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Sight Screen

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A reprieve, of sorts

Ooooof, finally! The verdict is in, the ban has been reduced from six to four games, leaving Saurav just two more (in other words, this weekend) to sit out. (We might get an 'inside' story on this from Lokendra Sahi, but mercifully, the news marks an end to the seemingly endless BCCI said... ICC said... Sachs said... Saurav did not say... junk that has passed for news of late).
Creates an interesting situation -- Saurav is eligible to play from the August 3 ODI against Sri Lanka. For Team India, this means it can tinker with the batting order for a couple of games, get what data points it needs to fine tune its thinking, and bring Saurav in either to open (if Dhoni is seen as more worthwhile in the middle) or in the middle order -- which would be my personal preference, frankly.
Ganguly, if he is in any sort of touch at all (and if he is not in touch after all the hard yards in county, then hey, he has to take his chances on selection with the rest) would be perfect in Lankan conditions coming in against a slightly older ball -- and versus Muthiah Muralitharan.
You know what I suspect? That Ganguly, with the captain's armband off, with his pride wounded and with plenty to prove, will come good this series. If -- and this is an 'if' in the hands of the selectors (who by now must be getting calls from on high, telling them what to do), the coach, and the captain -- they decide to pick him as soon as he is eligible.
PS: Off to get work done... back in a couple of hours or so

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