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Sight Screen

Friday, September 16, 2005

It's in the air...

Yep, the flavour of the time seems to be interview. So here's one, which may not be there on any site yet. One of the regulars on the blog, neelan, has apparently translated the whole tv chat of Greg Chappel with Harsha and Ravi. I'm highlighting some parts I thought were important in current context.

Neelan, thanks again mate, great work.

*********************************************

This is what Chappel had to say abt the match, controversy in a discussion at the end of the match with Harsha, Sunny and Shastri

Harsha : Irfan Pathan, the man of the match, has a pretty good game isnt it?

GC:Yes its a very good all round performance, He's worked very hard on all aspects of his game, fielding, batting as well as bowling. He is swinging the new ball well and he bowled a good length in this game, he felt he was little short on the first day, the second morning and the last evening, I thought he bowled pretty well

Ravi: Greg, good performance by India to win this game, but how do you take it forward to Harare? Do you want certain things to improve even more when you go into Harare?

GC: Yes Ravi, we have just got to keep working on those process, have to stop worrying about outcomes, you get ahead of yourself or you start falling behind yourself thinking abt how things could have been better, and I think if we can continue to get our process right, bowl the ball in the right areas, put pressure on the opposition both with the ball and in the field and put pressure on the opposition by scoring runs and running well between the wickets, these are things we are judging ourselves at the moment and we need to keep improving in those areas. Zimbabwe is an young team an inexperienced team, we will get more pressure than they were able to put on us from other teams, so we need to keep developing those process

Harsha: And as well Greg as I suspect get rid of the irritants that can sometimes come in the way of process, that seems to the process is confined to what happens in the team meetings and on what happens on the ground, Sometimes they can be irritants to the process and we need to debug it as quickly as possible

GC: Yeah, there are some things that you cant control obviously Harsha, what things are being said outside in the media by supporters whatever, we cant worry about that, we have to concentrate and focus on what we are doing and we are attempting to do that and hopefully get better at it.

Harsha: Well you have never played in India Greg, but I guess the process of understanding India is well under way, having been a month and a half into this job and as you know we Indias are very passionate cricket followers and want to know everything about the side, Is there is a little reassurance that you want to give to this Indian side that look there is a lot happening there in the media, but this Indian side will continue to play the kind of cricket you wanted them to play?

GC: Well thats what we can do, and thats what we want to do, Obviously we are happy that so many people follow the Indian team so closely but from time to time it can be intrusive if we let it and its important that we focus on what we are doing and whatever happens outside the group we cant control and we cant spend too much time worrying about, we just got make sure that we keep doing what we do as well as possible

Harsha: Was it a bother though, the fact that somuch attention is devoted to things that happened off the field than on the field?

GC, Oh not really, I have been thru all this stuff before Harsha, always going to be something bubbling around the place, once it gets a bit of oxygen it can take off and be blown out of all proportions, we cant worry about these things like that and get involved in it, we have to keep focusing on what we are doing.

Harsha: And looking ahead to Harare, I know historical stats dont have too much meaning but India has never won a test match, infact lost two

GC: Thankyou verymuch for reminding this. Obviously again we cant control what happened in the past and all we can do is look forward to whats coming up next week and prepare ourselves as well as possible, I have been very happy with the way the guys have performed, training sessions have been very good, very enthusiastic, the support staff have done a fantastic job, all in all we are doing as much as possible what we can do at the moment and we just got to keep winning, get into a habit of winning, it takes a lot of pressure off in lot of areas

Harsha: There are a couple of aspects a lot of people in India would be focussing on in the next 3 or 4 days, is how this team get its act together because there has been a few things said in recent times by couple of lead batsmen and obviously thats not going to help matters, whats the team going to do to get everyone together, maybe just say look our job is to play cricket

GC: Well yeah we have talked about those issues and I mean as things come up from time to time, people get frustrated, say things that perhaps they dont really mean or as important as they are made out to be, again its a matter of focussing on the process and if we can continue to have success, I think lot of these other issues just fade away

Ravi: Greg, what time you playing golf with Sourav tomorrow

GC: Probably in the afternoon sometime I would think

Harsha: Did you have a long chat with him, because the way he played, bcause lot of us here have watched Sourav Ganguly bat for the last 9 years now, and hardly ever seen this kind of batting from him, grafting out 6 hrs to score a hundred, was that something you have talked about this kind of innings as well together

GC: We have talked about a whole range of issues, including batting, captaincy and all sorts of things and we continue to talk about those things but we got to understand that Sourav was under lot of pressure and obviously he also wanted to put that pressure behind him, he worked very hard to get that hundred, I would rather look at the positives and the result of the game than get involved in anything else

Harsha: One other thing we saw this morning is we havent seen too much of when Harbhajan got his 200th wicket is he bowled a lot more with fizz, that he bowled a lot more round the wicket , was it something you were experimenting with?

GC: Yes we worked on those issues with Harbhajan, looking at different angles, talking to him about different angles and different batsmen and different ways to bowl, particularly when conditions arent in favor, when ball spinning a lot sometimes its good to change the angles, Yeah he is had a bit of pressure on him as well, getting the 200th wicket I think, took the pressure off a bit, I thought he bowled pretty well this morning, So I mean its a matter of confidence, continue to take wickets, if he can do that, I am sure his bowling will only get better and better

Harsha: Ravi has talked about a round of Golf, Arun lal was here and he said you might go bungee jumping with Sourav together

GC : Well he is on his own there, I am afraid bungee is not my go

Harsha: Thankyou very much Greg for taking time off and congratulations on your first test win

GC: Thankyou very much

**********************************************************

406 Comments:

  • Hey, great blog here! Already bookmarked it! :-) I have a baby girl gift basket blog.
    It pretty much covers baby girl gift basket related stuff. Come and check it out if you get time..

    By Blogger BlogsFan, at 11:49  

  • that was a cewl post.. guess the media again blew the scenario out of proportion by just taking in a few words....

    By Blogger Balaji, at 11:52  

  • Worma - I think everyone has blown this out of proprtion.... I hope you did not mean to do that with your emphasis on some stuff because it is unfair

    By Blogger @mit, at 12:08  

  • amit....no mate..my emphasis, as I explained in the post, was to highlight that bit which is relevant in the current context (of game, of controversy, of the whole storm moving around)....and that means, IMO, the rest of the stuff is about general cricketing talk....not specifically about immediate situation (like improvement, processes etc etc)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:11  

  • Curiously enuff GC has not mentioned anything about the fielding and doing basics right i.e not bowling noballs, catching, etc. I hope he is aware of these issues but just forgot to mention those.

    About the issue, its a dead meat: more pounding on it will do no good. I am not sure he meant himself or the others when he said
    "
    as things come up from time to time, people get frustrated, say things that perhaps they dont really mean or as important as they are made out to be "

    By Blogger Amit, at 12:16  

  • I think he meant Lax and ganguly....they said some things out of frustration of struggle and pressure...and also that they werent supposed to be as big statements as they were made out to be

    By Blogger worma, at 12:24  

  • worma, don't u think 'i was asked to step down' is big enough statement by SG? i think that this was HUGE!! why is GC trying to play down the whole situation? i hope none of the team member r trying to read the reports floating around. i just hope. they shud now be busy repairing the damage internally.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:29  

  • mayur...I think if GC wanted SG to focus on batting only, then its not huge. For all we know, SG may go off as captain, and play as a batsman only, after this tour...lets wait and watch..there are hints of that already.

    So its huge only if GC meant that SG should leave this team as he is not deserving a place.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:33  

  • Neelan, great work pal. Saw this on the comments section earlier in the day and thought will say well done!

    By Blogger Harsha, at 12:38  

  • http://www.expressindia.com/cricket/fulleistory.php?content_id=54791

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 12:38  

  • worma,

    I see that the bungee-jumping bit is in bold. Is that some kind of allegory that I am missing? ;)

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:41  

  • worma, i wud not believe whatever GC has said here. we all know that he is a seasoned campainer and will not tell anything here in the media. SG already did a mistake by slipping that comment thru in the media. i personally don't think GC will spill the beans on tv. he is always going to paint a rosy picture.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:42  

  • jiet..LOL..I thought harsha wanted it to mean something :)...dont have a clue on this ;-)....but I highlighted as it just shows that guys are chilling out...not just sulking in the room...

    By Blogger worma, at 12:44  

  • mayur...sure.....no one shud take this on face value....ofcourse there has been an argument...and GC did not have to take a question on that directly.....but what he was trying to say was that the whole team is moving on (he indirectly did acknowledge that there are things have been said, but probably are not as big as being made out to be)..anyway...I take this interview to judge to subtle undertones on whats happening in the background...now surely however diplomatic GC may be, he will NOT go out with SG on golf trip...just to show to the world that things are ok. What do you think?

    By Blogger worma, at 12:48  

  • Worma: From this piece, Greg seems cool about the controversy. I tend to agree with Greg. There is obviously a lot of pressure on players mainly due to the losses in ODIs, but also from their own failures. One way to reduce this pressure is to work on the skills, and up the intensity and execution on the field. Winning helps. Do you think Frazer is a de facto bowling coach? I read they are working on the batsmen – but how does one get Laxman to move his feet? Running and fielding is going to be a problem for a few oldies, forget about judging singles.

    Harbhajan believes he was ignored by ex spinners but he is certainly listening to Greg. Gambhir is a puzzle. I thought Gambhir inconsistency would be the problem (he seems that way in both forms). But he is getting good starts but inexplicably not converting them. The shots he gets out on are quite lame - like giving catching practice to slips. Hopefully Greg can work on that. Pathan finally owns up and says he is working very hard on improving his batting. I feel Kaif and Yuvraj deserve as much consideration as any batsmen, Captain included. But is Zim any better than domestic cricket?

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 12:49  

  • ravi, interesting article there!! but again these are mere speculations. the minute i saw indian express, i thought it might be faisal sheriff, but i just hate when they do not put the name of the journo. just for the heck of speculations, just check TOI too. they r hilarious to say the least. gives me the odd chuckle.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 12:49  

  • >>>>>Worma : For all we know, SG may go off as captain, and play as a batsman only, after this tour...lets wait and watch..there are hints of that already<<<<<

    Worma, If Gangs isn't good enough as a captain, he isn't good enough as a player either. If he is sacked as a captain then he should be dropped from the team as well.

    That Said, I am really dissapointed at Greg's call. You dont ask your captain to drop himself that too before a test match. That's ridiculous.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 12:50  

  • oracle guy...am not getting into this one again mate ;)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:00  

  • GC, definitely has ventured into troubled waters even though he had the right to ask that question. after all he is being judged too. now that he has realised that this whole situation has snow-balled, the only option team india has is to repair the broken hut. thatnk god it happened in zim otherwise if we were on any major tour and this wud have happened, it wud have screwed our performance. the fact that we haven't won in harare gives me a scare, but zim is way down right now to even think about it. i hope we win it 2-0 even though a lot of people here r taking them for granted.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:02  

  • worma,

    I am fed up of these Indian journos who cook up these stories everyday. They used to do the same even when India was winning comfortably. SG has been the whipping boy for them from eternity and I dont know why. Even when India was winning consistently, some journalists just could not digest that. So, it does not come to me as a surprise that even when he hits a century, focus is entirley on him for his off the field acts. The artciles by Dilip and Vasu on Cricinfo smelled conspiracy. I just feel that there is something going on there. People are coming with views which are just based on whether they like some individuals or not.

    Indian express has this very poor writer called Harish. He was one of the many who started all this. In fact, indiatimes is no long behid. These days you see two entirely opposite views floating in TOI. One day you read Pro Gang comments and one day Anti Gang. This is all getting muddled and our destructive media is coming to the fore yet again.

    Regarding this controversy I would say that both GC and SG have made huge political mistakes. GC did not have any right to ask his captain to step down as this is not his business but that of selectors. If he had to air his views then he should have told selectors in the selection meetings (which he tries to evade..). He has to utilize whatever resources are given to him... SG would have done better by being quiite atleast for this series and then probably discuss the matter with board or coming out in public. To say something like this in the mioddle of a match is just not good for Indian cricket..

    Anyways salute Indian media for doing this time and again..u thrive on hype only and little substance..

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 13:12  

  • ravi, I agree...I can openly debate on many of the points made recently by Dileep and Anand, and even S Rajesh...in their recent articles about India (not just SG, whole team related articles also)...but then..as someone said yesterday...whats the point...read them...move on :)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:23  

  • ravi same has been said about media all around the world. there is no such source that u can trust. in the aftermath of katrina, both sides tried to make political headlines and brought up questions like 'who has to be blamed?' where people on the streets were struggling to get food and water. we all know that if u r a democrat then u shud be listening to al frankin while if u r a republican u shud be listening to rush linbuagh. npr had a series a few days ago talking about the sfalling standards of journalism where the really applauded the inroads made by new communication media like the one we r in right now, blogging. here u wud here different views to the same situation and that makes the whole debate interesting. i wud really take this opportunity to thank Prem for his amazing idea and the amount of work he has put in to get this thing going. kudos!!

    secondly, we bloggers shud not be worried about what is said in the media and nor shud the players shud. the only way the players and the management team is going to hit back is thru their performances. being a true indian fan, i am still waiting........

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:25  

  • Mayur,

    The problem is that Cricinfo was considered to be the best source of cricket stories, auhentic and genuine, but these guys have also started to express their personal prefernces. It is really painful for so many cricket fans who just want some good cricket news and articles. But they have been deprived of good journalism for ages now. It is pathetic that we still have to rely on indiatimes, Indian express, even rediff and so many websites in which the journos are always on a witch hunt. These are the same people who make gods or devils out of individuals as if cricket was not a game. Not even that, they never come with good ideas, positive comments, always focussing on individuals or cooking something out of nothing ..Cricinfo was a fresh ray of hope but even they seem to have been commercialized..Their coverage of Ashes was not adequate too and just had too much of hype and hoopla...

    oh, only if we had more prems..

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 13:38  

  • Patience my dear friends... patience... wait a few days, let things settle we will know whats going on. Dont jump on to anything .. conclussions or bungee yet...
    -KB

    By Blogger KB, at 13:41  

  • ravi, one good thing about cricinfo is that they tell u who is writing the piece. also they tell u that this is dileep's or rajesh's personal opinion. usually, they have 2 articles right next to each other where one talks about one side of the same issue while the other took the other side. was pretty fascinating. i guess the 'english view' and the 'australian view' kinda articles sprung from the same concept. was a very interesting concept. here it seems the whole cricketing staff seems to have the same opinion which is pretty interesting. but again one good thing about cricinfo is that they don't put words in anyones mouth and clearly state that this is their personal opinion.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:46  

  • The group, Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, has warned that its members would try to prevent Mirza from playing if she did not wear "proper clothes."

    "What she wears offends Islam. She will be stopped from playing if she doesn't adhere to it," Siddiqullah Chowdhry, the group's chief, told Reuters.

    This is ridiculous fanaticism

    To all my Muslim friends out there "what the heck is this?" I would like to take this Siddiqullah Chowdhry, strip him in public and whip him.

    By Blogger suraj, at 13:48  

  • mayur...not necessarily....they do try to make things seem diff than they are....e.g. Vasu's articles makes it seem like SG went to town singing about his removal as soon as he hit the ton....while actually what happened was that he answered it in the context of a question...and that too on repeated coercion (read my comment above on this paragraph in Vasu's report)...

    By Blogger worma, at 13:50  

  • I agree Worma.. There is definately a hint of personal bias when it comes to the Cricinfo writers discussing SG

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:52  

  • suraj don't disclose ur identity man. u might have been added to al qaida's 'khatam' list!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:54  

  • The worst of the cricket sites in my humble opinion is cricketnext and that obnoxious Sanjay Jha

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:56  

  • worma, u r missing my point here. it is still their personal opinion. they r entitled to have an opinion (or bias) against SG or whoever.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 13:56  

  • shri....actually its not all the writers.....for example...vaidhyanathan was pretty balanced in his opinions of the same match. Actually I dont mind unbalanced opinions also (from Vasu, or Premchandran etc)...what I mind is trying to fool people into picturising something that didnt happen. E.g. Vasu says 'the timing of gangulys statement was wrong....why did he do it after the century..why not before the game' !!!....now reading this..one would seem to think that ganguly called up a conf after his century to make the statement...while we know what really happened.

    What did Vasu expect...that SG would go to harsha before the match...and make him ask the 'right' question ? Duhh....these kind of statments come on post day interview...like Lax previous day...when journalists catch up the century maker etc..(or tv team invites them)

    By Blogger worma, at 13:56  

  • mayur, and you are missing mine :)...what I mean is that I am ok with biased opinions....what I'm not ok with is to use your power of opinions to make the 'facts' look different.....use it to paint a picture that did not exist

    By Blogger worma, at 13:57  

  • mayur,

    I don't care. This is getting worse by the day- hi time people started taking a stand against it

    By Blogger suraj, at 13:58  

  • suraj -hmmm, how about all those Muslim actresses and extras who appear in Bollywood films.. maybe the Jamaat ought to first get Salman Khan to cover up his torse!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 13:59  

  • absolutely.. am in total agreement with u worma.. vaidhyanathan covers domestic cricket in india and does a sterling job too.. ditto amit verma...and rahul bhatia...

    they are all exceptional writers and i doff my hat to them.. However, there seems to be a collective bias when it comes to writing about SG..

    I think this began with the 2001 series and Stephan Waugh getting riled up about Sauravs late coming for the toss.. And all of the Indian cricket writers got sanctimonous and began berating Saurav for the same..

    By Blogger SHRI, at 13:59  

  • I think this point has already been made but whatever the writers do, cricinfo itself is not biased. Some of the feedback they published on their site after the controversy:

    Everybody seems to have an agenda when it comes to commenting on cricketing issues in India. This includes your own Anand Vasu. How can a coach ask the captain of the team to step down? Chappell is trying to play god here. Let him first establish his credentials as coach before having a say in selection matters, let alone asking the captain to step down. Vimal Thareja India

    How naive can you get Anand Vasu? Are you saying that Ganguly is the sole cause for all that is going on? Throw your mind back to when Gavaskar wrote in a column that John Wright was abused by some Indian players and that is why he did not want to continue any more as coach. Coming from the greatest opener of all time, was that rightly timed? Just because it was not Ganguly you have chosen to ignore that statement. Similarly, nobody complains when VVS Laxman finds it very convenient time to refer to negative vibes in the team a day before Ganguly's statement. Anil Kumble too asked why he was being discriminated against after getting dropped for the Videocon Cup. India is in trouble and it is ironic that the man who gave a bunch of XI players the tag of a "Team" is being subjected to a witch hunt!! P Satish Kumar India

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:00  

  • Good one tiger! That was really funny!!!

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:01  

  • in fact, i wanted to raise this issue too...what the heck these fanatics think...will they change our way of living...do they want us to go back to centureis ago...we always say that we are a democratic nation..if this is democracy then I am not to take it...how long these people will continue to harass emerging muslims who are trying to remove the preconceived notions lot of indians have abt their community...now sania mirza not only have to take on sharapovas and serena williamss but on these 'terrorists' as well...and what is our highly secular government doing...sorry friends it is sligfhtly off topic but really some body has to come up and shut these guys or else we would be going 2 steps back every time we try to move forward...youngeters like sania mirza are our hopes..let them prevail..

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 14:02  

  • I guess they expect Sania to play in a "burqa" while Zeenat Amana could sing songs half naked and they will all stand in huge lines to catch the first shows

    Absolute hypocrisy!!!

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:03  

  • Well said Ravi- in a country where the President is a Muslim, a cricket captain was a Muslim forlong, a movie industry is ruled by the Khans and now a brave young lady takes on the tennis superstars these fanatics need to find another country to actualize their cavemen mentalities.

    Why don't they wear three layers of clothes and pretend they covered up Sania- fanatics.

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:07  

  • suraj,even I dont think cricinfo as an organisation is biased. And even Dileep, Vasu etc also do good pieces. Just that they have certain personal biases, which is also understandable. But they shouldnt use their writing to misguide the fact-seeking reader. That is my only complaint. I wont mind Vasu doing a whole article on why SG should retire (as I didnt mind the article from harsha on same issue)....because its clear what he wants to say(whether I agree or not) and also clear what facts and messages he is using to put across his argument. Thats all I need :)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:07  

  • worma, this is where i might get into murky waters. now lots of journos might have questioned SG about his captaincy. why did SG decided to spill the beans (not completely though) right after the century? it MIGHT be a misinterpretation on vasu's part as he thought that with a century behind him, SG can now spill the beans and create havoc in his own dressing room.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:09  

  • I am totally with you worma. Like I mentioned yesterday I am more pro- taking a stand rather than just report the sweet tidings but fact and fiction need to be distinguished- no doubts abt that and that is the first rule of ideal journalism.

    Unfortunately worma ideal and populist journalism are facing opposite directions

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:11  

  • who amongst you is in the tri state area?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:12  

  • shri

    me, toney , santa for sure

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:13  

  • wow!! we seem to have come up with lot of options for sania here.

    this is where people like Siddiqullah Chowdhry gain politican success. now half the indian urban population might already be talking about this guy.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:13  

  • count me in too

    and worma? what part of the world are u from?

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:13  

  • Abt the Sania issue, there's only one solution to that. Newspapers should just ignore those useless idiots. Hopefully, Sania Mirza will continue to wear what is best for her tennis than what suits a bunch of idiots who have no place in India. She's a kid and now, she has to deal with extremism just because she plays good tennis.

    Credit to GC for not giving away anything inspite of Harsha Bhogle and Shastri repeatedly trying to get him going with comments of golf and bungee-jumping. WIsh SG and VVS also showed the same restraint...

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:13  

  • exactly worma, the fact that every single report from dilip and vasu tehse days has something to say for SG smells conspiracy for me..are we playing a team game here...for long it has been potrayed that he is the only man responsible for india's debacles off late (though I suspect if it is a debacle esp in test cricket)..they seem to convey that if he is gone the long remaining problems of Indian cricket will be gone...well Indian cricket has been poor at a lot of times and SG was not then and there...they just like to get rid of him as if he is some kind of parasite for Indian cricket..this is all partiality...I can bet that removing him or anybody just would not solve any problems...journos should come with some positive comments ..if they have some brains, better put it in some better analysis

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 14:15  

  • toney, u r correct. can she tell sharapova that well, one of the many things on my minds is whether i will survive the next few years. ridiculous!!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:16  

  • think worma is in Finland, right? There are a few guys in UK too.

    I think cricktip is from Canada, we should probably compile a list here, with location and whatever necessary.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:16  

  • mayur...if SG was asked before the match, presumably by GC, to relinquish captaincy....then when was the first time he got question about captaincy? not before that harsha interview right?...also...did he just go and announce that statment to harsha ? from what I heard, it was a lot og nagging from harsha...isnt it? Did you see him being questioned that much about the captaincy issue before the harsha interview? And especially in this series anytime?

    By Blogger worma, at 14:17  

  • What VVS said, while not condonable, is still pardonable.. What ganguly said and did is not..GC will come out of this smelling like roses, an uneasy partnership between captain and coach will materialize until one of them is pushed out, and Indian cricket will suffer in the mean time.

    What is of interest is what approach does Team India take from this point on.Harare will be an useful pointer on what direction this team is heading.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:17  

  • shri, yeah as toney said, I'm based out of Finland....but still game for any party ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:18  

  • i am not far from the tri states. i am in new england, boston to be specific

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:19  

  • mayur,

    was just venting out abt the Sania issue. Unlike coolcat worma,some isuues just raise my temper. Like toney said the newspapers should try and ignore it but this was a real threat leading to security issues.

    shri we were having dicussions yesterday abt meeting up in NYC for a drink- nothing finalized yet

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:19  

  • any red sox or patriots fans here?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:19  

  • Mayur, so for all practical (read partying) purposes, you are in the tri-state area

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:21  

  • and ravi....I've been ponting out the anti-India bias in some of these articles for quite some time on this blog. I can even do a post...with specific examples and point by point analysi and I bet most of you would see the personal bias coming out in 'fact-reporting' of some of these journalists

    By Blogger worma, at 14:21  

  • mayur...i agree with worma that it was not that SG intended to come up with the comment after the century..it would be like this..first somebody leaked the story to ESPN STAR (may be our senior bowler)...SG is invited by HB, of course he would go as many people do after they perform well..HB coerces him on the captaincy issue (he knew everything?)...Ganguly fresh from a century would be a bit emotional abt everything and would be justified in thinking that he might have done a bit to salvage his pride....after a lot of coercion, he says what he might have avoided (and we all know he talks with passion)..and thus all of this...

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 14:21  

  • Am in CT...

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:22  

  • suraj, any celebrity in india has to have protection. i was reading an article in time about bollywood where they talked in details about the kind of protection people like amitabh and khans have around them. sania here atleast knows who is going for her, but many celebrities are not even sure who might end up gunning them. it is good that she has protection so that she does not have to worry about any fan (monica seles deal) going after her for some ridiculous reasons.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:24  

  • worma..did u read the articles by this guy Harish on IE..he was on the verge of being ridiculous after Ind-Pak series...i have never seen this kind of low jornalism on cricket...thankfully I am in US now, far from those TV channels like AT and NDTV...I wonder what they would be doing now:)

    By Blogger Ravi Agrawal, at 14:25  

  • lol toney. i thought u meant ture tri states which includes NY, NJ and CT

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:26  

  • havent seen faisal sharif write in a whle now.. wonder where he is

    By Blogger SHRI, at 14:26  

  • mayur,

    I am not a hard core Red Sox fan- just a Yankee hater so end up supporting Rde Sox whenever they play Yankees

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:27  

  • ravi, dont remember exactly about harish's articles...might have read...if you have any links pass on (any time..).. and yeah dude....NDTV is the biggest pain ;-)....Sonali Chandar, their sports editor...probably knows even less than Mandira Bedi about cricket!...(and is not even half her looks ;)

    By Blogger worma, at 14:28  

  • chalo you guys discuss the US jargons....me not getting anything ;)...outta here...see u later...maybe some more posts before the next game...or else the next match then

    By Blogger worma, at 14:30  

  • Nice interview with GC there! I like the way he articluates his thoughts about Indian cricket at large and individual players playing for the team. We can argue over whether he's best man for the job but at this point in time, I'm going to give him some serious leeway. Duncan Fletcher too four years to build the English cricket team, so let's be magmanimous.

    Let's accept the fact that this Indian team has a very long way to go in terms of assembling itself as a "killer outfit" and that GC has to have many more chats with SG and RS over shrimp cooked konkani style or goan, and rest assured Dalmiya and co, will be there to partake.

    At the risk of jump cutting, I'd like to suggest that Ganguly be retained the captain of the test tesm but only after he (and his supporters which include ex-players and businessmen who have no clue about cricket) agrees that Kaif will be the captain of the one day team. AS for Kaif and Yuvraj playing test cricket at the same time, we can take care of it, provided Ganguly does some serious introspection about his place in Indian cricket.

    By Blogger mustt_mustt, at 14:36  

  • worma,
    saw the game on TV. saw the GC interview. the bungee jump comment was by Arun Lal. he said that maybe GC and SG would bungee together to prove all is well.
    Another point I agree with you that matter is being blown out of proportion. ppl shld reserve their comments before knowing who said that and what was actual context and words

    By Blogger aditya, at 14:36  

  • worma,
    saw the game on TV. saw the GC interview. the bungee jump comment was by Arun Lal. he said that maybe GC and SG would bungee together to prove all is well.
    Another point I agree with you that matter is being blown out of proportion. ppl shld reserve their comments before knowing who said that and what was actual context and words

    By Blogger aditya, at 14:36  

  • Just to 'lighten up' the discussion...

    There was this old saadhu travelling in the train. The TTE comes to the comprtment and,

    TTE: Baba, Kahan jaa rahe ho?
    Baba: Beta, wahin jaa raha hun jahan Raam ka janam hua tha?

    TTE: Baba, ticket dikhao..
    Baba: Beta, woh to nahin hai..

    TTE: Tau chalo mere saath.
    Baba: Kahan beta?

    TTE: Wahin, jahan Krishna ka janam hua tha.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 14:37  

  • worma and ravi,

    agreed with u guys that vasu (might) has conviniently ignored the situation and gone ahead with his opinion. agreed.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:44  

  • lol santa

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:44  

  • hey neways I was wondering about Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan's bowling. Zaheer was way to flat for my taste in the game. on the other hand thgh IP pickd up 9 in the game, he is still too dependant on the swing factor and thus the condns. this makes him a 1D bowler, ineffective in other condns. I beleive IP is not yet ready for test Cricket an shld be mae to develop another 2 years away from test matches. he can develop some variations, add pace and wrk on his batting. This will help to make him the bowler an maybe evn the allrounder we need.
    I really fear he is in for some real bad times in the domestic season ahead.
    Wat do u guys think

    By Blogger aditya, at 14:45  

  • anyways do u guys have the transcript for the SG-bhogle chat (the infamous one)? neelan my friend, can u please unwind ur cell phone?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:46  

  • good one santa

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:48  

  • worma, r there any cricket followers in finland?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:48  

  • aditya, the real place for him to learn his skill is now international cricket. he definitely has the pottential to grow as a bowler.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 14:50  

  • Yes aditya,

    Th edifference between Pathan and zaheer at this stage is that Pathan shows potential to grow- it has to be at the international stage. Zaheer has been off and on too many times and just doesn't seem to reach those heights.

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:01  

  • Hi Guys,

    Just read Anand Vasu's article on cricketInfo. I am no fan of Ganguly but after reading it Ganguly is made out to be Shakuni Mama (sorry Dada)of Indian Cricket

    By Blogger jaiho, at 15:05  

  • Worma,

    A question for You. Why when Dinesh Mongia has been doing so well, he is not selected even for one day matches.

    By Blogger jaiho, at 15:06  

  • jaiho

    I think worma has left the building

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:14  

  • Guys, enough of SG-GC-Bhogle. Although it's a cricket blog, but just like we duscussed Sania, can you guys take a look at stunning Mallika Sherawat on Rediff 'Movies' section and let's discuss her? I think both Prem and Worma are huge fans of Sherawat and won't mind a bit. Let me ask you the first question. When you look at those pics, what do you notice first? :)

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:35  

  • Dadagiri ... i notice that Sherawat has a lot of unecessary clothes on!

    By Blogger srik, at 15:48  

  • lol srik

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:50  

  • maybe we shud get her into commentrating... what say?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:51  

  • LOL. But that was necessary pal, otherwise Rediff wouldn't have probably published the pics and we won't be having this discussion right now.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:52  

  • sit her right by sunny and see him sweat big time haha

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:52  

  • Mayur :- she definitly will be a 'BIGGER' hit than mandira ....

    By Blogger srik, at 15:54  

  • if not commentating atleast as a TV anchor

    By Blogger srik, at 15:55  

  • Sure, why not? She can't do any worse than Mandira. BTW folks, while on commentators, do you know what apna Sidhu is up to these days? He's one of the judges (along with Sekhar Suman) in 'The Greatest Indian Laughter Challenge' contest. He's so irritating. While the contestents are telling their jokes, not only he starts laughing out loud, but he'll also repeat the joke to Sekhar who's sitted next to him and the mike will pick it up prompting the contestent to stop and then start with the act again once Sidhu is done.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 15:55  

  • that is irritating

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:57  

  • he don't seem to be a part of the commentary team here i guess

    By Blogger Mayur, at 15:58  

  • he is kind of irritating in the movie mujhse shaadi karogi. goes overboard! bhajji and patel were awesome

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:00  

  • As far as I know, he was kicked out of the team quite sometime back. You can only go so far with limited cricketing expertise and idiotic jokes.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:00  

  • yeah haven't heard of him for a while now

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:01  

  • i heard a while back that brand srt is struggling in india. is it true?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:04  

  • i guess the only person stable in this lineup is dravid? the last time i went to india, i saw a lot of poster with dravid on them. his company seems to be selling him very well.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:06  

  • It's true to an extent, but nothing specifically about SRT alone. It seems Sania is cutting into the cricketer's market. One report even suggested that she's getting as much as Rs. 1.5 crore for an ad, the same that Dravid gets. But Sanjay Lal, the CEO of one management company (can't remember the name) rubbished that claim. So may be the truth is somewhere in between. Sania may not be getting that much right now, but she's definitely getting into a market which was till now dominated only by cricketers.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 16:10  

  • it is surprizing that leander and hesh never got that kind of money. is it because of the pottential? is it because of her looks or is it because she now a youth icon in the sports crazy country where cricket is not giving them enough to cheer about. personally i think it is the 3rd one (uth icon). she still has 6-7 more years but she better be fast. i guess she is already #34.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:13  

  • there was a time last year when she was beating seeded players like kuznetsova et al. she seems to have stopped doing that.i hope see has enough money to hire a top-of-the-line coaching staff. give her everything she wants and then let her fulfill the pottential

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:16  

  • hey, the BCCI AGM & elections are coming up:

    http://web.mid-day.com/sports/international/2005/september/118543.htm

    “Mr Pawar is going to contest the election and we are confident that he will win,” former BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur told Mid Day on telephone from Udaipur.

    “He’s doing his homework, contacting people and getting the response. We are already assured of 17 votes out of 30, and with a little bit of luck we will be having 18 in a week’s time,” revealed Dungarpur.

    The last BCCI elections, held at Kolkata in September 2004, turned out to be an acrimonious affair with Mahendra defeating Pawar, thanks to Dalmiya’s casting vote. . .

    "Dungarpur dismissed talks about Punjab Cricket Association president Inderjit Singh Bindra having switched over to the Dalmiya camp: “It’s a kind of a joke,” retorted Dungarpur.

    “He’s only joined the marketing committee for the sake of Indian cricket because the BCCI had lost out nearly 300 crore rupees because of the TV rights fiasco."

    what TV rights fiasco?

    WRT to this take a look at this old (Mar 2005) Amit Varma article called "Bindra's Wishlist"

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/145891.html

    `Bindra's Wishlist: Two - The BCCI should start a TV Channel
    "India is the hub of world cricket," says Bindra, "and we should exploit that. Why sell the TV rights if we can exploit them ourselves? We should start a TV channel. And I have a blueprint for how it would run.

    "First, we would show 100 days of international cricket in India. . .

    "That's 100 days of international cricket," I say. "What about the rest of the year?" And that takes us to the next two points on Bindra's wishlist.

    Bindra's Wishlist: Three - Promote domestic cricket
    "It is not fair," says Bindra, "that international cricketers make so much money when domestic cricketers get just a lakh a year. Now, why has Sachin become such a star? It is because his face is seen on TV all the time. Before the days of television, great players did not make so much money. Television makes the difference, and that is why we need to promote domestic cricket, to get local cricketers on TV.

    "I find it ridiculous that people in India watch US college basketball on TV - college basketball, mind you - and don't watch the Ranji Trophy final."

    Bindra's Wishlist: Four - Start an international league
    "We should start a league like the European soccer leagues," says Bindra. "Build it around cities or states, and a fierce local following will develop. Invite international players. With the audiences in India, it can reach the level of European soccer.

    "It can be bigger than international cricket. Bindra says that Lalit Modi, who currently runs cricket in Rajasthan, made a proposal just like this recently, planning to get scores of international cricketers at Rs 1 crore each. The feasability of investing that kind of money was arrived at after talks with a certain TV channel. All the loose ends were tied up, but the BCCI vetoed his idea. "Vested interests again," says Bindra."'

    If we're lucky, something very good could be happening for Indian cricket in the next two weeks (and I don't mean Ganguly's sacking;). Let's hope so.

    By Blogger roublen, at 16:18  

  • mayur:

    Just like cricket coaches spend a lot of time studying opposotion, probably tennis coaches do the same. My guess is that last year Sania was new on top international circuit, she was an unknown entiy. Now that she has played top seeded players, opposition coaches are analyzing her game, finding her weaknesses and telling their players to exploit them.

    What surprises is the fact that she has suddenly started making a lot of "unforced" errors. If she can bring down her unforced errors and double-faults, she will definetly improve.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:22  

  • ruchir,
    To make very few unforced errors and yet have a lot of winners is impossible unless you are Federer.
    Doesnt she have a full time coach yet? ven Federer's got one now, I think..

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:26  

  • rushir,
    sania did'nt **sudenly started makeing a lot of unforced error**, that is the way she has played always. almost 80% of the matches she had won, they have gone to 3 sets.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 16:31  

  • toney, one of her coaches John Farrington gave an interview right before and after she got creamed by sharapova. who is this john farrington. getting the right coach is so imp. andy roddick seems to be switching coaches left and right. but no coach can get any one of the players to defeat federer. he is too good. the semis and the finals though gave an impression that even he can be defeated.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:33  

  • interesting stats santa. she shud minimize the amount of time she spends on the court for the first few rounds. most of them shud read 6:1, 6:0. i hope!!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:34  

  • toney:

    Agreed. But look at it this way. Mostly Sania makes errors when she tries to hit cute shots (that other highly seeded players hit successfully). She can do 2 things here. One, she reduces the number of cute (risky) shots she tries and tries to get the ball across and fall inside the court. Two, she does tremendous amount of practice on her risky shots so that she can get them right more often.

    Now, she is not goning to improve her accuracy immediately. So, I guess, her best option is to cut her risky shots until she perfects them and then start hitting them. Probably, her coach would have already thought so or maybe he will have some other options.

    This thing is true in cricket too. Remember SRT cut all his risky shots in AUS and scored 300 notout in AUS!!! Maybe, just maybe, same thing would work in tennis too.....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:35  

  • mayur,
    Watching Federer in those matches, I felt that he was having only a marginally bad day and suddenly people started saying that he's lost his touch :). Even his round of 16, quarters (which were strt set victories) were received with that feeling that he was not in great form. I guess thats the kind of standards he's setting more than anything else.
    Andy Roddick's first round exit was a shocker, even if I am no fan of him. And I lost all my love for Agassi after Paes lost to him in that semifinal of the Atlanta Olympics :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:37  

  • ruchir, but her winners help her win games. she hits a large # of winners. though u r right that she shud start playing percentage tennis.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:37  

  • toney and mayur,

    I read it in newindpress.com, couple of days back, that her Aussie Coach, is no longer with her.. reason being, that the Bhupathi's company, who manages her, didn't approve the costs of that manager. I again do not remember who her current (for last 9 months) is, but I think he is somewhere from the original USSR region.
    What the Bhupathy's comapny has allowed is, that Saania can **consult** her original coach **periodically** for a 2-4 weeks stints.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 16:38  

  • ruchir, Sania is not as fit as some of the rest. I dont think she has it in her (yet) to win a slugfest of that sort. Look at Sharapova, she's 18-19 too, yet her game's already so good. I think Sania's main aim should be to be a fitter player. Else, she would have to continue to go for her shots rather than try a more safe game.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:40  

  • ruchir,

    Saania's biggest problem is her service. If she can reduce her service errors, she'll go places.
    As for the *cute* shots, mostly they are placed correct, and it is because of theese shots only, she is where she is now. So I do not think that she should do anything to her shots ... man!! when she hits them.. she hits them hard

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 16:41  

  • toney, true. but if agassi wud have held on to win the third set after being 4-2 up the game wud have become a tad more interesting. but herein lies the greatness of federer that he raises his game just when he needs them. not even once did his 1st serve desert him. thats class. on the other hand agassi struggled with his first serve since the end of first set.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:42  

  • http://us.rediff.com/cricket/2005/sep/16arvind.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

    one of rediffs crackpot but thought it was interesting read

    By Blogger tombaan, at 16:43  

  • I wonder how much Sania must be making from endorsements. I am sure she can afford a full time coach, it seems strange that her mgment group disapproved the costs of her previous coach. And I think it is impossible to do well consistently in tennis without a ful time coach. See how the Williams sisters played with her father as coach. And then, a couple of weaknesses crept into their game.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:44  

  • mayur, true abt Federer being above the rest now. In fact, I remember, I was watching this at a friend's house and every single other person wanted Agassi to win, it being posisbly his last GSlam finals blah blah...
    And the way Federe lifted his game was unbelievable. Till then, Agassi, who seemed to be paying the best tennis of his life seemed to have afair chance. Once Federer became Federer, Agassi stood no chance.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:46  

  • mayur:

    Agree that she wins her games thru Winners, but so does most players, right? :-)

    toney:

    Yes, she need to be fitter. But until she gets her fitness up there, she should not keep loosing because of her risky shots.

    Take a look at this stat from usopen.org:

    Sania vs Sharapova (sania lost)
    unf errors: 23 / 14
    dbl faults: 6 / 1
    winners: 10 / 16

    Sania vs Bartoli (sania won)
    unf errors: 14 / 49
    dbl faults: 4 / 7
    winners: 45 / 3

    Sania's winners reduced dramaticaly when her "unforced" errors increased. If she keep playing risky game, she will be loosing more and her ranking will go down quickly. In my opinion, her safest bet would be to play a safe game, keep her ranking around what it is and raise her fitness and accuracy.

    Once she does that she should break into top 20 quickly.... I hope...

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:47  

  • that rediff crackpot seems to be Sidhu in disguise. The use of Cheshire cat, dead as a dodo...

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:52  

  • ruchir,
    you are looking at only 2 matches.. and that is not a whole lot go into some conclusions.

    By Blogger santa_from_NJ, at 16:53  

  • toney???? what r u talking about?

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:53  

  • Sania may be a bit too old to have a sustained success at the highest level. But hopefully she is going to be a role model for younger Indian girls aspiring for success in professional tennis.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 16:54  

  • i have never seen her play. i wud want to. if she is struggling with her fitness, why is she taking part in competitions at bali. was she having a vacation and decided, hey what the heck let me win one while i am on vacation.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:55  

  • 18 years is not too old miyazaki. i wud say that if she is 22.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 16:56  

  • I could only find US open stats quickly. Other tournaments can be researched too. I guess then we will surely have a better insight into her game....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 16:56  

  • Mayur said...
    toney???? what r u talking about?


    Mayur, tombaan posted a link on SG by a reader. I was referring to that.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:59  

  • It is not too old but her ranking is way low for 18. She should have achieved this ranking atleast 2 years ago. But she is the first one and all kudos to her. I see her more as an example for younger girls than anything else. I won't expect too much success in terms of grand-slam championships, etc. though. Most of the women stars won their first big ones by this age.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 16:59  

  • toney:

    Arvind Lavakare is an old Rediff columnist. Once he had a kind of bet with Prem. He said that he was going to write and Article on SRT making him look very bad and blowing up his myth. Prem had said that go ahead and do that. After you I will do an article in reply that will demolish point you will raise.

    Both did their articles. Maybe, when Prem comes back he can post links to those articles and we can read them again....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 17:03  

  • Arvind Lavakare would know about making anyone or anything look bad if he so decided.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 17:07  

  • Ruchir:
    I think this is the article you are talking about.
    http://www.rediff.com/worldcup99/india/opinion/2904prem.htm

    Arvind lavakare BTW is a complete right wing nut.

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 17:07  

  • That article is sensational journalism at its worst- and I am saying this despite being one of those who does not believe SG deserves a place in the team

    Shame to Arvind whoever...

    By Blogger suraj, at 17:08  

  • Ruchir, that seems like fun. Doesnt seem like he's the most straightforward person going around, though

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:09  

  • I wonder why Rediff continues to post the opinions of such nut-cases, even if they come under "reader's opinions".

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:10  

  • Lavakare has spent a good deal of time bashing Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, etc. Savarkar et al are his usual flavour.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 17:12  

  • mr. v:

    Exactly. :-)

    That was Prem's reply and he has link to original article by Lavakare in it. Very interesting to read... :-)

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 17:12  

  • Mr V , thanks for the article. I remember reading this a long time ago.

    One of Prem's best articles!!!!!

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:30  

  • prem dealt with it

    By Blogger ajoy, at 17:30  

  • I dont understand this guy Arvind's article on SRT either. And while Prem refuted almost everyone of his stupid statistical pointers, I just ask Prem one questions, "Why bother?"

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:38  

  • miyazaki Kim Clijsters from Belgium won her first grandslam at the us opens. she was 22. as i said mirza has 4-6 more years left in her.

    By Blogger Mayur, at 17:39  

  • SG & GC tussle:

    SG went to GC to ask for his 'frank' opinion whom to include for T1. Then, GC said, SG should sit out....rest is history in the making...

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/htcricket/14_17090511.htm

    By Blogger Rajg, at 17:39  

  • kya traas hai.. why dont they just decide who goes out of the team (GC or SG) and let the rest of us get on with our lives...

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:47  

  • Here is LP Sahi


    Coach, captain douse fire, ashes fly
    LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI
    Calcutta, Sept. 16: Greg Chappell and Sourav Ganguly haven’t exactly kissed and made up, but both don’t want the Bulawayo controversy to exacerbate either.
    Questions, though, continue to pop up.
    About the tenability (and propriety) of Chappell asking Sourav to step down before the first Test; about Sourav’s own wisdom in answering a question he could have parried with “no comments….”
    There are others, too.
    Despite the potentially Katrina-like development, the Team India coach and captain shook hands and congratulated each other after the innings win over Zimbabwe this afternoon.
    Chappell and Sourav also joined the double celebration — the other occasion being rookie Dheeraj Jadhav’s 26th birthday — in the Queens Sports Club dressing room.
    Unlike most in the squad, neither the coach nor captain is heading for Victoria Falls tomorrow. Instead, they go straight to Harare, where the second (and final) Test begins on Tuesday.
    It’s to be seen whether a one-on-one is initiated to revive a working relationship, at least.
    In any case, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s message to Chappell and Sourav has been unambiguous: Let the (“childish” as a functionary put it) controversy die down and focus on better cricket.
    “What happened can’t be settled either by removing the coach or captain… That can’t be the solution,” is what somebody very influential in the board told The Telegraph.
    Manager Amitabh Choudhary is now the chief firefighter as well and has the “freedom” to tackle even delayed unpleasantness in the manner he deems best.
    Quite remarkably, the manager doused the fire when it started, on Monday, and quickly got into the act after Sourav’s sensational media conference last evening.
    Choudhary spoke to both Chappell and the captain minutes after the ‘I-was-asked-to-step-down’ dhamaka.
    Vice-captain Rahul Dravid was also (again) brought into the loop. He termed the “leak” and its fallout as “most unfortunate”.
    Apparently, the manager interacted with the coach and captain this morning, too. Just to clear the air — for now, certainly.
    Chappell didn’t comment when this newspaper telephoned him, but a confidant later said: “Yesterday, he was very hurt on learning that something discussed between him and the captain had leaked. Today, he has been fine and is convinced his talk had a motivational effect.”
    Sourav scored 101, his first Test century in 21 months.
    Chappell’s roots are in a school which favours the captain being picked after the best have been chosen.
    Sourav, for his part, remarked: “It’s not an issue I wish to talk about… I hope the media will respect my wishes…”
    There was, however, a change from last night: The captain sounded relaxed.
    Footnote: National selector Pranab Roy feels Chappell “should at least” have spoken to chief selector Kiran More before asking Sourav to step down. “I don’t have details first-hand, but there’s a protocol for everything,” he said.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:48  

  • and here is the Indian Express Editorial

    Captain’s knock

    Why is the BCCI so quiet when there is obvious tension in the Indian dressing room?

    The most distressing aspect of the goings-on in Zimbabwe is not the fact that Sourav Ganguly aired dirty linen in public, or the assumption that Greg Chappell had pushed him into doing so. Of greater concern than either of these developments — or of the equally condemnable public outburst by V.V.S. Laxman the previous day — is the deafening silence of their common paymaster, the BCCI.

    A day after the event, there has been no statement to assure cricket fans that the matter is under control, that the dressing room is united, that Laxman has been pulled up and coach and captain reined in. Had Laxman been disciplined, Ganguly — a smirk on his face and a facile century under his belt — might have thought twice before outing his coach. Now, faced with two strong characters, the Board must do what it hates doing most of all: act decisively. It has seriously miscalculated the strength of Greg Chappell’s commitment to the task at hand, and the breadth of his powers, else it would have taken care of the many minor issues that have irritated the coach. And it may have underestimated Ganguly’s hunger to retain the captaincy. This is not a minor inconvenience like shoddy stadiums or a badly-run domestic league that can be swept under the matting track. This is in full public glare on primetime television, a language it understands well.

    If India’s cricket fans are feeling especially let down, at least they can take heart from a strikingly similar situation at the venerable Football Association. The FA, so well-known that it doesn’t even have ‘England’ mentioned in the name, is faced with an underperforming, overpaid coach, a rift in the dressing room over a captain past his peak and a game that, fuelled by TV rights, is going beyond the reach of the common man. Its response to a decline in standards has been to devise ways of making even more money. The fans’ response, though in its very early stages, has been to try and take back control of their game. Maybe it’s time we did the same.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:52  

  • and some more

    Ganguly, Chappell: Two headstrong men with differing philosophies

    Press Trust of India

    Bulawayo, September 16: Sourav Ganguly’s disclosure that he was asked to step down as captain before the first Test has left a trail of facts which can offer a clue as to how best to bring the rapprochement between two leading figures of Indian cricket.

    Ganguly is unhappy for what he believes to be a personal slight to him but to suggest that coach Greg Chappell has a personal, narrow agenda would be completely off the mark.

    Chappell has been outstanding with his work ethics and to see him, as well as his assistant Ian Frazer, work with the boys has simply been awesome.

    It also must surprise many to know of their differences since both Ganguly and Chappell have only been full of admiration for each other in the past.

    Ganguly, before the 2003-04 tour Down Under, air-hopped to Australia to seek personal batting lessons from Chappell and later said in gratitude it revived his batting form.

    Chappell on his part was impressed with Ganguly’s commitment to his cricket and the passion he has for Indian cricket.

    Well-placed sources even aver that Ganguly persuaded Chappell to cast his hat in the ring after a replacement was sought for John Wright as India’s coach.

    It then might even appear bizarre that in just a matter of three weeks there has been such a sharp fall-out between the two headstrong men.

    Ganguly says he was asked to step down as captain and Chappell avers that he only discussed the composition of the side. The truth is somewhere between these two stated positions.

    There is little secret that Chappell has been impressed with the work ethics of Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif and probably wanted both of them to play the Bulawayo Test.

    It could only have been possible if Gautham Gambhir was compromised as opener--a la Akash Chopra--or if Ganguly had voluntarily pulled out of the eleven.

    Piecing together the facts, it would appear that Chappell tossed him the idea on the eve of the Test which upset Ganguly so much that he stormed out of the practice session for half an hour.

    Ganguly, given his recent state of mind, must have thought of a conspiracy being hatched against him for Chappell also seemed to have later discussed the issue with vice-captain Rahul Dravid, and manager Amitabh Chowdhary.

    Ganguly struck back in vengeance by sidelining Mohammad Kaif, a cricketer who Chappell is especially fond of given the youngster’s commitment and rapid improvement.

    It would appear that there have also been a few other issues on which Ganguly and Chappell have not seen eye-to-eye.

    Venugopala Rao was put in as number three in the opening game of the tri-series and then as an opener in the next game and in both the matches he failed to get off the mark. It would appear that Chappell and company were not in favour of it.

    Ironically, it is Chappell who has been advocating that players should be flexible enough to bat at different positions while Ganguly has missed no opportunity to stress that batsmen must be allowed to grow in their batting positions.

    Ganguly’s insecurity that there are forces out to get him must have been strengthened by the way a few of his own supporters in the team have been treated in recent weeks.

    It is learnt that Ashish Nehra barely made it to Sri Lanka even though Chappell had publicly felt he wasn’t completely fit. Zaheer Khan was then left out for the ODI series in New Zealand and a few others have privately murmured that they have been marked out for special attention.

    Truth, if any, is that both Ganguly and Chappell are headstrong persons who have their own philosophy of running the team.

    Ganguly might feel that Chappell’s methods could destabilize the team, and him in particular, while Chappell could be excused in believing that changes must be effected now rather than six months down the line by which time he could have missed the bus.

    As Indian cricket lurches at the start of the season, both are needed. If Ganguly scores runs, there should be no questions on his place in the team, or captaincy.

    As for Chappell, the Indian cricket officialdom needs to support him for he is a tireless worker, a man of rare stature who is keen to take Indian cricket to new heights.

    Personal conflicts can mar the bigger picture. Ganguly or Chappell should not be sacrificed in haste. It wouldn’t befit the board to fish in troubled waters if it is the interest of Indian cricket they have in mind.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:54  

  • and here is Peter Roebuck

    Ganguly must be backed or sacked

    According to the Australians, Laxman is a magnificent batsman who rises to challenges and responds to responsibility



    Peter Roebuck

    A man must beware his own prejudices. Otherwise the same deed can be interpreted in different ways. V.V.S. Laxman and Sourav Ganguly scored centuries in the Test match in Bulawayo. A danger arises that they may provoke different reactions.

    My opinion about Laxman has not changed from the day he belaboured the Australian attack in Sydney. In those days, the Australians could bowl. His name ought to be written down before the selectors start thinking about their side. It is a strength of the current Indian team that the same can be said about another seven or eight players. Over the last few seasons the Indian team has changed only at the fringes.

    As far as the Australians are concerned, Laxman is a magnificent batsman who rises to challenges and responds to responsibility. Perhaps, it is part of the Australians' arrogance that players who succeed against them are highly regarded and those who fail are dismissed as duds. As a rule of thumb, though, it has worked well over the years.

    Classy knocks

    Laxman also played a decisive innings on the dust bowl in Wankhede and his contribution in Kolkata in 2001 wasn't too bad either! These were innings mighty of conception and superb of execution. Laxman is not some corporal running around cursing troops. He is a general, intent on winning wars. India might be able to find more reliable batsmen but none likelier to overcome powerful opponents.

    Admittedly Laxman has limitations in limited-overs cricket but that's like claiming a singer is no good because he misses a few notes in his bath. If his fielding and running between the wickets are not up to scratch then omit him from the one-day side. It's not complicated. Justin Langer does not play in the Australian ODI outfit. If India has six better Test batsmen than the Hyderabadi then my name is Virender.

    Laxman's hundred against Zimbabwe, though, proves precious little. Bulawayo is a batsman's pitch and the bowling reflected an ailing country's famed but fading hospitality. As it happens, I coached several of the Zimbabweans as schoolboys and a few of them seemed to have the wherewithal to play Test cricket.

    Totally meaningless

    Although Ganguly's hundred was scored under pressure, it was no more significant than Laxman's century or Dravid's 77. These efforts are collated by statisticians and recorded in the history books, but in cricketing terms they are almost entirely meaningless.

    Ganguly occupied the crease, worked hard and batted with the utmost determination but any batsmen with a pinch of salt could have reached three figures in these circumstances.

    Likewise, the cases for and against Ganguly remain untouched. India ought to be grateful for the contribution the Bengali has made to its cricket.

    His deeds have been documented often enough, his fearlessness against all comers, the humorous way he upset the Australians, the magnificent captain's innings in Brisbane, his successful and drawn campaigns against Australia, and the way he took his side to the World Cup final. Assisted by young or intelligent players, he has helped to restore the reputation of Indian cricket and has given a nation the team it deserves.

    However, that does not mean that he has the freedom of the city. Nothing lasts forever. Ganguly's failures against Australia and Pakistan are black marks against his name. His inability to inspire his players also counts against him.

    He fields badly, runs poorly between the wickets and, crucially, puts his mid-off in the wrong place. His time is up. But it is gutless to ask him to stand down. Strong management is needed. Ganguly must be backed or sacked.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 18:00  

  • i was dissapointed on reading that LP Sahi article .... looks like the whole issue is gonna be swept under the carpet and gang and greg will issue a joint statement saying 'past is past and we r moving fwd' ......

    By Blogger srik, at 18:05  

  • The very last thing we need for Indian cricket is the very first thing thats going to happen. if this situation is allowed to fester, we will have more cracks in the team than the fifth day MCG wicket in the 80s.

    The BCCI should now live up to thier name and exercise some semblance of control. Saurav ganguly must be given the option of either being sacked or given a VRS. the Zim series should be the last one he plays.

    RD becomes captain with either Virender Sehwag or Kaif appointed his deputy. I am inclined to go with kaif because of his captaincy record whilst VS has no captaincy record to speak of ( dont think he captains the Delhi ranji team).

    After WC 2007, we can have the next change of guard...

    ganguly can always find a commentating role and/or can be a part of the NCA setup :)

    By Blogger SHRI, at 18:11  

  • rajg, interesting article. I'd be very surprised if Chappell really said "it's him or me", though. It sounds like something a reporter would make up. If we had a strong domestic system which put all the contenders through a good trial before the beginning of each international season, then we would know which players were better than whom. We wouldn't have to guess.

    I'm not sure which is the right call, but I think dropping Ganguly as a player is much more iffy than it seems on paper. I'd actually think about replacing gambhir with kaif and keeping ganguly at number six. So the batting order would be: kaif, sehwag, dravid, laxman, srt, ganguly. In place of SRT, substitute Yuvraj or gambhir or whoever.

    I think the bowling is more of a concern than the batting, because pathan, nehra and khan are so inconsistent. Sometimes very, very good and sometimes mediocre. The top 4 pace bowlers in the country are those 3 + balaji. I really liked Agarkar in the 99 world cup but I don't much like this new trundling agarkar that we've seen lately. RP Singh I also was not impressed with. Anyone know anything about good pace bowlers outside of the front 4? I've read some good things about Gagandeep Singh. Any theories on why the three left-armers are so inconsistent? And Balaji has been a steady performer, but does he have the potential to grow into something more?

    By Blogger roublen, at 18:14  

  • I see one thing. It is not just this blog that is discussing Ganguly extensively. He is the flavor of the moment everywhere!!! :-)

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 18:14  

  • Agree with you roublen- the whole "it's me or him" sounds fabrication

    By Blogger suraj, at 18:17  

  • He asked for it Ruchir.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 18:18  

  • i bet that .... if SG is forced to retire ... he will apply for the coach posn and compete against greg :-)

    By Blogger srik, at 18:20  

  • Somewhere in all this SG's performances will become a mute factor and he will stay on forever just to keep peace

    By Blogger suraj, at 18:22  

  • srik,


    I don't think any selector or the board has the guts to force him to retire- there is too much fanatic hype behind him to allow focus on his performances

    By Blogger suraj, at 18:23  

  • All it needs is for SG to not perform in harare.. Then the knives will be out in full force
    And if india do not win the ODI series against SL and SA, gangs history. either that or GC is history

    By Blogger SHRI, at 18:23  

  • Suraj,

    Right now I think SG is cashing on history and the time when he made team india TEAM INDIA. Hoever, the goodwill has been eroding for some time now and his non performance has only accelerated the process. I do not think his admission to the press, either coerced or willingly, is going to reverse this. Infact, I believe that this has further eroded the remaining goodwill SG has amongst Team India fans..

    he is coming across as an obstinate, grouchy man who is willing to block the progress of more deserving members of the team on account of his ego. And he is also a non performing captain, 100 against Zim or not.

    Now, the powers to be in the BCCI may prolong his stay as captain,but I seriously doubt if he evokes the kind of emotions he once did

    By Blogger SHRI, at 18:29  

  • Mayur: Yes, Kim Clijsters won her first grand slam at the age of 22. But she broke through top 50 by age 16 already. Anyway, before I am branded as anti-Sania, my best wishes for her and may she play great tennis and win many tournaments for years to come.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 18:48  

  • Arvind has written a good article about Ganguly. I think people like Peter Roebuck (Hindu) and Anand Vasu and Dileep from cricketinfo are trying to say the same.

    Ganguly would do a world of good to his image if he goes out gracefully. He has done so much for Indian cricket and it will look really very ugly if he is sacked.

    By Blogger jaiho, at 19:26  

  • Another piece of bullshit artice in Rediff Today. Some asshole called Arvind Lavra kare.

    http://us.rediff.com/cricket/2005/sep/16arvind.htm?q=tp&file=.htm

    Now you can dismiss Rediff (except Prem and a notable exception at that) and Indiatimes , but Cricinfo is a highly respected site with magnificient features like All Today's Yesterdays etc. As someone pointed out, nowadays some of their Indian staff have been aiaring their own prejudices . So the lesson here is- go to cricinfo (any genuine cricket lover will go to Cricinfo), read the bulletin, but not the verdict. The staff are not experts to give verdicts. If you happen to read something which smells like the writer is trying to prove a point, dismiss it. Dileep Premachandran is no Richie Benaud. So take him with a pinch of salt. No need of endless debate on what Premachandran has written.

    But Rediff even though it has given a disclaimer, should realise that its readers dont deserve to read such crap like the one Mr. Lavra has written when the link to the article has been so prominently displayed. Rediff cricket is a different kettle of fish without Prem.

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 20:42  

  • Interesting debate over fire stoked by Premachandran (yesterday) and Vasu (today) in Cricinfo.

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/219435.html

    An excerpt:

    How naive can you get Anand Vasu? Are you saying that Ganguly is the sole cause for all that is going on? Throw your mind back to when Gavaskar wrote in a column that John Wright was abused by some Indian players and that is why he did not want to continue any more as coach. Coming from the greatest opener of all time, was that rightly timed? Just because it was not Ganguly you have chosen to ignore that statement. Similarly, nobody complains when VVS Laxman finds it very convenient time to refer to negative vibes in the team a day before Ganguly's statement. Anil Kumble too asked why he was being discriminated against after getting dropped for the Videocon Cup. India is in trouble and it is ironic that the man who gave a bunch of XI players the tag of a "Team" is being subjected to a witch hunt!! P Satish Kumar India

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 20:59  

  • Some more Ganguly news.

    Nick Hoult of Daily Telegraph here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2005/09/17/scindi17.xml&sSheet=/sport/2005/09/17/ixcrick.html

    Financial Express editorial (sic) makes another speculation here.[http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=102770]

    "There have always been personality clashes in the Indian cricket team. If it was Kapil Dev versus Sunil Gavaskar at one point of time, it is Ganguly versus Rahul Dravid now. "

    Oh really!

    But this writer of the Indian express surpasses even him.[http://www.expressindia.com/cricket/fulliestory.php?content_id=78306]

    "But to see Ganguly merely as arrogant and perverse — and cussed — is to miss the point, and miss out on the better qualities of the man, maddening and infuriating though he is. For the same person who has reservations playing under Rahul Dravid happily played under Rohan Gavaskar for Bengal in a Ranji match last season. "

    I have reservations accepting your view dude. So when did you hear Ganguly airing reservations of playing under Dravid. While you were smoking funny thing in bed? huh?

    Meanwhile the BCCI has said no comments too.

    [http://www.chennaionline.com/colnews/newsitem.asp?NEWSID=%7B1ACC4C1D-037E-4424-9725-AECA53006019%7D&CATEGORYNAME=National]

    Kiran More says he knew nothing of this sort.

    [http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=323358]

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 21:17  

  • Not to be left behind, Hindustan Times comes up with a catchy headline.

    Now the question is. Most reports have said that greg had maintained silence over the issue.But Magazine says that Chappell has said" Either he stays or I stay".

    Now as a story, it sounds plausible , but what percent of veracity is there ? The writer of course didnt mention his sources.

    "It’s either Ganguly or me now: Greg
    Pradeep Magazine
    New Delhi, September 16, 2005



    Sourav Ganguly is right. He was indeed asked to step down by coach Greg Chappell. But he wasn’t supposed to talk about it. This was to remain amongst him, the coach and Rahul Dravid to whom a rattled Ganguly had turned for advice.
    An incensed Chappell has now let it be known that he has had it with the skipper. “Either he stays or I stay,” he is reported to have said.

    So what made him ask Ganguly to step down? And why on the eve of the match? These decisions are surely not made just a few hours ahead of a game.

    In a way, it seems, Ganguly asked for it.

    The skipper had been in two minds for a while about a slot in the team — whether to choose his favourite, Yuvraj Singh, or Mohammed Kaif, the man in form in the triangular series that preceded the Tests.

    So he went to the coach, asking him for his opinion. Chappell told him either was fine with him and it was the captain’s call. But Ganguly insisted, asking for a “frank opinion”.

    Chappell should’ve warned him. But he didn’t. The “frank opinion” was devastatingly frank: “I think both should play as they’re in form and it’s you who needs to sit out as you’re out of form and you need to work on your game.”

    This completely threw Ganguly. He sought out his deputy, Rahul Dravid, who rushed to the coach. “This is not the way to take Indian cricket forward,” Dravid argued with the legendary Australian cricketer.

    He even sought manager Amitabh Chowdhary’s help and finally everything was sorted out. Ganguly kept his place in the team, and he also went ahead and picked Yuvraj.

    And everyone in the know agreed that not a word of this exchange should get out. Ganguly didn’t keep his end of the deal. And that has surprised insiders.

    Those who know the two well, insist that the last has not been heard on the subject.

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 21:25  

  • 2 reports from today's Telegraph:

    Calcutta: Greg Chappell asking Sourav Ganguly to step down on the eve of the first Test in Bulawayo will go down as something unprecedented in the annals of Indian cricket. Much will be debated upon in the next few days.

    The Telegraph spoke to three former India coaches to get their views on how they would have settled matters if they were in Greg Chappell’s shoes.

    The following are excerpts:

    Ajit Wadekar: I would have never done anything like that. The team wasn’t doing too badly and the captain was just going through a bad patch. The captain needed support and anything contrary would have been damaging. It could also have ruined team spirit… The coach telling the captain that I have no faith in your abilities is simply not on.

    I’m not aware of the circumstances that forced Greg to say this, but it was most unfortunate. Being an Australian, he’s not aware of our culture… that Indians are emotional and sentimental. Against Zimbabwe, who are no better than a club side, there’s no point talking about team balance. What Sourav needed most was confidence and support before the start of a series.

    Greg is a pro and knows well he will be held accountable for the team’s performance. I feel he got a bit carried away and didn’t bother to keep in mind Sourav’s performances over the years. (It’s) more like the slam bang way the Australians play…

    Madanlal: I would have never asked Sourav to step down. I don’t support Greg simply because asking the captain to relinquish his post before the start of a series is not done. If Greg had no confidence in the captain, then he could have asked him to do so at the end of the series.

    But why should Sourav resign? What he does is his own prerogative and should not be dictated by others, least of all, the coach.

    The whole problem seems very strange. The situation should have been handled more delicately.

    I would have sorted out the problem differently. If Mohammed Kaif was to be included, Yuvraj Singh could have been dropped. A captain should never be made scapegoat. It can spoil harmony among the players.

    Aunshuman Gaekwad: I am currently in London and not following what has happened. So, it won’t be proper for me to make a comment.

    Also...LP Sahi

    No comments’ on Bulawayo episode
    - More wants one selector to always be on tour with Team India
    LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI

    Calcutta: Not wanting to add oxygen (as Greg Chappell would put it) to Indian cricket’s biggest controversy since the match-fixing revelations in 2000, chief selector Kiran More has taken a “no comments” stand.

    “Being thousands of miles away from Bulawayo, I don’t know what transpired between Chappell and Sourav Ganguly on the eve of the first Test. Therefore, I have no comments to offer,” More told The Telegraph.

    The Vadodara-based More also played it safe when asked whether the coach could ask/advise the captain to step down when the selectors have already appointed him for the full tour.

    “I’m not sure about the rules… The Board will have to clarify… What I know is that the captain, vice-captain and coach function as selectors on a tour… I wouldn’t like to add till I get the manager (Amitabh Choudhary) and the coach’s reports from the Board once the team is back,” he said, on Friday evening.

    That’s going to be after next week’s AGM in the city. More, of course, is expected to retain his position.

    Interestingly, he felt one of the five selectors should always be part of a touring squad.

    “Quite a few countries (Australia and South Africa, for example) have a policy whereby somebody from the selection committee is always at hand on a tour… Our Board must look at something similar,” More observed.

    Four members of the 2003-04 panel — Syed Kirmani, More, Pranab Roy and Sanjay Jagdale — did visit Pakistan during the Revival Tour, but only as guests of the home Board.

    Kirti Azad couldn’t make the trip owing to political commitments

    By Blogger Dark Nights, at 21:34  

  • Guys,

    Arvind Lavakare is a political analyst for Rediff. Once in a blue moon he writes on sports. So we can cut him some slack. He is just giving his piece of opinion like we are doing here.

    Not that I am a big fan of his, but his article is written more in jest than in seriousness. If you like it, enjoy; if you don't, pass it.... :-)

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 22:17  

  • check this out guys:
    http://cricket.indiatimes.com/quickies/1233043.cms

    seems like there is an L P Sahi working for Indiatimes..
    this is really funny
    :)

    By Blogger Thirdman, at 00:11  

  • Fair enough if it's just Arvind's opinion. But why would Rediff just publish 'one' part of the opinions? There are some opinions that are favoring Ganguly and some that are not. I don't think Rediff should just publish one kind of opinion. And Arvind is not just an average writer (meaning aam janta). So why publish his supposed opinion and then also publish a disclaimer at the end? If he works for Rediff, then this may well be the opinion of those people in Rediff who calls the shots.

    By Blogger Dadagiri, at 00:42  

  • Great article by Arvind. Precise and as usual true to the situation.

    Its high time that SG hangs his boots before he further embarasses the nation

    By Blogger J, at 01:40  

  • dadagiri/ace/anil,

    Just cut the crap and talk sense.

    SG's time was over couple of years back and he just cannot bat anymore against quality bowling. period.

    By Blogger J, at 01:42  

  • dark night, thanks for all the links.

    shyam, it was melodramatic, and the pictures were classic, but Sahi's younger brother makes a good point here:

    "If [Chappell] believes by making players insecure he will bring out the best in them he is dead wrong. Team India has flourished because each player understands his roles whether it is Tendulkar or a JP Yadav. Chappell has clearly destabilized the team by making players insecure. . .Bob Woolmer might be the most decorated coach in world cricket right now but he doesn't mess around with team selection or come in the way of Haq and his team"

    I think this is especially true in one-dayers. In the best one-day team, the batsmen don't bother with formally getting set. They try to score from the first ball, at least from nudges and pushes. But if you're insecure about your place in the team, you can't risk the one or two failures that this aggresive approach requires.

    Also, on the one-day selection, I think it's fair enough that laxman is dropped in favor of yuvraj and kaif, but it's simply madness that laxman is dropped for players like rao, raina, mongia, etc. Laxman is someone who can carry a team not just for 1 or 2 matches, but for weeks against the best bowlers in the world. Just think of the idiocy of having mongia face Mcgrath and co. in the world cup final, when we could have had laxman. Hopefully we won't make the same mistake in 2007.

    If you want big-time performances in high-pressure games, you have to get players who fit the stage and know what they're doing against highest-quality opposition, not just decent players who field pretty well and bowl a little bit of finger-spin on the side.

    By Blogger roublen, at 01:56  

  • j, I think it's to soon to drop Ganguly. He was showing signs of recovering form in the final. I think if he can recover enough to play pace competently, he still has a role in the team as the destroyer of the opposing team's spin bowlers. I think he should be dropped as captain and replaced with Dravid, though. He's just not an automatic selection anymore, and him being captain is limiting the team's options for the batting order.

    By Blogger roublen, at 02:11  

  • @roublen, I agree entirely

    By Blogger GK, at 04:20  

  • Hi all, read this from Pradeep Magazine: http://www.htcricket.com/htcricket/14_17090511.htm Not everything has been said on this issue it seems... Ganguly certainly appears selfish and broken...

    By Blogger mohd iqbal, at 05:08  

  • We have already seen that both Ganguly and Laxman are liabilities in running and fielding. Between wickets, they convert 2s into 1s, miss out on good 1s and their comical runnouts. On the field, they are worse. That would suggest that they do something special with their batting. Here are the ODI stats from 1/1/03 against non minnows, from Asia cup vs a new player (I have ignored their inferior SRs).

    Ganguly 1/1/03, 25.04 in 45 outs, Ganguly 1/5/04 25.63 in 19 outs
    vs Pathan 22.18 in 16 outs, Pathan 1/5/04 21.67 in 11 outs.

    Laxman 1/1/03 32.64 in 25 outs, Laxman 1/5/04 21.67 in 9 outs
    vs Dhoni 34.82 in 11 outs.

    BTW: Kaif 1/5/04 34.75 in 20 outs, Yuvraj 1/5/04 27.00 in 22 outs, Sehwag 1/5/04 28.54 in 24 outs. From 1/1/03, they have averages from 27.65 - 31.2. From 1/5/04, practically the whole of Pak batting order has an average better than Ganguly or Laxman. Yasir Hameed with 25 odd can't find a place in Pak squad!

    For the test team, both Ganguly and Laxman were missing for the WHOLE of the last season. VVS had some technical problem (moving his feet?) for the entire season (!!!)and he had no clue what he should do about it. Ganguly was in a comfort zone/ mentally lost/ secular decline. Add their own comical runouts (eg. in Adelaide, Multan, Pindi, Bulawayo) and of their team mates. Here are the stats from 1/5/04 and 1/1/04 in tests against non minnows.

    Ganguly 1/5/04 20.4 in 10 outs vs Pathan 23.4 in 8 outs, D Karthik 23.0 in 9 outs. (Ganguly missed two tough tests against Aus).
    Laxman 1/5/04 25.85 in 13 outs vs Gambhir (10 outs) and Kaif (5 outs)average 31.2/ 30.6. Yuvraj (< 5 innings).

    Ganguly 1/1/04 24.75 in 12 outs vs Pathan 1/1/04 24.09 in 11 outs.
    Laxman 1/1/04 35.44 in 18 outs vs Yuvraj 1/1/04 39.57 in 7 outs.

    From all test batting analysis, the most unlucky BATSMAN must be Partiv Patel who averaged 31.2 from 1/5/04 but 43.63 in 8 outs from 1/1/04.

    In summary, Pathan and Dhoni who are new to ODIs have achieve more/ close to Ganguly, Laxman and OTHERS. They are not even specialist batsmen. The selectors must move forward to find top order ODI batsmen (who have technical class as well as being stroke makers and good athletes). For this to happen, Yuvraj and Kaif need to shoulder more responsibility and come up trumps. The best way is to up their games in the longer version.

    For tests, again the newcomers Gambhir/ Kaif have done as well/ better than Laxman and Ganguly. The most one can say at this stage is that experience has not mattered that much. Kaif and Yuvraj need do more. Gambhir needs to consolidate his good starts. Laxman and Ganguly need some serious introspection and certainly not blame the coach for any pressure they may feel.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 05:57  

  • http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=78289
    The only article out there with some positive thoughts..
    Harsha - "I interviewed both of them live and I must admit that neither seemed to be gunning for each other. Ganguly was almost reluctant to talk about it and Chappell said he did not want to provide more oxygen to the situation. In public, both seemed to have handled it quite well. Now both parties need to approach the issue with maturity and with a clear vision; both possess it and have it in them to put India first. The rapprochement, like justice, has to be seen to happen and it needs to be swift, over the next couple of days. Otherwise things might fester and people could draw their own conclusions; either event could only fan the fire."

    By Blogger vishnupavan, at 07:26  

  • http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/219480.html

    By Blogger tombaan, at 08:27  

  • oops forgot to write. The numbers dont lie. it is sad that gangs is still around. if not for the hold of kolkatta lobby on boards affair we would have said goodbye to ganguly long back
    In recent times srinath showed the way one should retire from the game.....ganguly needs to be kicked out

    By Blogger tombaan, at 08:28  

  • vishnupavan, Harsha is surely trying his best to bring the right perspective...maybe he has a slight sense of guilt also (having been the starting point of the whole thing).

    But more important is this bit in his article That is a hole that needs to be breached as well for the coach should be able to speak in private about his key players to those that take decisions without having that assessment communicated back to the players immediately. - What does he mean ? does he mean that the selectors, who were confided in by GC about dropping Lax after SL series, went back and told this to Lax. Probably one reason why Lax came to know about the negative vibes in the team?

    By Blogger worma, at 08:34  

  • who is this Arvind La@#$#@$?

    i tried hard for one meaningfutl sentence in his rant but failed. quite moronic, his "article".

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 08:52  

  • Roublen, In any team effort, respect is foremost. Ganguly has lost it. The entire world including our team knows how limited a player Ganguly is against good bowling. If he still sticks around killing prospects for better folks(Kaif, Yuvi, dravid(as a captain, Lax) etc), it is going to kill team India.

    He is an absolute past. Earlier also he had limitations against god bowling but he was supremely confident and it helped him and the team but now he has lost it.

    By Blogger J, at 08:54  

  • ROFL - that Arvind Dodo cites Ponting as an example. He needs a psychological assessment pronto.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 08:59  

  • Frankly speaking overall this incident will be good for Indian cricket. Now Ganguly can never relax if he doesn't score and this will percolate to every other indian cricketer.

    The stupidest thing will be to sack GC as he doesn't have anything but Indian cricket's wellbeing as driving force.

    By Blogger J, at 09:57  

  • The media is really getting out of hand !Have not seen such biased reporting in a while - mm actually I have - so should be surprised. Check this out - http://www.deccan.com/home/homedetails.asp#Selfish%20Sourav%20wrecks%20Indian%20team?headline=Selfish~Sourav~wrecks~Indian~team
    The most ridiculous article ever - with such malice against SG ! Its gettting to ridiculous proportions.
    This is not a right time to drop SG or change captains. Ideally I would let SG take over the ZIM tour completely and see how it goes. Then wait for SRT to be fit - and he should be made the next captain. RD is a great batsman - but not a skipper who can command/demand respect. The anti-SG lobby seems to be extremely wide. This Harsha is such a fool - I used to enjoy his columns - long time back. Now he's become too cocky and is just looking for personal vendetta. He takes personal potshots and is totally irresponsible - I am sure RShastri and SunilG must be embarrased to be with him ! If anyone must be fired - must be Bhogle - wasn't there supposed to be a khoj to replace him ?? whatever happed !
    ..and talking about media - Prem - love your insights :)

    By Blogger cafemonster, at 10:30  

  • Cafe Monster....

    "RD is a great batsman - but not a skipper who can command/demand respect"

    Who's respect? Yours or the team's? How do you know the team's views? Do you have a mole working for you?

    By Blogger arun, at 10:43  

  • Cafemonster: "Ideally I would let SG take over the ZIM tour completely and see how it goes." -- how do you think it can go? This tour is a gimme. I don't think you can retain or drop Sourav based on the result of this tour. If the selectors have faith on RD and, more importantly, RD is confident of doing the job, it should be given to RD no matter what happens in ZIM.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 10:57  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 11:06  

  • Mr. panicker,

    We need you badly on the Blog. Least you can do is say "ORDER, ORDER" They will listen to you.

    Thanks.

    ps. On the second thought, I will Order double scotch on the rocks:))

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 11:09  

  • Miyazaki...can you share the content of that report in Bengali paper?

    SG going public is a political...tryin to generate some sort of sympathy etc.

    There is a review committee meeting coming up, SG is trying to generate some goodwill.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 11:10  

  • Judging by a report in today's Anandabazar - a bengali daily from Calcutta - it doesn't, on the face of it, seem the controversy is a trivial matter as some in this blog and elsewhere would like to believe. It quotes from Sourav, Dalmiya, etc. That said, the reporter may have quoted selectively to suit his need.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 11:11  

  • Whats the point of playing Ganguly in the test side. His batting has never been good enough to allow him to play the 80-odd tests he has played. The sooner we drop Ganguly, the better for the team. Give Yuvi a run and he is definitely going to perform with Kaif breathing down his neck.

    Look at England. They dropped Thorpe before the Ashes for an up and coming player like Peitersen. India needs to do the same and drop Ganguly for Yuvi / Kaif. Otherwise, the test team is going to face a similar decline to that of the ODI team. SRT's best years are already over and if we carry Gangu in the team, we will be playing 2 batsmen past their peak - a sure recipe for disaster once we face the stronger teams.

    By Blogger AA, at 11:18  

  • rajg: Apparently Dalmiya said "there may be sibling rivalry within a family. it should be be aired in public and resolved within. There are some Sourav quotes:

    Reporter: where are you taking GC for dinner to sort this out?

    Sourav: (speaking without spirit/enthusiasm) who am I to sort this out? who am I to take GC out for dinner?

    Reporter: did you talk to GC today?
    Sourav: yes, we talked about cricket.

    Reporter: did you realize how explosive your comments were?
    Sourav: press knew everything. they asked whether this happened and I said yes it did.

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 11:19  

  • Oooops: dalmiya's comment - it should NOT be aired in public

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 11:20  

  • aa: Kevin Pietersen is a far better talent (in batting) than either Yuvi or Kaif. Don't you think?

    By Blogger Miyazaki, at 11:23  

  • Miyazaki - Thanks

    By Blogger Rajg, at 11:23  

  • worma:

    Look at Ganguly interview from Harsha's point of view, I think the circumstances leading him to interview Ganguly would have been something like this:

    1. Some team member overhears GC, SG, RD argument and tells is to Harsha. Now, I think, at this point in time this "leak" is a big big news for Harsha. SG being asked to step down!!! What should he do?

    2. Best option if to talk to SG about it because he is the affected party. There are 2 ways he can do it. Off-the-record in private OR on-the-record on TV. Right?

    3. If he does it private, it does not do anything. The news is so big that it needs to come out. I am sure you will agree with that. It should come out but only after it has been verified by either SG or GC. If it is verified in private, it will never come out because it is "private", there will be no proof of anyone confirming or denying it. If it is verified on TV it will be official.

    4. Bringing the news out on TV seems to be the safest way to Harsha so he thinks of interviewing SG. He does so. Now, it is upto Ganguly to decide what he wants to say. Right? Not just Harsha, any other journalist in his place would do the same thing. That is, talk to Ganguly and ask straight forward questions about this "rumour". Straight talk is the best way to qaush a rumour or verify it.

    5. Ganguly listens to the question asked. Now keep this in mind. Ganguly is not a teenage schoolboy who is being interrogated by Police. He is a 32 year old player who has been captain for 5 years. He is considered very shrewed. So, I don't think he would allow Harsha to coerce him into saying on single word. He is too shrewed and intelligent for that. If he is not then, I guess, he does not deserve to be India's captain!!

    6. So, Harsha asks him the question 4-5 times. Maybe because Harsha want the rumour to be setteled right there. Why leave it lingering on? If Ganguly did not want to bring the issue out or confirm it he would have repeated "no comments" again and again, like he is doing now when asked about who told him to step down. But he "finally" verifies the rumour.

    So you can not blame Harsha for forcing it out of Ganguly. After a little hesitation, Ganguly does speaks out on the issue. Harsha got a big big rumour and went about the right way to verify it so that either it is confirmed or it is killed in one stroke. Had he talked to Ganguly in private, the rumour would have lingered on for a long time till LP Sahi or someone else would have broken it in open the way Ganguly would have liked it to come out.

    In my opinion, Harsha did what any other journalist would have done. He confirmed a rumour straight from the concerned party. I don't see how else he would have treated the story. He also interviews GC and asks him question on the issue. So, it looks like he is trying to get everyone's views out so in the open. But, this is just my opinion of what might have happened... :-)

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 11:26  

  • Here is the latest on this saga - sounds credible:
    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/219486.html

    By Blogger Ashvin Iyengar, at 11:59  

  • ruchir joshi. Absolutely you are right. I had heard the interview, Sourav was coming to talk to Harsha and Sunny after the press conference got over and I think by that time Harsha got the news that someone asked abt this stepping down from the captaincy in the press conference. So he directly asked him whether is that right for which Sourav was initially hesistant but told in a low voice, yes he was asked. Harsha asked some related questions and thats it. I really agree with your views on media's approach in asking questions. And Harsha did it perfectly without any malice in his mind. I really think these things are blown out of all proportions, there are some uneasiness in the team but those things should be sorted out within the team and that can be done only by straight honest talk. Regarding Gangulys place in the team, I think that report on rediff by Arvind tells the true and whole story, Sourav is no good for a long time now, hasnt improved in any of his cricketing aspects, and so lost most of his confidence in his captaincy. If you are selecting the best XI Sourav will not find a place. He should get back to domestic cricket improve his skills and then try to find his place on merit.

    By Blogger Neelan, at 12:06  

  • neelan:

    Thanks buddy. Feeling relieved that my thinking is on the right track, since you saw the interview....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:24  

  • ashvin:

    here is the link for the story you pointed to:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/219486.html

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 12:25  

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