he is somewhat special..well all that he has has been bestowed on him by the love of people that make him. You know it can all vanish in a blink of an eye.

  • POSTED BY shamik88 on | May 6, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    I am a huge fan of KKR as I myself reside from Kolkata. I love players from the KKR side. So it hurt alot when KKR loses. The worst thing is that KKR have lost games it should not have. It should have shown what it can do by showing its potential on the field. I think the blame of the dismal performances should go to Buchanan. How can players like McCullum drop sitters. It goes to show that the morale in the field and the dressing room is not good. The owner of the team should have stayed with them despite the team losing. Now KKR are out of the tournament and they should focus on salvaging their pride. Ganguly should be made captain. Buchanan should be told not to interfere. Ganguly and McCullum should open and Henriques should be replaced by a bowler.

  • POSTED BY Ulio on | May 7, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    @vinaybhatta couldn't say it better. I am not sure why many players are given so many chances even they are not doing anything near OK. Take Agarkar for example, failure after failure. Shukla, he is always trying to go after the ball, never gives himself some time to settle. Ishant Sharma, well another wrong investment by SRK, Ishant is not good t20 player PERIOD. Their bowling attack sucks.

  • POSTED BY NikekiN on | May 7, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    Remove Ganguly and try to get balance in the team. This season is lost but they can try to trade a few of the overseas players to get some decent domestic players or atleast the sort of overseas players that suit their team composition. They are definitely missing Ponting this year. He could have atleast led the side and utilised the resources better.

    In this regards Delhi Daredevils have gone the right way by selecting most of the players that play for Delhi in the domestic league. This way they know the strengths and weaknesses of their players and can utilise them accordingly.

  • POSTED BY vinaybhatta on | May 7, 2009, 5:58 GMT

    Again regarding the entire blame on Buchanan, agreed that he tried to experiment too much on a team, which stays as a team only once in a year and forgetting the basic fact that they needed some time to gel in as a team. Now coming to other culprit, Ganguly, whom I think should have played for his team and supported the appointed captain because he is playing for Kolkatta, and not for SRK. Ganguly has a lot to learn from Dravid who as well was removed from captaincy and was criticized openly by the team owner for the team not performing. Yet today Dravid still is the pillar of support for RCB and stands by his captian and is easily the star performer of the team. Even for that matter Anil Kumble, inspite of being neglected for captaincy for a long time, he stands as the best Indian bowler and one of the greatest spinners of the world. Ganguly may be a performer, but not a sportsman like Dravid or Kumble, he still lacks the maturity and high thinking.

  • POSTED BY Tamkin786 on | May 7, 2009, 4:55 GMT

    I am a big fan of KKR. I have watched all their games and after all that i have only one thing to say is that they need a good team manager. The way the team manager choose his team, it's defenitely not the way we want him to choose. First of all they need to move Ajit Agarkar out of top 11, i dont why they didnt let Mashrafe Mortaza play a single game yet, he is a very good all rounder, he can even hit the ball at any part of the ground. So, i really recommend that they should take Masrafe Mortaza instead of taking Henriques. They should call back Akash Chopra because they need a batsman and he is experience and he have the ability to make some quick runs. I personally dont want to see Ajit Agarkar in the next game .

  • POSTED BY Ulio on | May 7, 2009, 4:47 GMT

    @Nashdwaj, to be honest with you, the team has no good young Indian talent. The management team is so horrible that they are not hunting for talented young indian players, after all this is IPL why keep playing same bunch of people again and again when they cannot perform. They kicked Mendis after 2 matches and every other team is winning with the help of their spinners. Why Mortaza is not playing. I wonder how SRK is so silent to all this, its just stupid to pay 600kUSD for a player and then not have him even for one game.

    But this team needs young indians, because they will want to do their best some losers are taking things for granted in this team. I am really not happy with Ganguly either. I think he should just leave cricket before he gets any more humiliation and I think there is more coming for him\.

  • POSTED BY Coach4KKR on | May 7, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    Hellow KKR people, please include Murtaza if you really want to see a win.

  • POSTED BY ssarka11 on | May 6, 2009, 17:05 GMT

    first thing, i dont understand why they annnounced the captain just one day before the game. from the start, they never develop as a team. i think, they should made ganguly captain, at least it could have been better than this. why they keep trying henriques? marshafee could play last match as we already seen henriques capability. above all, i would like to say, players are not responsible for everything. it is the management who is resposible for everything especially bucha.

  • POSTED BY HorseH on | May 6, 2009, 13:46 GMT

    http://content.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/271912.html Once is forgivable, twice is disgraceful. He is a deserving memnber of The Little Grub Club. He gets no sympathy from this sports fan.

  • POSTED BY nashdwaj on | May 6, 2009, 13:28 GMT

    Responding to Ulio. Ganguly tried to be a big man with a big heart and tried to win a game for KKR. He was desperate to win a game against RR. But he could not do it...that guy Yashpal Singh would not listen to him...After such an effort you know what SRK says...he should have won the game..can he not hit 2 runs from 2 balls..this sort of attitude kills anybody's spirit. Actually you are right the truth is owner SRK is on a planet of his own, toooo much ego that too unabashed. The comments he makes...as though he is somewhat special..well all that he has has been bestowed on him by the love of people that make him. You know it can all vanish in a blink of an eye.

  • POSTED BY shamik88 on | May 6, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    I am a huge fan of KKR as I myself reside from Kolkata. I love players from the KKR side. So it hurt alot when KKR loses. The worst thing is that KKR have lost games it should not have. It should have shown what it can do by showing its potential on the field. I think the blame of the dismal performances should go to Buchanan. How can players like McCullum drop sitters. It goes to show that the morale in the field and the dressing room is not good. The owner of the team should have stayed with them despite the team losing. Now KKR are out of the tournament and they should focus on salvaging their pride. Ganguly should be made captain. Buchanan should be told not to interfere. Ganguly and McCullum should open and Henriques should be replaced by a bowler.

  • POSTED BY Ulio on | May 6, 2009, 12:16 GMT

    I am amazed how everyone is giving Ganguly's side and bashing the Aussie coach and SRK. KKR didn't do good last year either, they were as sucky as they are now, may be few more wins. But then again everyone is entitled to their opinion. My view is that, Ganguly as a human being and a good person should have backed up Brendon. It is a shame that Ganguly has such a pride and ego. Ganguly should have given his best to prove them all wrong. But then again, the whole team composition is wrong. With all due respect to everyone, this is not just about coach. This team has 3 individuals with EGO eating them. SRK,Buchaanan and Ganguly. These 3 guys have killed this team big time. Tell me who else in KKR have created controversies or issues in the past none, they are all simple players who want to enjoy their game, but they are now in this mess created by these EGOISTIC individuals. It is not about great COACH or Great players, its is about team, like Shane Warne's team, he has no BIG stars.

  • POSTED BY common111 on | May 6, 2009, 12:14 GMT

    Get rid of Ganguly and you have a team.

  • POSTED BY johnyboyz on | May 6, 2009, 12:11 GMT

    I think they have to get rid of Ganguly from that team. His negativism is the main thing in their defeat. He is the person who put the whole team in negative attitude

    Fan of KKR

  • POSTED BY bsguddu on | May 6, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    actually jon Buchannan (bukhanan) must be sacked immediately & so that brad McCullum from his captaincy i think brad hodge is a better choice or if u want a indian to lead the side that will must be saurav ganguly i said before abt brad mccullum that he is just one innings player (158 in ipl I ) u guys r rate as a greatest player that not true neither in ipl 1 or ipl II

  • POSTED BY dream_india on | May 6, 2009, 11:11 GMT

    In my view, McCullum should not be blamed for the loses...the person who is responsible for this is john buchanan..he put pressure over him before starting of the tournament by creating controversies like multiple captain theory...and even now he doesn't change his captain...ganguly shoyuld be obvious choice of captain, but he make mccullum captain and this put him under pressure and he is unable to perform...in last match against delhi why ganguly is not used...why henrique sent up the order...is there any answer?? he plays a maiden in that situation like he was batting at 5 down in 2 overs..even ganguly not used as a bowler..australian vs ganguly!!! how long this will go??? now buchanan should take responsibility and quit and ganguly should be captain..and let McCullam play his natural game..and watch him like the first match of ipl08...my wishes to ganguly, McCullam, and of course to buchanan...

  • POSTED BY Riad_bh on | May 6, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    KKR deserves the continuous pathetic falling ! Mr.Buchanan should be punished & sacked for his outstanding(?) performance as a coach & mentor. Brendon should be rested for 1 or 2 matches & bring back Mortaja in the game .

  • POSTED BY vsrajan on | May 6, 2009, 10:14 GMT

    I feel extremely sad for McCullum as he has been made the scapegoat in a cold war between Dada and useless John. It is also laudable on the part of Brendon to take the lead when things were hotting up. But the main problem is that KKR does not gel together as a team and coach is directly responsible for this. We could see the coach happily enjoying the dinner when the team was under pressure on the pitch battling to save another embarrassing defeat. We could not see any pressure on his face as if showing that some one else is playing and he is simply a spectator. Why blame the players and captain? John should be simply driven out of the team for such a pathetic show.

  • POSTED BY Rajasekara on | May 6, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    At lost Indian fans most favourite team was elimated from IPL 2009 becasue of the off field contrversy. First we will through out Buchnan, he didnt do anythign apart from creating conterversy, now he creating another problem about play more than 4 foreign players. second one is KKR trying to buy allrounder, as of now know feamilr all rounder in our team. Ganguly is really very good leader he proved lots, so better mcculam handover captain to ganguly. The most important one is if ganguly is there as a captain only. If team coach or SRK are not willing to give captain to ganguly taking away because is not fit for a normal player. We want ganguly bounce back as a Captain.

  • POSTED BY chitraj on | May 6, 2009, 9:07 GMT

    I dont think the problem is a result of wrong decissions being made. I think the issue stems from the fact that the entire team management is on a ego trip. Yes some of the earlier decissions made by buchanan or SRK were questionable to say the least, but then to not hold their hands up and say "We messed up guys" or to tell the world "You got an opinion, buy your own team" are things that one would expect from an extremely petty person.

    I have mentioned this on numerous articles/posts before. The environment in the dressing room must be very hostile right now. You have the prince of kolkatta ticked off, You have McCullum hanging for his dear life and you have a rudderless ship for a team that seems to be owned/managed by the mafia. I bet the world would love to say, "I told you so", but I think they are hopefully getting the message now. May god bless them!

  • POSTED BY sunishappu on | May 6, 2009, 8:35 GMT

    The experiments are over, the results are known, but yet to be published. That is the real story of KKR now. There are certain things that horribly went wrong.

    1. The innovative (or useless) multiple-captain-theory. 2. Ganguly immediately disagreeing with the concept. 3. Buchannan saying Ganguly will surely be dejected. 4. Then shelfing the idea & appointing McCullam as captain, the better choice was Gayle who already is an experinced captain of an international side. 5. Experimenting again and again with Moses Henriques(he might be Buchannans relative) instead Mortaza or Mendis. 6. Demoting a batsman of Ganguly's calibre - some of my friends might disagree with this!!!

  • POSTED BY nashdwaj on | May 6, 2009, 8:35 GMT

    Buchannan has gotten himself a perfect case study of how not to coach or manage (or whatever else he is doing) a team. Since he goes around the world providing management training it will be helpful. We do not know what is going on behind the curtains but it ain't right. McCullum the soft little New Zealender is not the person to lead this KKR team with huge fan following of too proud Ganguly who feels wronged by Aus coaches. May be aus coaching is different and it works for aussies. But it is classic case where what works somewhere cannot be shoved down the throat of some one else...Love'em or hate'em Ganguly is a bit of a prince, KKR needs him as does Ganguly needs KKR. So they should work around him (make him captain, allow him to open batting) to create a winning team. Now he also needs to re-calibrate to lead an international side that includes gayle, ponting and others and not resort to too much "dada" giri. First they need to remove bad blood and fire the coaching team.

  • POSTED BY rini118 on | May 6, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    I really feel bad for Brendon. He has been given the captaincy when the whole team has broken into groups, there is no unity there and with super duper egos flying around. Ganguly is one the best captains and he has been replaced for no apparent reason. Then you bring in a young lad who is so talented and ruin his game and his spirit. Be what ever it will be tough for him to get back to himself. This whole mess will for sure take a toll on poor Brendon. The team selection is pathetic. They are doing good in none of the games. And my heart goes our for Brendon. I think that captaincy is pressurizing him. I just hope that we get back that explosive Brendon we knew before this IPL2.

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | May 6, 2009, 8:05 GMT

    But a very good article nevertheless.Sure McCullum looks to be a soft leader,but I'm not sure how much support he got from his team mates.Honestly,I believe John Buchanan has to go.He has created all the controversies in their camp.& Shahrukh Khan needs to learn how to manage a team by looking at Preity Zinta's team,which has looked to be a happy family.

  • POSTED BY Santosh.JK on | May 6, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    poor team selection is what one can say about KKR, and yes the captaincy should have been bestowed to Ganguly.. he is a born leader.

    when all teams are playing well with 4 overseas players, only Buchnan has a problem with it. their bowling could have been strengthened with some quality spin of mendis. but they prefer an addition overseas batsmen....

    they should trust and invest on local talents also... after all IPL is an Indian domestic venture.

  • POSTED BY Prats6 on | May 6, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    First of all, I would congratulate you on a brilliant article. It really captures the true light of McCullum, a blaster in his own right, being weighed down by captaincy.

    To be honest I have started to feel about McCullum but nor KKR, KKR deserve this as their team selection horribly wrong. Their prized player this year, Murtaza has not played till now ! But McCullum is far better that the pathetic side. And now its their bad performances are showing on McCullum.

    I think sometimes a break helps! And he just needs a break. He is a champion player and some failures wont dent that !

  • POSTED BY Balaji on | May 6, 2009, 6:00 GMT

    I already wrote a comment on buchanan's decision of making mccullum as captain . Ganguly is the right leader for kolkata . Mr.Buchanan if u want some respect get out of the kolkatta team immediately . He spoiled both ganguly and mccullum's game in IPL2 . Shahrukh is now paying for it , since he has not opposed with buchanan's decision . So its always simple . Right decisions bring good output whereas foolish wrong decisions bring bad output . All the best to kolkatta in future, if u learn from Deccan Chargers who turned as one of the favorites in IPL2 where they just won 2 games in IPL 1 .

  • POSTED BY nando267 on | May 6, 2009, 5:34 GMT

    well if anyone on here played cricket should know that any player whether he's a captain or a regular player goes through a lean patch. The same problem cost mahela jayawardena the captaincy. Ganguly couldn't captain india properly so the problem is not the captaincy. it's just that nothing is going their way at the moment and, it showed from their fielding today. When the morale is down nothing works. Sharukh khan saying that he wants to sell the team and all the negative talk from him does not help the cause at all. That's why actors don't belong in the cricket field. They should just stick to acting. Like in these movies no matter how nice you are, the nice guy does not always end up being the winner or hero. Requires a lot of knowledge n skills. Money can buy you players but not the skills required to get the job done. It's just sad to see these bollywood stars running cricket now.

  • POSTED BY shiverma on | May 6, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    I think this was a great opportunity for senior players like Ganguly to show their good side by siding with McCullum. After all, McCullum did not ask for captaincy, and he can't be blamed for not turning it down. Also, that would have shown that Ganguly can be a good human being as well, good cricketer or not, that's a different topic. He knows what McCullum must be going through, having been in that boat not very long back, no wins and no runs. Laxman stepped down, there is only respect for him for that, Ganguly did not step down, McC has offered to. Why not show the man some respect? The team is bad, and there is no doubt about it, but then aren't Raj Royals supposed to be bad as well?

  • POSTED BY Elvis on | May 6, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    MCullum is a good man. A good man can never be a good captain. :) See Sachin.. a great batsmen.... a great human... yet a big dispointment as a captain.

    I advice MC to give up captaincy and bang bang with bat.

    And for KKR, just change the bench players with Playing IX that would help to see positive and energetic beings on the ground.

  • POSTED BY GlobalCricketLover on | May 6, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    I feel pity for McCullum, a master blaster turned in to a mild cat. Making him captain is one of the many blunders from Buchanan. Guys like McCullum and Gibbs should be left alone to enjoy their batting and entertain the world. They shouldn't be made captains just bcos they are good players. I hope Brendon gives up captaincy straightaway so that we can see at least another 5 good performances from him this season.

    Until KKR get rid of the luggage in the form of non-performing indian players they will go nowhere..not this season..but any season! Instead of moaning on the limit of international players inthe playing 11 Buchanan should use his brain and try to get the rest 7 indian players who are worth a place. They dont' have anyone of the calibre of a yousuf pathan or a sehwag or a jadeja or Ojha.

  • POSTED BY drinks.break on | May 6, 2009, 4:14 GMT

    I corrected my mistake from an earlier post which hasn't appeared here! My point then was that Ganguly is no better option than McCullum ... he's hardly performing any better (especially in the field), and his arrogance, which may mesmerise young Indians who are in awe of his supposed greatness, will just get up the noses of the international players - and it's the internationals who win matches (even Mumbai has relied heavily on Duminy, Jayasuriya, Bravo and Malinga). Apart from McCullum the only possibilities I can see are Hodge, who is incredibly experienced at T20 (much more than either McCullum or Ganguly) and is about the only consistent performer in the team so far, or wait until David Hussey arrives next week.

  • POSTED BY ksk... on | May 6, 2009, 3:37 GMT

    Mates the junction had arrived,here i want to pin-point one thing.Just recently when india toured blackcaps,sehwag leAD INDIa in one test.Immediately after that test i had seen in one column that sehwag shouln't have been given that,because as he is a natural stroke player he has to play without any burden on him ie. the writer feels that captaincy had an impact on his batting.So here's the same ,McCullum being a hard hitter of the ball shudn't have been given that.Without that burden he would have succeded .In last season's fist match KKR/RC everyone knows how he played,without any risk and thinking to hit each and every ball without caring anything.And in yesterday's game with delhi he got that niche but he didn't played likethat and went for saving wickets.Captaincy is not for who plays the best but for the one who can convey his idea to all his mates.I think McC didn't get that one because in the match with MI he didn't opened the innings and came late down in the order to finish

  • POSTED BY 9ST9 on | May 6, 2009, 3:19 GMT

    KKR have themselves to blame for this poor run of form. They have a potential match winner in Mendis (despite that forgettable super-over) and they continue to play batsmen as their 4 international players. Talented he may be, but really Moises Henriques has to make way for Mendis, who actually picked up prize wickets in the game against Rajastan.Charl Langeveldt continues to ride the bench,as well. KKR also lacks genuine Indian Young Talent like Jakati,or Pragyan Ohja. Ex-players like Agarkar or Shukla should make way for some young talent.

  • POSTED BY Jaijo on | May 6, 2009, 3:00 GMT

    It was very sad to see McCullum on the field. The camera kept on focussing on him after every ball. But I think we need to give him one more chance.

  • POSTED BY goldenshades.com on | May 6, 2009, 2:22 GMT

    this is bollywood cricket..so everychance we will have an underdog KKR in bright colors next season..McCullum will continue as Capt.. to have a fairytale finish nexttime..

  • POSTED BY mubujk on | May 6, 2009, 2:19 GMT

    there is not doubt that he is a brilliant player, but not a good captain. KKR has been almost out of the tournament and the reason is not only poor performance of captain but also poor fielding of his teammates. he should remain positive and look forward to remain positive. I suppose KKR is worst effected by withdrawals of Pakistani player, in particular, Umer Gul and Salman Butt. This team was my favorite at the start of tournament but now I suppose the if Pakistan would be there, things would have been different.

  • POSTED BY 123_4 on | May 6, 2009, 2:16 GMT

    not karthik but maybe Ganguly or Hodge as Ganguly has experience and Hodge is an Aussie who seems to be smart.

  • POSTED BY ashokb83 on | May 6, 2009, 1:56 GMT

    It is really sad to see a dynamic player like McCullum lose the Midas touch when it comes to his power-packed batting. He is being made the scapegoat for the repeated losses that the team is going through owing to the inept performance of the entire group. Even though it is too late now and the chances of KKR making it too the semis is zero, the management should seriously think about giving the captaincy to any other player and let Brendon play his natural game sans the pressure of captaincy. Mr.Buchanan, if you are listening, please do us this favour and maybe you can redeem yourself slightly in the eyes of the KKR fans.

  • POSTED BY jaygee02 on | May 6, 2009, 1:48 GMT

    It's a shame; I think captaincy is a tough job and attracts too much of the criticism for a team's performance. He has had a couple of good batting performances but maybe he would do better without the pressure of captaincy? Maybe someone needs to tactfully take over the reins, both for the team and for McCullum, before he is permanently scarred by the experience. I think a more relaxed McCullum is better for the whole team.

  • POSTED BY delta20 on | May 6, 2009, 1:42 GMT

    I think they should change the captain first and ganguly should be captain then only something good will happen to KKR and Brendon Mccullum.

  • POSTED BY mehdh on | May 6, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    While spinners are winning many games,KKR can not play their best spinner mendis. He should replace captain for one game and see KKR WIN

  • POSTED BY NYSIKH on | May 6, 2009, 1:32 GMT

    This batting and bowling order will bring positive result. Ganguly have the ability to open the inning. Batting Order 1 Ganguly, 2 van Wyk, 3 McCullum, 4 Brad hodge, 5 Agarkar 6 Yashpal Singh, 7 , 8 Murali Kartik, 9 Mendis 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Saha Bowling Order 1 Ishant Sharma, 2 Agarkar 3 Ishant Sharma, 4 Mendis 5 Murali Kartik, 6 Mendis 7 Murali Kartik, 8 Agarkar 9 Brad Hodge, 10 Ganguly, 11 Brad Hodge, 12 Murali Kartik, 13 Ganguly, 14 Murali Kartik, 15 Agarkar, 16 Brad Hodge, 17 Agarkar, 18 Ishant Sharma, 19 Mendis, 20 Ishant Sharma

    You can replace Brad Hodge with Moises Henriques but don't exclude Mendis as pitches are Spinner friendly. Mendis have the ability to win matches.

  • POSTED BY chungwah on | May 6, 2009, 1:15 GMT

    Some team is going to be at the bottom of the ladder. It just happens this year its KKR. To blame it on McCullum or apply pressure on the losing teams to sack its captains because of a poor season is not the right thing to do because it sends an unwritten message that poor performance will be punished. Now you say what's wrong with punishing poor performance, well, that creates an atmosphere of negative pressure which really does not help teams or individuals to grow and develop. For individuals & teams to develop into winning teams, they need to be able to do so in a supportive and encouraging environment. The negative way may achieve short term results to some level, but it will achieve the highest level it can go to if done in a supportive environment. Good example of this is Team India. In a nation of more than a billion people most of whom are cricket crazy, there is enough talent there for India to be no.1 in the world for decades. But India isn't no.1, are they? Anyone ask why?

  • POSTED BY drinks.break on | May 6, 2009, 1:14 GMT

    To correct my mistake ... Cameron White was Victoria's captain, but both Hodge and D Hussey have been his senior players and an integral part of the leadership of one of Aus's more successful state sides in T20.

  • POSTED BY Lukeman30K on | May 6, 2009, 0:59 GMT

    Drop Ganguly, bring in Mortaza, put McCullum back behind the stumps (but leave van Wyk in for his batting). Then maybe KKR will win something. You can't blame the captain for everything.

  • POSTED BY sammykent on | May 6, 2009, 0:56 GMT

    It is hard to watch Brendon struggling with the captaincy. I have watched all of the KKR games and I believe the responsibility for the losses should rest squarely on the bowlers shoulders. Ishant Sharma, having promised so much, has been woeful. Agit Agarkar has also been pretty ordinary, having wicket taking ability which comes at the cost of lots of runs. Sure the top order failed a lot in he early games but they have rectified that fault and are posting defendable totals now. Brad Hodge being one of the best bowlers speaks volumes. The fielding has also been poor but it is as though the fielders are so stunned to get a wicket taking opportunity they have almost forgotten what to do. It is unfortunate that Brendon is having all of the attention focused on him, mainly because of his obvious suitability to T20 and his lack of form. The press are loving the story and perpetuating the problem by heaping on the pressure.

  • POSTED BY dhruvnz on | May 6, 2009, 0:21 GMT

    cricinfo is so anti-mcullum and anti-kolkata at the moment it's pretty sad. why don't they show how lucky kolkata's opposition have been with edges going in spaces where there are no fielders, or balls landing where there is no catcher. kolkata themselves have not been lucky with bad umpiring decisions and unfortunately for them all their edges/ bad shots seem to end up in a fielders grasp. also mccullum as a captain has done nothing wrong, he just hasn't been backup by his bowlers in the last two games anyway. Another point that cricinfo never mention is how their INDIAN talent has not performed at all, compared to other sides where the reason they are winning is because of local talent. also don't forget the fact that they lost two world class bowlers - umar gul and akhtar because of the stupid BCCI and ponting and hussey because of Australia's ODI series and so lack depth compared to other sides

  • POSTED BY DeepPoint on | May 5, 2009, 23:59 GMT

    The innings of the IPL 2008 was played on day 1, game 1 as McCullum destroyed Bangalore and set everyone talking, expecting and hoping. This year he has appeared confused and scratchy. Some blame must go to Buchanan with all his half-witted theories and SRK with his attention-hogging and ridiculous remarks("I will sleep with all the players" - maybe that has scared them!). McCullum in full flight makes one forget ones loyalties and just enjoy in his exhilarating hitting - here's hoping that being at rock bottom can make him look up and thrill us all with what we know he is capable of.

  • POSTED BY Mehul_View on | May 5, 2009, 23:49 GMT

    There is no hard and fast rule, that you can't change captains. Why can't KKR just try some one else as captain? If Buchanan does not want DADA to be captain, then fine, just try out Brad Hodge or L.R. Shukla or even Murli Kartik. Even if they can't change things around, atleast you could say we tried.... All this team needs is a different thinking mixed with some luck in their favor to start winning the games.

  • POSTED BY dhaka-sydney on | May 5, 2009, 23:45 GMT

    KKR is not the team that should participate in this form of game. the team is absolutely out of spirit which is revealed on the field. i think if instead kkr dhaka warriors should have given a chance, they could have perform hell of a better than kkr. its not about weak and strong team. its about passion, its about team spirit, which has been injected to the low-profile rajasthan royals by the gr8 shane warne. this yr is gone, next session the kkr should concentrate on how to get evrythin undr control. mccullam should not have been appointed as a captain. its a pressure that empowers him. mr. buchanan u shuld undrstand experimenting is a good stuff but not with the captaincy. ganguly shuld have retain as a captain as we know he dont feel comfortable playing undr othr captaincy. he have a good cricket brain which he prove during his captaincy period by lifting india from nowhere to a respected position. wake up kkr

  • POSTED BY swami_psg on | May 5, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    I simply cant understand the idea here... McCullum is too good a player to be wasted... Ganguly wud be able to command respect from youngsters as well as the internationals even when he does not perform and thats what you want from a captain. and the reason behind Buchanan's resolve to keep Mortaza out of the team is a real conundrum... let common sense prevail.

  • POSTED BY ksmani on | May 5, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    I would describe myself as a professional KKR basher for IPL2009 because of all the stupidity that have been going on there. However, the last para of above article, makes me think differently - from an individual point of view. What sin in the world BBM has committed to be in this position? I got an idea for BBM... declare as injured, sit outside for 1 match, handover captaincy to SCG. Comeback in the next match, and dont take over captaincy stating "do not want to disturb the winning formula".

  • POSTED BY dyogesh on | May 5, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    Very sad to see Mccullum paying the price for Buchanan-Shahrukh mess-up. A player well suited to T20 format being reduced to a novice. KKR story has been Mccullum's too. Started with a bang in IPL1 before whimpering out and hardly started in IPL2.

  • POSTED BY shiplu20 on | May 5, 2009, 22:50 GMT

    Yuvraj was very much interested about Mashrafee and he informed Mashrafee that he will be in the regular XI side(Kings XI Punjab). Shahrukh took Mashrafee as a challenge and ego. I was a big fan of Shahrukh Khan. But now I am feeling sorry and insulted for Mashrafee, one of our world class golden boys. Shahrukh should correct himself. and sack buckanan

  • POSTED BY DevilsCricket on | May 5, 2009, 22:37 GMT

    If KKR wants to start winning drop(rest) McCullum, Henriques and include Mendis, Mortaza with Ganguly as captain.

  • POSTED BY CharsiChowdhury on | May 5, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    Baz will be back..very soon..too good a player and too nice a human being to be in the situation that he is...

    and it's not only buchanan to blame.. me being an indian and part bengali(yay to sourav (sic))

    I beleive that Sourav has been as much help (or the lack of it) to Baz as Buchanan has..

    everyone else can take their own axe somewhere else..

    Cant wait for the McCullum of old to come back into his own.. Go get'em Baz.. :)

  • POSTED BY cbesud2009 on | May 5, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    One feels so sorry for him. The poor guy. I think he didnt quite realise what he was getting into, displacing Ganguly and becoming the captain of a team like Kolkata. I wish they would put him out of his misery and make Ganguly or even Hodge the captain for the remaining matches. Why arent they playing Mashrafe Murataza after spending all the money on him? Its something that nobody can understand. They are losing match after match. You were in a bidding war for this guy , for heavens sake. But Moses Henriques gets to play and he doesnt......

  • POSTED BY gauravk on | May 5, 2009, 22:00 GMT

    Remove SRK and Buchanan, make Ganguly the captain of the side and then we will see runs from McCullum's bat and wins from KKR but I don't think this is going to happen in this season. We will have to wait and see till the next season that common sense prevails or not. Buchanan's ideas have completely backfired and burnt everything. Even die-hard Kolkata fans in my hostel now laugh while seeing their team performing like this.

  • POSTED BY Abid_Khan14 on | May 5, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    Why don't they just give the captaincy to Ganguly??? Jeez they are so stupid

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | May 5, 2009, 20:56 GMT

    Going by today's performance by KKRs against Daredevils I would say McCullum should just hang up his captaincy boots and focus on his batting/keeping. He is too good a player to not score runs in this format. You can sense the pressure he is feeling everytime a catch goes up over his head and he drops it. If Mr. Shahrukh and the "great" Buchannan is listening they should just give McCullum a breather by handing over the captaincy to some one else. Murali Karthik?

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  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | May 5, 2009, 20:56 GMT

    Going by today's performance by KKRs against Daredevils I would say McCullum should just hang up his captaincy boots and focus on his batting/keeping. He is too good a player to not score runs in this format. You can sense the pressure he is feeling everytime a catch goes up over his head and he drops it. If Mr. Shahrukh and the "great" Buchannan is listening they should just give McCullum a breather by handing over the captaincy to some one else. Murali Karthik?

  • POSTED BY Abid_Khan14 on | May 5, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    Why don't they just give the captaincy to Ganguly??? Jeez they are so stupid

  • POSTED BY gauravk on | May 5, 2009, 22:00 GMT

    Remove SRK and Buchanan, make Ganguly the captain of the side and then we will see runs from McCullum's bat and wins from KKR but I don't think this is going to happen in this season. We will have to wait and see till the next season that common sense prevails or not. Buchanan's ideas have completely backfired and burnt everything. Even die-hard Kolkata fans in my hostel now laugh while seeing their team performing like this.

  • POSTED BY cbesud2009 on | May 5, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    One feels so sorry for him. The poor guy. I think he didnt quite realise what he was getting into, displacing Ganguly and becoming the captain of a team like Kolkata. I wish they would put him out of his misery and make Ganguly or even Hodge the captain for the remaining matches. Why arent they playing Mashrafe Murataza after spending all the money on him? Its something that nobody can understand. They are losing match after match. You were in a bidding war for this guy , for heavens sake. But Moses Henriques gets to play and he doesnt......

  • POSTED BY CharsiChowdhury on | May 5, 2009, 22:05 GMT

    Baz will be back..very soon..too good a player and too nice a human being to be in the situation that he is...

    and it's not only buchanan to blame.. me being an indian and part bengali(yay to sourav (sic))

    I beleive that Sourav has been as much help (or the lack of it) to Baz as Buchanan has..

    everyone else can take their own axe somewhere else..

    Cant wait for the McCullum of old to come back into his own.. Go get'em Baz.. :)

  • POSTED BY DevilsCricket on | May 5, 2009, 22:37 GMT

    If KKR wants to start winning drop(rest) McCullum, Henriques and include Mendis, Mortaza with Ganguly as captain.

  • POSTED BY shiplu20 on | May 5, 2009, 22:50 GMT

    Yuvraj was very much interested about Mashrafee and he informed Mashrafee that he will be in the regular XI side(Kings XI Punjab). Shahrukh took Mashrafee as a challenge and ego. I was a big fan of Shahrukh Khan. But now I am feeling sorry and insulted for Mashrafee, one of our world class golden boys. Shahrukh should correct himself. and sack buckanan

  • POSTED BY dyogesh on | May 5, 2009, 23:07 GMT

    Very sad to see Mccullum paying the price for Buchanan-Shahrukh mess-up. A player well suited to T20 format being reduced to a novice. KKR story has been Mccullum's too. Started with a bang in IPL1 before whimpering out and hardly started in IPL2.

  • POSTED BY ksmani on | May 5, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    I would describe myself as a professional KKR basher for IPL2009 because of all the stupidity that have been going on there. However, the last para of above article, makes me think differently - from an individual point of view. What sin in the world BBM has committed to be in this position? I got an idea for BBM... declare as injured, sit outside for 1 match, handover captaincy to SCG. Comeback in the next match, and dont take over captaincy stating "do not want to disturb the winning formula".

  • POSTED BY swami_psg on | May 5, 2009, 23:28 GMT

    I simply cant understand the idea here... McCullum is too good a player to be wasted... Ganguly wud be able to command respect from youngsters as well as the internationals even when he does not perform and thats what you want from a captain. and the reason behind Buchanan's resolve to keep Mortaza out of the team is a real conundrum... let common sense prevail.