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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Curioser and curioser

Think back to the period between the first and second India-RSA one-dayers. Remember all those stories about Sourav Ganguly coming back into the side, from the likes of Mahindra and company?
While there was more than a touch of the ridiculous about some of their statements, Sourav himself displayed a touch of class, complimenting Dravid on his captaincy, affirming that he had no problems with the coach, and stating both his desire to score runs at domestic level to reinforce his claims to a national berth, and to play any role the team's needs dictated.
The only bit in Sourav's statements that made me raise an eyebrow was his repeated reference to his bowling in the Duleep Trophy. At the time, I thought why on earth would he want to bring that up, repeatedly at that -- after all, he is not laying claim to a bowling berth.
Now comes the answer -- the selectors in their wisdom have made him a 'batting all-rounder'. Geez -- this is the thing I don't get about our selection committee. That Sourav would be picked for the Test team was pretty much a given -- as Worma pointed out in his post earlier today, there is no clear case for his omission (though, as Worma also pointed out, it is somewhat hard on the likes of Yuvraj and Kaif). So, given that Sourav was going to be picked anyways, why stretch credulity with those comments about having considered him a 'batting all-rounder'? And, incidentally, adding to the ludicrous aspect by indicating that he and Zaheer were considered in parallel, and Zaheer lost out because of SG coming in as an all-rounder?
At times, the selectors do the right thing, the natural thing -- and then spoil it all with such ridiculous statements. No one who has followed Indian cricket even remotely these past few months will be under any illusion why Ganguly and Zaheer were out of favor with the selection committee; similarly, it is a given that while the selectors did not feel confident enough of keeping Ganguly out (there is no real case to be made for it; plus, such a move would have triggered the sort of national angst, for no good reason, that no one wants), they had no such qualms about Zaheer, and felt the need to reinforce the message they are sending him.
So why not just say so, and be done with it?
Elsewhere, though it is hard lines on Dinesh Karthick, I am glad in a way that the selectors decided to go with Dhoni. His keeping has shown signs of marked improvement lately -- and his explosive batting, when it comes good, makes him a game-breaker coming in late in the order (Gilchrist performs that role so well for Australia; while Dhoni is no Gilchrist, he has the potential to maul attacks, add runs at rapid pace, and buy his team, and his bowlers, that most precious commodity in a Test scenario, namely time). The rest of the squad pretty much picked itself; the trick now would be to carry over into the Test arena what the team has been doing in ODIs -- namely, define roles for the various players, try out combinations, and get a template (plus plans B and C) in place, ahead of the two marquee encounters later this season against Pakistan and England.
PS: Since the roundups have been very comprehensive, will go get some work done, get in some gym time, and return later in my evening with more.


  • Prem,

    As if to refute any suggestions of his "all-rounder" tag being a joke, Ganguly's now gone got a 5-for in the Maharashtra first innings!

    By Blogger dna, at 11:34  

  • All credit to SG for making this happen..
    Zim Century, duleep T century, all bowling stats, Complete Bengal(no matter CM or Kollwwood),his coach, his past players, resignation,selectors, ZK ..
    He left no stone unturned....
    What did ZK do ??
    Play cricket and take wickets..
    Who deserves the seat ???

    Now this is a tough question...

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 11:38  

  • About ganguly's inclusion....


    1) Remember this team is only for one test match... That means Selectors want to see ganguly in the XI and want to see his failure. I am 100% sure he will be in tremendous pressure and he is going to fail. Once he will fail then the selectors will throw him away for the next game.

    2) GC already complaints about SG'S Fitness. SG IS 30+, I don’t think he can bowl 10 overs straight. in this current team ganguly have a tag like "batting all-rounder" that means Along with using him as a batsmen he supposed to be used as a third seamer. GC and RD will give him a long spells and make him to sweat a lot. SG will be getting a hard time to show his fitness. If he fails in that, I don’t think he can't be in the future team. GC and selectors can easily avoid SG for the future team selection.

    Quick think: "all-rounder" is doesn't mean that “the guy who thinks the entire world is rounded around him after he bowls 8 over straight"

    So SG should drink some red bull before he start bowl...


    What do you think guys..?

    By Blogger Allan, at 11:39  

  • All they needed was an excuse to get Ganguly in the team. Since SL does not have any real pace bowlers to trouble Ganguly, he might get some good scores and settle down in the team.

    What is sad is that players Yuvraj and Kaif will miss out.

    Also wanting to see how Dhoni fares. I hope they give him an extended run.

    By Blogger Sridhar, at 11:43  

  • The selectors' decision by itself is middle-of-the-road stuff. They've played it safe, but then they have probably used up the next decade's worth of imagination during the past one-day series simply by removing Ganguly from the scene.

    On Ganguly himself, his form seems to remain elusive, but not enough to draw the curtains on him for good. This is pretty much the series which will decide if he fades away or sticks around. I am a litle concerned if old feelings will surface in the dressing room, and if the team will adjust well to this demotion. But then, stranger things happen in Indian cricket & this demotion of a captain is not without precedent.

    I do wish that the selectors hadn't given us that insane justification (Zaheer vs Ganguly). That only tells me that politics played the biggest role in this selection meeting.

    On form, this creates an interesting issue of team composition on two fromts - the open middle order slot (Ganguly/Yuvraj/Kaif) and the fourth bowler (Kumble/Kartk or Agarkar, depending on the 2 or 3 pacers theory). If Ganguly does bowl enough, I'd go with either Kartik or Kumble. Tough call there, given that it's the Lankans. RP Singh could be blooded this series. Though I haven't seen him, all the eye-witness reports indicate that he's good.

    By Blogger Jeetu, at 11:43  

  • Prem,
    You are finally shedding your skin. Good to see that!!

    By Blogger SS, at 11:44  

  • ...PRem,

    Since you are tuned..can you plz plz tell us who told Harsh Bhogle that Ganguly had a spat with GC?

    By Blogger SS, at 11:46  

  • When will u guys come out of yr cocoon and see thngs in better light.SG is not a villian..he has not fixed matches...he has not put the country's prode on the block...All that happened as a slump in form and he had the balls to stand upto to GC and not suck up to him.Give him credit for that.His slump in batting form is not as bad as RD row of single digit scores earlier on in his career or VS's current form.If you guys hate some ones guts ....that is yr problem.

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 11:46  

  • ...BTW, I do not understand what the heck this batting-allrounder means. For god's sake, if SG is not fit enough to be in the team as batsman, then they should not take him in.

    But, in the first place, they should not have thrown him out withour proper reasoning. They were all quiet about why he was not in the ODI team.

    By Blogger SS, at 11:47  

  • Prem, I think the "batting allrounder" tag might seem ridiculous at first, but it is actually a very vital component of Indian sides at home. It gives the captain the alternative of playnig three spinners and opening with one seamer and a batting allrounder. While this concept is going to be obsolete pretty soon, with pitches becoming either more vanilla or seamer-friendly.

    I think what this indicates is that the selectors have completely ignored the team-chemistry issues, which is commendable. I think Ganguly's advantage over Yuvi and Kaif are experience and his ability to open the bowling (as a token seamer, but nevertheless) while his disadvantages are lack of current form and negative impact on team-chemistry (while that is debatable, there certainly will be problems with captain, coach and Laxman). I guess the selectors either felt that the pros outweighed the cons or had some pressure brought to bear on them. In any case, I don't think this guarantees that SG will play. All they have done is handed off the decision to the team management. This will ensure no trouble at Kolkata when the ODI is played, and when the time comes, it is very likely that SG won't make the XI (the only situation is if we want to play three spinners and even in that case, there is a good chance Dhoni can bat at 6 and we play 5 batsmen). GC didn't hesitate telling SG to step down when he was captain, surely he won't back away from telling RD to drop him now. And as RD showed in Multan last year, he doesn't shy away from making difficult decisions.

    IMHO, SG has been given one last chance to gain a place in the side, no more no less. If he does well in the nets (against bowlers not instructed to pitch it up) and inspires confidence in the dressing room, he can earn a shot at making a comeback out in the middle. If not, he'll be benched and will in all likelihood get the message and retire with some measure of grace. I really hope that whenever he chooses to go though, that he does so with his head held high and amid applause. Surely, one of the best captains India has had deserves it.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 11:48  

  • well put alvin

    By Blogger JD, at 11:52  

  • @avin,
    good analysis boss. I have the following comments :

    1. I still do not understand the batting-allrounder thing. Is this a kind of quota? I guess SRT and VS are already batting all-rounders so to say.

    2. About RD taking tough decision : I have heard both versions. Some say that it was SG who prompted him to do that. That has been the subject of hundreds of comments here. One thing sure, IF GC asks RD to do something...consider it done!!!

    By Blogger SS, at 11:53  

  • ss..where did u hear that...SG was in India during that match..he was injured..returned to India and went back only for the last test.All this stuff about SG prompting RD is crap...more baseless mud slinging...GOD !! What more do we need to hear against SG..All because of a small loss of form..

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 11:56  

  • ravi
    i believe ss said that in support of SG and i like the way u put it "small loss of form" LOL

    anywa all that is irrelevant, if SG performs he'll be welcome else he'll leave, noone should have a problem with that

    By Blogger JD, at 12:00  

  • What caught my eye in Bengal/Mah ranji scorecard was this "Interestingly, the recovery was staged by fast bowler Munaf Patel, who scored 78 with seven fours and four sixes on his debut for Maharashtra after switching over from Mumbai.


    By Blogger J, at 12:01  

  • @ravi101..check out details of that match. SG was sitting next to RD when SRT was batting on 190+. It seems TV camera captured that SG talked to RD and then went out and RD called for declaration. IT's all heresay..nothing confirmed..and that has been used by SG bashers over and over and over again. Something like SG has been divisive etc. ( FYI, I am known one of the SG sympathizers on this board, so I am not making this up!!!! )

    One question, If SG's nod in affirmative to Harsh Bhogle's question was bad, then what do everyone say about SRT's tirade about the declaration decision? Why he is a holy cow?

    By Blogger SS, at 12:02  

  • The best thing about Sachin is that he is a team man. He will play the way the team requires him to play, he can adjust his batting in different situations and I think that is a huge quality he has.
    - Rahul Dravid
    Indian captain
    On Sachin Tendulkar's return to the team

    This is what RD had to say about SRT...sad that he realized it only now and not when SRT was on 194*....Cricket and politics make strange bedfellows...Nothing against RD or SRT or SG....Only this double talk to suit selfish ends is disturbing

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 12:03  

  • dude ravi
    what are you trying to prove
    just because SRT is a team man he should have been allowed to get 200?

    By Blogger JD, at 12:06  

  • vs

    waiting on the sidelines:
    m kartik

    By Blogger carycricket, at 12:07  

  • SS...I'm with u on that.If SRT can speak,why no AN,VVS or SG.All men are born equal..only some are treated differently.Read how GC is standng by SRT and his sudden loss of form...same with VS...why not for SG...And worse is that most Indians have bought into GC's story and his Doordarshan of WC07

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 12:07  

  • Bengalis and SG Lovers,

    Lets gather for 1st Test at Chennai to make a good farewell Party for SG (Former Greatest Captain)

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 12:07  

  • ss, the key is that SG is bowls seam-up (unlike SRT or VS) and can open the bowling with either Pathan or Agarkar and allow RD to play three spinners. As I said before, that may become unnecessary, especially if Dhoni gets good enough for us to play 5 batsmen and the two seamers are Agarkar and Pathan, who can be pretty handy with the bat (Dhoni, Pathan, and Agarkar at 6, 7, and 8 doesn't look that bad) on pitches where we want to play 3 spinners. However, it is a role that suits SG perfectly and one he has played well in the past. Two tests against Australia, both in Kolkata in 98 and 01 come to mind, which allowed us to play the very under-rated Raju as the third spinner (he didn't do too much in the second of those tests, but in 98, Mark Waugh was his bunny).

    I have no doubt that the declaration was RD's call. He also made decisions like tossing the ball to Karthik ahead of Kumble in the Mumbai test and also pushing Laxman up the order in the same game. He just comes across as someone with a lot of toughness and because of his integrity, doesn't get a lot of fingers pointed at him (the only guys that can do that are SRT and Kumble, and they are too classy to ever do it). I think this recent turnaround has more to do with RD than with GC. The reason I say that is that it is GC's philosophy that a coach shouldn't interfere too much with the side and that it is the captain's team, but more importantly if it were to be GC's ideas, they would have happened even when SG was captain.

    The coaching change didn't produce earth-shattering changes, the captaincy change did.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 12:09  

  • jd..read this ..."He will play the way the team requires him to play, he can adjust his batting in different situations". Was RD not aware of this in Pak? Or is this a new talent that SRT has acquired when he was in a limbo with his limb out of action...Why this new found fondness to scratch someone's back??

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 12:11  

  • ravi
    i think gaganuly's out form is longer than anybody else ..
    years..... am i right dude?

    By Blogger Allan, at 12:12  

  • hey..
    i remember GC was complained about sg is anxious during zim match and he is making lots of batting order changes.

    well whatz the heck gc and rd doing now..!
    that means they also anxious?

    By Blogger Allan, at 12:15  

  • i think it'll be more like
    VS (can swap with RD)

    By Blogger Chetan Reddy, at 12:16  

  • Alvin..do not agree...All these experiments are GC driven and not RD's.Dhoni at #3 was SG's move against Pak when JW was the coach.GC has more say in team selection and does not restrict himself like JW...

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 12:16  

  • chetan,
    Ganguly opening in Tests? That's a bad idea. Besides, Sehwag's form as a Test opener has been simply sensational.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:17  

  • @sahir: it's not my idea, it's GC's idea

    By Blogger Chetan Reddy, at 12:18  

  • ravi:

    According to reports appearing in the press at that time, here is roughly what happened.

    Apparantly, RD bounced ideas about declaration timing off SG and SG told RD, its your call, just make sure you do not make the same mistake I did in Sydney (which is bat a little too long). The final call was RD's --so credit for taking a tough business decision or discredit for denying SRT a double century (depending on which side of the fence you are on) rests with RD.

    SG left for India after the first test and rejoined the team in Pakistan prior to the third test

    By Blogger kban1, at 12:20  

  • Chetan:I don't think SG is gonna open..and there's no way RD is not gonna bat at 3.

    By Blogger AR, at 12:20  

  • allan ....let's not get there ..his stats has been analysed and thesis have been written abt it...If the going is good...minnows come into play...if not, it is attributed to other batsmen ahead of him who scored centuries...all permutations and combinations...but no credit to SG....I have learnt to post here with these contradictions

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 12:21  

  • Chetan,
    Well, I think Chappell just said that in Zim before Gambhir performed so well. Now that Gambhir seems a certainty for the opening berth, there certainly wouldn't be any thoughts of changing the opening combination. If Ganguly plays, he will slot in at number 6 and be the first change bowler should India bowl first. If India bats first, then I don't see Ganguly getting a bowl in the match.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:22  

  • All the supporters of Ganguly,like Ravi1010,say that it is "only the current lack of form".People tend to forget that the whole "Ganguly Saga" started in Zimbabwe when he went to the press and stabbed the Coach in the back.Some things one can improve through practice and willpower.It is very difficult to change the character and integrity....

    By Blogger suds, at 12:22  

  • kban..i stand corrected :D

    By Blogger Ravi1010, at 12:22  

  • I have a feeling this thread is going to get messy.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 12:25  

  • suds:

    And only one party did this so called backstabbing ? LOL!!!

    By Blogger kban1, at 12:27  

  • Too good... U21 Indian outfit beats AC Milan

    Bengal colts spring surprise with 2-1 win over AC Milan
    Bengal colts sprang a surprise 2-1 victory against AC Milan Junior (under-18) in an exciting exhibition soccer tie here today.

    Rear guard Rajiv Ahmed and medio Lalkamal Bhowmick struck rich in either half to script a memorable win against their famed rival at the Salt Lake stadium.

    Orlandi Emanuele reduced the margin for the visitors who looked stunned by the fast and aggressive display of their less fancied opponent.

    It was, in fact, a double bill for the Bengal boys as they got once in a life time experience of playing against a former Brazilian world cupper Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo, who showed flashes of his brilliance during his 37-minute stay on the ground.

    The goodwill ambassador for the Italian outfit heaped praises on the Bengal (under-21) team for their "fast and always aggressive" game, but advised some restraints to retain better control of proceedings in moments of crisis.

    Earlier, the hosts started off well and pounced on the rival soon after Leonardo left the pitch.

    It was a copy book attack from their own half, which saw Ratan Das essaying a centre from the right for the upfronters inside the box.

    As striker Ayan Chaudhury failed to connect Ahmed rushed in to slot home unchallenged giving a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute.

    If this was humiliating for the Milan junior side, Bhowmick's assault was too much to digest. The diminutive medio struck at right from a 18-yard free-kick that sneaked in through the first post, stunning the rival and making the crowd spellbound. Desperate to come back into the game, Milan stepped up their attack and narrowed the margin from the penalty awarded by referee Subrata Das after custodian Subhasish Roychowdhury brought down goal-bound Daros Enrico inside the penalty arc.

    Emanuele made no mistake to convert the setpiece in the 66th minute.

    By Blogger tami_telu_Nort, at 12:27  

  • Let's get this straight. SG is not SRT, not even when SG was on song was he even remotely as good as SRT. Neither was RD. I mean, even Brian Lara was light years behind him (or in Warne's words behind daylight).When someone is out of form, you persist with them in the hopes of them regaining form. Consequently, how long you persist is directly related to the chances of them regaining form. SRT scored a double century in Sydney, when he was in terrible form. I don't expect anyone in world cricket ever to be able to do that let alone Ganguly. He could do that because not only is he immensely talented, but because he has oodles of cricketing intelligence (which helps him decide how to tackle a bowler to maximise his chances) and most importantly, his game is built on a very solid technique. One can almost say that when Tendulkar is terribly out of form, he becomes Mike Atherton, who was still a pretty good player. Let's leave the phenom alone.

    VS's case is a little more comparable to Ganguly. However, VS has been scoring runs by the bucketful in tests, unlike SG who has struggled in ODIs and tests alike. Also, recall what I said above about the chances of a batsman regaining form. VS has looked like he is just one big score away from striking form (due to one, his form in tests, and two, the fact that he has been getting starts in ODIs). SG, by contrast, has struggled tremendously , as seen in the series in Pak, when he looked totally out of sorts. The century against Zim doesn't hold any credence. I imagine Kumble could have scored that century and he's not a specialist batsman.

    The bottomline is that Ganguly doesn't look like he deserves a place in the XI and has looked like that for a long time and was, therefore, dropped. If VS or SRT do the same (though SRT would have to be out of form for a long time, andwould in all probablility retire since he'd recognize a decline sooner than anyone else), they will be let go as well. However, because Ganguly has proven that he is a top-class international batsman, he only needs to do well enough to show that he's in good touch (even a fluent 30 would be enough IMO) to be back in the side, unlike Yuvraj and Kaif who would have to show more, because they are unproven. So just as SRT would get more chances than anyone else, SG would get more chances than Yuvi and Kaif.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 12:27  

  • i liked the way venugopal rao handled muralitharan.. hope he performs well in the practise match against SL and makes it into the team in the second test ( guy can dream, no? )

    By Blogger Chetan Reddy, at 12:28  

  • Chetan:Roa did handle Murali well.I was kinda disappointed that he was dropped from the ODI squad.But I really don't see him making the test squad ahead of Yuvi and Kaif.He's got to wait.

    By Blogger AR, at 12:31  

  • I would have loved to have Ganguly in the team as Captain....but once it was found out that he cannot be one...and the selectors having the rubbished the 2 captain theory...ganguly does not deserve a place as a playing XI member..

    maybe they have let him dig his grave by getting him into the team..
    remember the team has been selected only for the first test in Chennai...and there is strong possibility of the test being washed out..
    A score less than 50 in both innings will mean good bye ganguly...

    But then knowing the immediate past...I would be very much interested to knw if Ganguly is made to open By Chappell and Dravid....

    Aint' Gaguly a team man...:-) nay...He'd do anything for the team wont he..

    After all he himself said so..that he'd bat in any position..dint he

    By Blogger Ginkgo, at 12:32  

  • tami_telu_nort, that's good to hear. However, you can be sure that the development of thosekids will be along completely different lines than ours. They have one of the best soccer infrastructures in the world. Hopefully we can send some kdis there on training programs to lift the level of their training.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 12:32  

  • tami_telu_nort looks a bengali to me, even though his name suggests otherwise, because his favourites being SG & football.

    By Blogger devatha, at 12:36  

  • I dont remember the context in which this was said, however somebody had mentioned way back in 2000 to Sadagopan Ramesh that Devang Gandhi had scored centuries in our domestic cricket. Ramesh retorted by saying that our domestic attacks are such that why Devang Gandhi, even Mahatma Gandhi would score a century...

    no disrespect meant to Mahatma Gandhi of course...but I thought that was quite funny.

    Almost like why Ganguly, even Kumble would have scored a century againest Zimbabwe

    By Blogger Caught & Bowled, at 12:37  

  • C & B: I think your post is disrespecting Kumble.

    By Blogger devatha, at 12:38  

  • devatha..LOL

    By Blogger Caught & Bowled, at 12:40  

  • C & B: It would have been better, if you posted why Sourav Ganguly, even Rupa Ganguly (Mahabharat Draupadi) can score a century against Zim in 262 balls.

    By Blogger devatha, at 12:42  

  • My daughter cant figure out why I am laughing so much

    By Blogger Caught & Bowled, at 12:44  

  • May SG can come and Play in our Michigan Cricket League so that he will get some form

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 12:47  

  • Prem: I think they messed up & mixed up. There is not much reason either to include SG or to leave Zaheer. So, More said: To include SG, we need to leave Zaheer.

    By Blogger devatha, at 12:48  

  • Any one of the following could apply to Ganguly: he is sub-standard bat (ave < 35), a competent support bowler (like Razzaq/ Afidi), a class batsman (ave >45) or as good/ bad as other choices. We will find out soon- that is if we don't know already. I would only choose him if he is a class batsman or a class allrounder.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 12:51  

  • does "issiacn", Issac Newton?

    By Blogger devatha, at 12:56  

  • I wanted to ask whether the intention behind chosing a nick name "issiacn", is to mean "Issac Newton"? No hard feelings. Just curiosity.

    By Blogger devatha, at 12:57  

  • Not all of you may remember the way teams used to be announced a few years ago. Indeed, the classification was: Batsmen, Bowlers, all-rounders, wicketkeepers.

    One way the selection committee worked then was to say, ok, we are allowed to take 15.
    Cross out 2 wicketkeepers, 13 left.
    4 bowlers (3 spinners and 1 slow-paced), 9 left.
    7 batsmen, 2 left.
    2 all-rounders (say Kapil and Shastri).
    The balance was struck this way. It would have been a sin to include Kapil or Shastri either in the batsman or bowler category. The team would then lose a batsman, and not have a worthy all-rounder replacement.

    Now, let us apply the same logic today. We want in the team of 15 a maximum of 7 batsmen,5 bowlers,1 wicketkeeper and 2 all rounders for the best balance. (Since Dravid can keep wickets, and series in India, one wk enough).

    Now the 7 batsmen: Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Yuvraj and Kaif.

    5 bowlers: Agarkar, R.p.Singh, Kumble, Harbhajan and Kartik.

    Wicketkeeper who bats: Dhoni

    2 all rounders: Pathan and ???, of course Ganguly. Because if you don't fit him here, then you need to remove one of the batsmen. You can't really call Laxman, Kaif or Yuvraj an all-rounder. So they are simply gone.

    Hence, the only place for Ganguly is the all rounder slot, and that is why the terms 'all-rounder' and 'team-balance.' Ganguly may not be a all-rounder, but fortunately for him, except Pathan, India has no better all rounder.

    More has resorted to the terminology of the past years, forgetting it is liable to misunderstood in the present cricket world.

    RAvi Abhyankar

    By Blogger Ravi Abhyankar, at 13:02  

  • Ok guys - It took me some time to recover from this Shock and now I am fine....

    Actually there were three shocks:

    1. SG got picked in Tests ... Tests friends , not ODI which has always always been his strong point ... his best contribution in Tests (and really the best by anyone) has been his leadership and captaincy ... so if he is not the captain what is the use ... do you think RD will 'ask' him?

    2. SG is Batting all rounder - no comments - you guys have discussed this so much

    3. Volte Face from Prem! Now Tell me how Prem and Worma think that SG inclusion was a foregone conclusion? How? how? how? especially when his exclusion from ODI was also automatic? I am just confused ... let me just reover my thoughts ....

    By Blogger @mit, at 13:03  

  • @mit: SG inclusion was a foregone conclusion, not because of his leadership skills, not because of his great batting skills against genuine fast bowling. But a foregone conclusion, because there are BCCI elections in the next week, because they want handful of money from Ground spectators for the Kolkata ODI, because of BCCI president and Jaggu chumcha Ranbir Mahendra already declared "SG is coming back".

    By Blogger devatha, at 13:08  

  • devetha,
    would not Rupa Ganguly have taken lot more wickets in ZIM than Pathan?

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 13:09  

  • Prem hit the nail on the head. The selectors chose Ganguly because of his status as a batsman. His all-round abilties are not exceptional. His ability to bowl long spells is doubtful, and on sub-continental pitches, it's the bowlers who keep a constant level of intensity going who do well. Ganguly's bowling tends to fall in quality after a few overs, and it's not going to faze good batsmen. Nobody called Steve Waugh an all-rounder. Nobody said he was selected because he was an all-rounder. It's obvious on what standing he gets into the team.
    Test matches are won by the team with the better bowling attack. If we're dropping Zaheer Khan for Ganguly, it's stupid. If we're keeping Ganguly because he scored a hundred recently and has a good test record, then we're doing the right thing.
    Healy was dropped for Gilchrist. There's always a sob-story in cricket but Dhoni was batting better and keeping at comparable levels with Kaarthick in the ODIs. He deserved a Test spot, but he needs to prove his keeping skills to keep it. Kaarthick was replaced by a player in what looks like the form of his life.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 13:10  

  • @mit - Prem said it was foregone conclusion exactly on the basis of points cited by devatha. It doesn't have ane rationale just that there was extremely powerful lobby working for him. Anyways I am not sure if team management is going to select him in final 11

    By Blogger J, at 13:12  

  • cricktip: But do we have any alternative, we don't have McGrath, Flintoff or Harmision in India. We only have Zaheer, Nehra, Balaji, Agarkar, who are only as good as Pathan, right? Well, we are not comparing Pathan to Agarkar who took his first 50 ODI wickets, but Agarkar who bowls a 4 ball every over. Not comparing with Zaheer who bowled excellent 2 1/2 years back, but with zaheer who is just fit enough to bowl a ball.

    By Blogger devatha, at 13:14  

  • Quote of the day:
    Comes from the Chairman of the National selection committee.
    Mr. Kiran More on SG'S selection.


    "This gives more comfort to the team balance. We had to leave out Zaheer Khan although it was a tough call to make. Ganguly was taken as a batting all-rounder instead of having Zaheer who is a bowler," More said.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 13:21  

  • devatha: It is starting to seem as if that Agarkar (the one who galloped to 50 wickets) is coming back. The heartening fact is that the change in his performance is not the result of form, but an improvement in bowling technique, which he attributes to Ian Frazer. If he and Pathan can continue the strides they are making, we may have a pretty handy new ball attack to complement our spinners. I can't imagine an opener finding anything quite as disconcerting to face first up than a right-left combination who move the ball prodigiously in opposite directions (you'd think it would be someone really quick, but openers are a courageous lot and dread swing a lot more than pace).

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:22  

  • I was just watching our World Cup highlights and Zaheer Khan was bowling consistently at 140-142 mph with good control until the final where he totally lost it. And he's never been able to recover from that pasting. I hope RP Singh & Sree Santh or whoever don't drift away like Zaheer.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 13:22  

  • The problem I'm having here is the strong sense that Ganguly is still merrily playing politics here. Ganguly has been pretty decent about complimenting Dravid, but the difference in the team's perceived attitude had effectively made not giving Dravid the captaincy in Tests a Herculean task to justify. He is the one who's been consistently playing up his bowling, and the selectors choose him as an 'all-rounder'? SG deserves a chance, but not to be an all-rounder. Say he takes four wickets and gets ducks in the test match; would we be picking him on the basis of his bowling for the next match? We picked Ganguly for his batting, and if he doesn't deliver on that front, will the all-rounder slot replace the captain's slot as an excuse to keep picking him?

    By Blogger djlykan, at 13:24  

  • ramshorns, I don't think it is that ridiculous. They had picked 7 batsmen, 3 spinners, 3 seamers, and a keeper. That left one slot, which they could have picked either the seamer who narrowly missed out (Zaheer) or the batsman who narrowly missed out (SG). They decided to go with the latter. For all of SG's frailities as a batsman, only MK and YS have probably overtaken him in the pecking order.

    I still think there's a very good chance he doesn't make it to the XI.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 13:25  

  • alvin miller jr
    Based on the way things are playing out, it looks like the team will be four bowlers, Dhoni as keeper-batsman, GG, VS, RD, SRT, VVS and SG.
    Nobody else can be picked in place of SG because he's our 'all-rounder', unless of course we do the unusual thing and pick a fifth bowler in place. He'll probably play. Considering the way things are in Indian cricket, he either plays in the final 11 or he isn't in the side at all.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 13:31  

  • Is this team for all 3 test matches or only for the first test ?

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 13:32  

  • Only for First Test (Final Official Farewell Test for SG)

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 13:35  

  • Only for the first test. It's a hedged bet.
    Funny thing is that Zaheer Khan's performance in domestic cricket is far more impressive than Ganguly's. Consider this- hte bowler who didn't make it was able to exploit the flaws in technique of our 'all-rounder' enough to get his wicket in consecutive innings for no score.
    If Zaheer could bamboozle him, how effective do you think Vaas is going to be?

    By Blogger djlykan, at 13:36  

  • alvin:
    I never said it is ridiculous. I thought the quote was hilarious.

    Just to add if TEAM INDIA is counting on SG's bowling skills to deliver the goods then they better have a darn good PLAN B.

    Expect SG to muscle his way into the XI.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 13:38  

  • A few years back all my friends calimed Dravid was a hyped up batman, who played selfishly and scored at a boringly slow pace, and was in team beacuse he maintained the averages. The same friends then couldn't stop raving about Ganguly and Sachin. I had torrid time then justifying Dravid's place in the team.

    Now I see everyone gunning for the same Ganguly that Dravid thought was after God on the off-side, he who has scored more one day runs than everyone except Tendulkar and that too at a healthy average. We all agree that he is not playing his best; neither is Sachin or Laxman!! What I fail to see is why in three months he has been made into a bigger villain than he probably is? I don't buy the weak team argument, for in some of those matches other players did pretty poorly, and similarly if that is the case, Laxman who scores heavily against Australia should be a permanent member of ODI as well as Test team. If that argument is dismissed, his average is poor only in comparison to himself; if that be the case, let him sort it out himself. He might not be as good as Sachin, but records will show him as second best one day batsmen ever, and in tests, he has had enough innings of substance as batsmen and as leader to ensure him ALMOST the same respect as is due to Sachin. I agree with Ranatunga that we don't know how to respect our heroes; I firmly believe that Ganguly has all the ability, calibre and determination to perform well at any level. His ducks in recent matches don't bother me, for if he has managed to stay put under so much criticism and pressure, he surely is man to watch out for.

    Like the other enigmatic lefthander Lara, I believe our Ganguly will do the needful to silence the critics, and start to play and score as he is truly capable of!

    By Blogger Vivek, at 13:38  

  • Sri Lanka first test is as gs put it above the "Final Official Farewell Test for SG"
    FANS of SG: Please make sure you go to Chennai in droves and droves and pay last tributes/salutes to your great leader SG.
    This will be his Farewell Test

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 13:39  

  • Sri Lanka first test is as gs put it above the "Final Official Farewell Test for SG"
    FANS of SG: Please make sure you go to Chennai in droves and droves and pay last tributes/salutes to your great leader SG.
    This will be his Farewell Test

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 13:40  

  • vivek,

    The SL team sacked Jayasurya bec of lack of form. Then Don't take Stupid Ranatunga's words. Then Why did the SL Management didn't respect their Country Hero Jayasurya ?

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 13:42  

  • vivek, r u alive babe ??

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 13:44  

  • Vivek:
    Your man got his chance to silence everyone and cement his place as a batting allrounder. He will sought it out, lets hope.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 13:46  

  • This whole charade at getting SG back into the team based on merits of his case seems akin to Lalloo annointing Rabri. (Not really, but I wanted to give this post a in-the-news Bihari angle)
    Methinks that GC and RD decide that SG be left out from the playing eleven because he doesn't fit into the scheme of things. Would be well within their rights to make that determination, would it be not?
    Selectors gall must be met with coach (& captains') balls!

    By Blogger Fuzzy Nomad, at 13:50  

  • I think Ranatunga must be laughing to himself. He probably wanted SG in the team for tests so that SL will have atleast one bunny and SL will compete with a 10 member team. -:)

    This fellow was so inconsistent in his columns , calling India's selection and batting order 'great flexibility', 'cocky, chop,chop' at various stages, there is no need to give much value to what he says.

    Anyway, for all we know, the inside thing migt be a secret understanding with the selectors i.e SG will get to play in Chennai, make a ugly,scratchy 50, and annouce his retirement. Or may be SG will declare Chennai as his last test and play in Chennai for a good send off.

    By Blogger flute, at 13:51  

  • i am coming to this party late guys, but it does seem to me that choosing SG for tests was the wrong way to go. IMO, if he recovers form, he is still a very useful player in ODIs, where his 4/5 overs of bowling could be very useful, outside the subcontinent (remember SRT's 'secret weapon' in Toronto in late 90s). and he is still one of the best ODI batsman around - come on, we will be playing outside subcontinent too. Tests is where SG has been more of a passenger with a rare great innings and was in the team only as captain. IMO i dont see him bowling in tests to take meaningful wickets.

    By Blogger goondabola, at 13:53  

  • flute:
    Not that is wishful thinking on all counts.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 13:53  

  • Vivek
    Sachin and Laxman's averages over the last two years are simply better than SG's and that is the plain truth. In test cricket, Ganguly's average and performance are well below Tendulkar's, and Lara's. There is a difference in the performance levels of SG and the other two that cannot be wished away.
    The only teams he's scored significant runs against are those whose bowling attacks have leakced a fast bowler of real quality. That's a problem for anyone, no matter how good their record. There's a difference between respect and obsequiousness. Did Ranatunga touch upon how much respect Jayasuriya felt when he was dropped? No, Jayasuriya would play domestic cricket and win his place in the team. Ganguly hasn't set the domestic circuit on fire. He's in only on the basis of his performances over his career, but cricket demands that noone rests on their laurels. We must look forward as well as back.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 13:53  

  • Actually, there is also one other possibility for selectors calling SG , the batting allrounder. May be they want to give a pretext to captain/coach for leaving him out. For first test, Dravid announces the 12 member team without SG and says, since it is supposed to be a turning track etc, we have decided to go with 5 specialist bowlers and hence decided to leave out SG.

    how about that?

    By Blogger flute, at 13:54  

  • flute: Observing SG for the last 2 to 3 months, do you think SG will declare Chennai as his last test? He either will be thrown out by selectors (i.e by Pawar) or told by GC that you don't deserve a place in Test team on merit.

    By Blogger devatha, at 13:56  

  • flute:
    put it in any which way you want, SG is in the playing XI. Wait and watch.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 13:57  

  • If GC feels that SG is not deserved to be in XI, He does not afraid to tell Dravid.

    EVenthough SG was the captain, GC told him to step down.

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 13:58  

  • An interesting article to read:

    Is there a message here?

    By Blogger djlykan, at 13:59  

  • Forgot to mention another possibility. First test starts after the election, if Dalmiya group looses elections, that I think will give freedom to RD/GC to choose their playing 11 without fear and favour. If at that time, they want SG in the team(unlikely), well and good and fair.

    So ,SG fans, please don't count your eggs already, wait for elections. There is still a lot of possibility of India being able to put their best 11 on the field for the first test.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:00  

  • gsucks:
    If that was the case then SG would never have been in the team. It is more than GC at this point.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 14:01  

  • maybe selectors/GC/RD want SG to think outside the box, just like RD was asked to consider himself as wicket-keeper/batsman in ODIs not too long back, if he wanted to play in ODIs. and that same RD has now become, by any yardstick, India's best ODI batsman, in any match situation. Either SG adapts and improves, or curtains on his career.

    By Blogger goondabola, at 14:01  

  • djlykan: Man, This is yesterday's news and well discussed already. Knowing that he will never get Captaincy again, he thought it is better to give up Bengal's captaincy as well & well before even Bengal's selectors oust him from Bengal captaincy.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:02  

  • ramshorns,

    GC will go by books.GC does not care about the player's profile. GC goes whether a player deserved to be in XI).

    That is the difference b/w Foregin(white) coach and indian caoch.

    (The Best example is just because of losing one Series (Ashes Test Series), Ponting faced problems regarding the ability of his Captaincy. Don't Forget that Ponting Won the World Cup for Aus in 2003.).

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 14:06  

  • The question is not one of adaptation. If not captain, the quality of SG's bowling does not allow for him to rely on it to be picked. Either he earns his place by his batting or he shouldn't play. There are others who can bowl better. If Irfan Pathan didn't bowl as well as he did, his batting wouldn't earn him a place in the side. Irfan Pathan the bowler is a much more potent entity in game situations than Irfan Pathan the batsman, at least at this stage. We need Ganguly the batsman. It's up to him now to answer all the doubts and questions.
    Even better, he gets to do it in India, not abroad. SL will still press him.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 14:08  

  • Prem,

    "such a move would have triggered the sort of national angst, for no good reason, that no one wants".

    What national angst are you talking about? Now, do you think selectors should turn politicians and guage public mood before making a cricketing call? Ideally, the 5 wise men are supposed to be like jury, without fear or favour, without getting influenced by public mood, opinion, they are supposed to select the team based on cricket alone.
    What say?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:08  

  • Me putting money on this one...SG fails to make it in the final eleven...ooh the ignomity of having to sit in the pavilion and watch the performers go out there and do their thing...and to have the cameras zoom in on your nail-biting exploits...whilst you cool your heels in the grand stand...mmmm...looking good fellas...50 bucks say GC and RD's balls bang SG's!

    By Blogger Fuzzy Nomad, at 14:09  

  • alvin dude, your posts are a treat to read. I hope, SG does really well, if given a chance. He certainly is a treat to watch when he is on song ( but that has not happened for quite sometime ). I feel, -- provided he comes good with the bat -- with his experience and leadership, he can be very useful.

    But hate to see the politics that goes on in our cricket, what with R.S.Mahendra , stamping his vote for SG and people taking processions in kolkata for SG. It really puts a dampener on SG's selection.

    By Blogger sv, at 14:11  

  • flute: you are thinking too much. Do you think Indian selectors are a separate entity from BCCI? They are rubber stamps of BCCI, atleast since Dungarpur's presidency days. All the selectors' decisions are justified because of their boss (JD)'s wishes.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:12  

  • djlykan,
    but i would still like to see the 'old' ganguly, as a batsman in the ODI team, with the possibility of him bowling 4/5 overs. recently he has almost stopped bowling in ODIs. and as player and not captain he can concentrate on his game. now if he only he ran better :) i dont think he has a future in the test team

    By Blogger goondabola, at 14:12  

  • devatha
    Sorry, must have missed that discussion. I was interested in the line that implied he wanted the newer players to get more chances. That was a brave thing for him to say indeed.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 14:13  

  • SG will be in XI, he will manage to gather a 50 or even 100...that is what is going to happen....RD will never use SG's 'pace' bowling...it is Chennai pitch...spinners will have a field day. India is stuck with SG for next 2 yrs...learn to accept it.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 14:13  

  • devatha, did not quite understand your reply? of course selectors are not a separate entity from BCCI, but how is it contrary to what I said? please explain

    By Blogger flute, at 14:14  

  • We don't need SG as a bowler.

    All We need from SG to score atleast 40+ in matches.

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 14:14  

  • I mean it doesn't even have separate significance like our esteemed Supreme court where Court can even quash Indian government's decisions, even thought SC is part of India's system. The Justices are esteemed souls full of self-respect, dignity & responsibility. My question is are you expecting the same from More et al, given that their future (past & present as well)depends on BCCI's hidden boss.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:18  

  • seriously guys, what do you think will happen if Dalmiya group looses before the first test? Is there a deal struck already between the two groups?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:18  

  • I think it is more a test for GC and RD - it would be a failure of conviction for them to succumb to selecting SG, now that the selectors have imposed the will of their behind-the-scenes master !

    GC & RD cannot purport to have a thought process, long-term goals, and clear-cut ideas on how to achieve them, and then embrace a Saurav Ganguly who represents the very anti-thesis of such an approach

    By Blogger Fuzzy Nomad, at 14:18  

  • devatha, just coz the current lot if not doing things correctly, doesn't mean we should stop expecting the right thing from them. Also, my question to Prem was, how can we justify SG's selection saying otherwise it would have caused a national angst. Selectors are not supposed to go by national mood, are they?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:21  

  • Flute: if you have been noticing prem's posts since the day Ganguly said "he is asked to step down", he will see a clear shift in his arguments. He is for some reason, shifted pro-SG. I think in this particular post, he was only talking about Selectors' arm being twisted by BCCI bosses showing the reasons of so called "national angst". Although we all know, it was not nation that is angst (instead most of it is happy)because of SG being thrown out, but just some % of Bengal's public that is in angst.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:27  

  • If Jaggu group loses and SG fail's (avg < 20) during SL series, Raj Singh has a say....SG will be out. If SG avg is > 25 during series, bad luck to India....he will gain back entry to ODI team too...one who did well in Tests get a chance in ODIs too...SG all the way guys..

    If reasoning prevailed, he would not have been in 15 member squad with a dubious tag...Bengal state..Jaggu...all played a role.

    By Blogger Rajg, at 14:29  

  • I mean prem has not become entirely pro-SG, but become lot more diplomatic.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:29  

  • http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051123/ap_on_re_as/nepal_buddha

    Take a break.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 14:30  

  • If SG is batting all rounder then Kumble is our pace spearhead. They should also try and convince Venkatesh Prasad to come out of retirement and become our legspinner lynchpin.

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 14:31  

  • flute
    That was probably an overstatement, about national angst, but the atmosphere surrounding Ganguly's plight (the threatened riots, the Bengal CM, effigy burning, etc.) was acquiring definite political overtones. With the recent entry of the politicians onto the cricketing stage, the potential for someone to jump in and make things worse was significant. Look at the recent hullabaloo over the sctress Khushboo's statements- there is political mileage to be gained anywhere.
    The issue here is whether Ganguly deserved a place on performance and the truth is that he deserved a chance to prove himself. That this helped defuse a nasty situation was a more peripheral issue, but not aa inconsequential one.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 14:31  

  • B.T.W. Expect some neat comments on SG'S selection from Raj Singh Dunganpur in the next 24 hrs.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 14:32  

  • And yes, Azharuddin is the most honest cricketer India every produces and Yuvraj Singh is the Shakti kapoor of indian cricket

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 14:32  

  • Devatha, I don't want to brand anyone as 'anti', 'pro' Gangs , but inconsistency or 'on the wall' approach is not appreciable. I think that is what Prem is trying to do here, keeping his thoughts about SG mostly to himself. In a way it is good because if not, this blog will quickly get branded as 'anti SG' and we will have not have diverse debate.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:32  

  • ramshorns
    that is if Dungarpur survives the coronary SG's selection would give him.

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 14:33  

  • or he (dungarpur) might be busy boinking the nightangale of india.

    By Blogger jat_in_ny, at 14:34  

  • Flute: That is exactly what I said in my later post, prem is becoming more diplomatic just to be not branded by some of SG's hardcore fans as being anti-SG. While the truth is that SG doesn't deserve his place, Prem can't say that truth because he is kind of an administrator and well-valued in this blog.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:36  

  • guys, check out this link, for those who haven't check it out already.

    Ganguly infiltrates into team despite coach and the wall


    By Blogger flute, at 14:37  

  • Devata, you right. But, if Prem is in the diplomatic mode, I guess he might loose the fun of blogging. After all if he is not able to give out his thoughts on selection,players etc, what is the point in blogging?
    Of course, all above assuming he is holding back. Prem, are you?

    Com'n Prem, tell us what you think?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:40  

  • Flute: great link. Specially, the point below:
    Sources at the meeting say captain Dravid, coach Chappell and two of the selectors opposed Ganguly’s inclusion in the squad for the First Test against Sri Lanka next month but were outvoted. The compromise was that Ganguly would have just one Test to prove his form, and that’s why the initial plan to name a squad for two Tests was shelved.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:41  

  • Great article and some perspective


    By Blogger Indian Cricket Fan, at 14:45  

  • If what they say in that link above is true, let SG's fans head to Chennai in droves. A good swinging delivary from Vaas or a well disguised doosra from Murali, might mean curtains for Gangs, go see your hero for the last time :-)

    By Blogger flute, at 14:45  

  • I wonder why these sources only leak (leakage is part of BCCI's mission statement). Sources at the meeting clearly means either one or more of the selectors or BCCI secretary or the coach or the wall. If the source is either the coach or the wall, has the coach & the wall also learnt from BCCI, the technique (& enjoying the fun, oh there is lots of fun in leaking) of leaking?

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:46  

  • Methinks the debate should not be around the shift of Prem's views on SG (as an insider, I can tell you this - his tirade on SG has not gone unnoticed at his workplace and there have been a few gentle reminders to him on the 'brand' value that he shares with both rediff and India Abroad. Let's say it has been pointed out to him that holding and expressing extreme opinions is not exactly the strategy to increase your reader base.)

    As I said, we should not be debating his change in stance...

    By Blogger Fuzzy Nomad, at 14:47  

  • What is the guarantee that SG would be in X1. GC/RD can boot him out later.

    By Blogger squarecut, at 14:48  

  • Yes fuzzy, agree with you. That is why although I noticed this a week back, I didn't mention it anytime in this blog, this is the first instance of doing that. I couldn't resist to tell what I noticed when Flute was asking. I will never repeat it.

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:51  

  • fuzzy,devatha, OK , if Prem's stance is softened to protect the reader base, SO, why should we be not talking about it? why hush,hush?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:54  

  • fuzzy, what is your insider status? do you work for India Abroad or are you a old pal of Prem?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:56  

  • Fuzzy: But by the way, he can always express his heart by using a different Blog Id like "Fuzzy Nomad". Am I guessing it right?

    By Blogger devatha, at 14:56  

  • fuzzy:
    or is that fuzzy that you are trying to fool us pretending that you work with or know prem.

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 14:59  

  • Prem Whats so difficult to understand in what More said? Ganguly is a batsman who can give you few overs of seam and will be useful when we are playing with only 2 seamers. Which is what we gonna do while playing at home. It helps SG's case that he has picked wickets in almost every first class game he has played this season. This is a valid reason for selectors to pick him ahead of Zaheer. We wouldnt be playing 5 bowlers(3 seamers and 3 spinners) and if we are made to bowl on first day morning SG can be a good option to have for RD. He isnt gonna pick bucket full wickets but may help scrubbing ball a bit with his medium pacers.
    His main job still is scoring runs. And if he doesnt do it he will be out of team.

    By Blogger Vick, at 15:04  

  • djlyan: I think that's very likely, though not a certainty.

    I think the ten players select themselves - Sehwag and Gambhir top open, RD, SRT and VVS in the middle in that order, Dhoni as the keeper, AA and IP as the two seamers, and Kumble and Bhajji as the spinners. That leaves the 11th spot. Contenders are Ganguly, Yuvraj/Kaif, Karthik, or RPS.

    If the team wanted to include a specialist batsman at 6, I don't think Ganguly makes it (external pressure may change things). GC told SG when he was the captain that he should drop himself to play both Yuvi and Kaif, so it's clear where he stands. RD is very process-oriented and has already dropped Sehwag down the order, declared short of Tendulkar's double-hundred, been willing to leave Kumble and Laxman (two of his best mates) out of the ODI side, and shunted the batting order around in ODIs, so he seems to me to not care too much about reputations and focuses solely on his goal (much like he does when batting). So I think (and I could be wrong) that if we go with a specialist batsman, it's likely to be Yuvi or Kaif.

    If the team decided to go with 5 batsmen and bat Dhoni at 6 (which I think they should do), Karthik gets the 11th spot, though RPS could get it if they decided to go with three seamers (exploiting SL's traditional weakness, and exploiting RPS's good run of form), RPS could get the nod, and VS and SRT would be the support spinners.

    The only way I see Ganguly getting a shot is if his seam bowling wins him an edge over the others. If India decide they are going with 4 bowlers and want an additional seamer, they could pick SG as the sixth batsman and third bowling option (a bit like Yadav in ODIs). I don't think this is very likely as SG is not too effective with the old ball. If India decide to go with 5 batsmen, he doesn't get in either, because his presence would have to be at no. 5 in place of Laxman and that is neither fair to VVS or to the collective blood-pressure of RD at 3 and Tendulkar at 4.

    The only situation I see Ganguly playing in is if India decide to go with 6 batsmen AND 3 spinners. That then leaves space for just one specialist seamer (since RD is not going to don the gloves and the captaincy), and that would be IP or AA. Someone is needed then to open the bowling and SG is the opnly valid option, since JPY hasn't been picked.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 15:04  

  • alvin: Do you think there will be so much logic applied in SG's inclusion in the XI? It is plain simple brute force, man. JD ordered it, include him, that's it.

    By Blogger devatha, at 15:08  

  • Flute, Devatha:
    If Prem you must discuss, then me not be the fuzz to shush you up...however, do spend more than a moment to discuss the angst of the nation at large, for such panderings to blue blood (as the Prince of Kolkatta doth represent) be the begining of the revival of all that bad blood!

    By Blogger Fuzzy Nomad, at 15:08  

  • devatha: I guess I'm an optimist. I have faith in RD and I have faith in our seniors (SRT, AK, VVS etc.). I also have some semblance of faith in our chairman of selectors, because despite the dubious reputation his seat has acquried over the years, KM himself was a standout keeper and top team-man.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 15:11  

  • fuzzy, flute: I am stopping this Prem's discussion here. I won't do it any more any time. Flute: You asked why should there be hush-hush, why can't we discuss more? If we discuss more, it is making it public that he is a weiled verion of prem, but not the original prem. Then how people like you & me give importance to his opinions? At least now, what he says is what he feels except when he talks about SG. He should continue his current stance, because talking about SG is very sensitive.

    By Blogger devatha, at 15:24  

  • Hey alvin, I disagree. Yuvi and Kaif have not done enough to be picked over SG. SG's been in terrible form last season. but before that he's been in awesome touch for the previous 2-3 yrs. Even SRT, RD, VVS have been through bad form for extended periods. So why only SG?

    Yes Yuvi and Kaif have not got an extended run, but they're still 23/24. SG deserves one last chance before being dumped permanently.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 15:30  

  • alvin miller jr
    As nice as it would be to think that RD and GC have a choice here, the message the selectors seem to be sending is clear. If Ganguly deserves a chance to be in the side selected,logically he deserves a chance over another batsman, if 5 bowlers are not selected. His record is better than Kaif's or Yuvraj's in Test cricket, and considering the basis on which he gets into the team, if he's not picked in the final XI, he's basically baggage.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 15:31  

  • It's very hard to see RPS get in considering the likely nature of the pitches they'll play on. It's going to be 6 batsmen, and SG gets into the playing XI on the same asis he gets into the team-on past records.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 15:34  

  • I don't even remember the last time we played 5 bowlers in a test match !!!

    I doubt if we would have played 5 bolwers in the ODIs too if there was no supersub rule.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 15:40  

  • Basically this is to cool down everyone in the eastern part of the nation.. nothing more nothing less..
    However its a win win situation for us fans and our team..
    1)SG should be in the playing eleven.. coz I dont want him in the dressing room.. and cameras zomming there all the time.. we want to focus on "On the field" activity..

    2) if he performs, great. He didnt perform when he was cozy in the team.. with no threat to his place in last two years.. now its his chance to show whether he has anything left in him.. I dont expect him to take the bull by the horns.. but may be he can tap the bull here and there and run..

    3) if he does not, he is history anyway.. howver God bestows some sense over him .. and tell him to retire if he sees, he is not cutting it.. He will sell like a hot cake in media.. and he can ofcourse replace L.Shivas and Lal's in the commentry box.. ofcourse he wil have to take a sabatical and let go off his misgivings about the guys who are playing for us right now..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 15:41  

  • tc, LOL your 3rd point

    By Blogger devatha, at 15:47  

  • My team for the 1st Test would be:

    MSD (keeping all-rounder)
    IP (bowling all-rounder)

    Even if we don't take SG in playing XI, we have 5 specialist batsmen and 2 all rounders who have shown serious contrubitions from bat recently. So, that gives us 7 batsmen to play with.

    Since Chennai staduim is considered as sporting, it will be beneficial to play 5 bowlers; 3 pace and 2 spin.

    Everyone other than GG and RPS select themselves and SG can not replace any of them. So now let us see how can SG come into playing XI.

    SG vs RPS: RPS has shown himself to be a good bowler in ODIs. He has good pace and make the ball bounce. Since Chennai has a sporting pitch, it will make sense to pick a specialist 3rd seamer who can bowl 18 overs (90/5) seriously trying to take wickets rather than a part-timer who will bowls more as a filler or buffer while main bowlers are taking rest. Since we already have 7 batsmen, we don't expect seriously contributions with bat from the 5th bowler. So I would pick RPS as the 5th bowler over SG as an allrounder (we already have 2).

    SG vs GG: Will SG be willing to open in the innings? This will be the big question. SG has said that he is willing to perform any role in the team. If he comes in place of GG, will he be willing to open the innings? SG has never opened in Tests. He has vacated his ODI opening spot already. On a spoting pitch who successful will he be? There are a few unknowns here and becasue of that I would select GG because he has given good performances as opener, both in Test and ODIs.

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 15:49  

  • Actually, what annoys me about this whole situation is the strong sense of what I like to call the 'sob-story theme'. It's become fashionable to portray players who are dropped as victims, no matter the circumstances they were dropped in. Zaheer Khan performed well in the Afro-Asian cup and in domestic cricket, but the truth is that he was the worst of the bowlers on the tours that he was picked on. Balaji bowled terribly in the Challenger Cup, far worse than either Sreesanth or R P Singh, yet the number of calls for his inclusion, despite his utter lack of bowling form were surprising.
    The truth of the matter is this. Cricket is played in the present. Experience and past glories grant a longer leash, but there are limits to everything. SL picked Jayasuriya for any ODI he seemed remotely fit for, and dropped him for the Tests. If SG is picked repeatedly despite bad form he will be thrown out again eventually, and probably far more ignominously. Ranatunga talked about not respecting one's heroes. Respect does not mean letting someone make a fool of themself either. If Ganguly does not perform, then his overt politics will only tarnish his legacy. It's time for him to put his money where his mouth has been.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 15:54  

  • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=88443841354881590&q=india

    By Blogger @mit, at 15:54  

  • That is a big risk, considering that Dhoni is playing his 1st test, we still don't know if he is test-material. Pathan too has not proved himself enough at the test-level (yes, he's played 2-3 really good knocks).

    Have SG in the lineup at #6 instead of RPS. see how MSD & IP do for a few tests (maybe 8-10). If they bat consistently well, then your lineup looks good for the future, not now. So either pick 3rd seamer/3rd spinner according to the conditions.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 15:55  

  • Ruchir: I don't agree with the concept of 3 pace bowlers at all. No Test pitch in India (however sporting it may be, except the famous Nagpur pitch in Australia tour) will be of any use for the pace bowlers except in the 1st 2 hours on the 1st day and 1st half-an-hour on all days and also when the new ball is taken. 2 pace bowlers are enough to bowl in this time period. So, SG will be picked as a batsman. That word "batting all-rounder" is nonsensical support statement made by More to include SG, because he had no other reason to include our great former captain.

    By Blogger devatha, at 15:57  

  • Gautam Gambhir selects himself. Ganguly opening would be unfair to both Ganguly himself and the rest of the team, in present circumstances. Personally, I would choose 5 bowlers whenever possible. It just gives a captain an edge. If 5 batsmen and 2 competent all-rounders can't do it for you on batting pitches, then a loss will happen more often than not. Considering what is going on though- SG will play, and RPS will wait to fight another day.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 15:58  

  • Australia hasn't done too badly here in the recent past with 3 pace bowlers. RPS can generate disconcerting bounce, and an extra bowler has more value than a batsman on a batting wicket. Test matches are about taking 20 wickets, otherwise all you're left with is losing or drawing the match.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:01  

  • djlykan:
    how can 3 games in the champions trophy be the measuring stick?? he was our best bowler whole of last season ?!? even better than IP. and he's dropped for his poor bowling in 3 domestic games !!! that is ridiculous. zaheer has performed well in Zim and also in domestic cricket recently ?!? i guess that doesen't count too... wonder what counts at all - This is GC and his ego. they should have included balaji/zaheer instead of RPS, assuming either is fully fit.

    so what is your yardstick to be included ?!? how many games should a player play well consistently to get in ?!? if past performances don't matter, then RD will not be playing ODIs now, SRT and VVS won't be playing tests.....

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:03  

  • we dont need SG's bowling.
    oh, we dont need hisstupid batting either.
    Wait he does not field?
    WHY is HE in squad????
    SG-whos ur daddy?????????

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:06  

  • we dont need SG's bowling.
    oh, we dont need hisstupid batting either.
    Wait he does not field?
    WHY is HE in squad????
    SG-whos ur daddy?????????

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:06  

  • We have seen these cases before where 3 pacers are taken overseas, most of those cases turned out to be useless. On Indian pitches, the 2nd pacer also has gone wicketless so many times, so forget about the 3rd pacer. Our 3rd pacer is no Simon Jones, who can reverse-swing the ball any time to be useful. There is no use of 3 spinners either, because we have 2 great spinners already in the team. Well, this talk of taking 20 wickets is a problem for our team in overseas conditions. But on Indian pitches, it is not that difficult for our spinners. Given that 1st pacer himself is useless in the 2nd innings, can't think of a 3rd pacer being useful.

    By Blogger devatha, at 16:07  

  • I nver said that he hadn't performesd well in domestic cricket. I assume you're talking about Balaji.Zaheer Khan has done pretty well in domestic criicket too . Zimbabwe was a decent tour for him, but the Challenger Trophy was supposed to be a yardstick to judge the best of the best, so to speak. Pretty important games to do badly in. Pressure situations where performance matters, and the younger guys did better. Tehy selected themselves.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:08  

  • Ravi K - What is this fetish with GC and ego? You dumb fool. If he had ego, he would never have let Bhajji in after he spewed venom against him openly in press. Just because a coach is able to do good work inspite of odds loaded against and takes on non performing captain, you are branding him as egoistic. GC, Lillee, Marsh, Simpson, these are all Aussie greats who devoted their lives to the game and are working harder after retirement just for th elove of the game and not money like our Sunny G ( just hoiw many players has he coached?)

    By Blogger J, at 16:08  

  • glorious - we don't need your stupid comments either ;)

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:09  

  • LOL Ruchir, I liked the bowling and wicket keeping allrounder bit

    By Blogger J, at 16:10  

  • hey gloroius - just kidding, no offense meant.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:11  

  • It just reflects a more attacking mindset, and gives a team more options. It might not make a difference all the time, but t's worth reflecting on how much Simon Jones changed his approach before becoming effective, It took him time to find his feet. Unless you try something you'll never know.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:11  

  • Prem,
    The so called bowling-allrounder has done the following bowling stints in the entire 2004-05 (thanks to Cricinfo's statguru). Played 11 tests,22 innings, did not bowl in 12 innings, in the 10 innings, bowled a total of 43 overs with 11 maidens, conceding 123 runs and capturing 2 wickets. In the Indian Standards, as per the Indian Selection committee norms, he is a great Batsman-all rounder. Really great!!! Do they tide the flowers around Indian fan's ears (KADHULA POO SUTHARAANGALA)?

    By Blogger Krish, at 16:12  

  • @devatha,

    Very well said. The best way to win a test match in Indian condition and stadard piches is to bat first, use all your batting resourecs to score 500+ and then bowl the opponents out cheaply in the first innings with spinners (2) + pace bowlers (2). The pace bowlers are generally useless in the 4 th innings. Winning a test in India, batting second is very diificult unless the pictch starts favoring the spinners immensely in the first innings itself resulting in a low scoring test match.

    By Blogger Sudip, at 16:14  

  • ravi krishnan,
    Though some of your comments are really idiotic and height of stupidity, since this blog is open forum please continue to post.
    By the way, just kidding, no offense meant

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:15  

  • Ravi K
    Srresanth and RPS ahve also performed well in the domestic circuit. The fact taht they outperformed Balaji when push came to shove in the Challenger trophy has to mean something. The fact taht he was good all of last season is poor consolation for the way he bowled over the more recent series. That was why he was dropped.
    Zaheer had fitness issues as well as troubled form, and hopefully, he's gotten over tehm. RPS has neither, currently.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:16  

  • So to just reflect attacking mindset, you want to leave out the most attacking former Indian captain and our great batsman against fast bowling (sorry, the new Batting all-rounder) ? It is a sin, you know.

    By Blogger devatha, at 16:17  

  • @Glorious Uncertainty
    Atleast SG has a known daddy, unlike you ... bugger off before you crack such lousy jokes, you dravidian bastard!

    By Blogger Southie_joker, at 16:18  

  • djklyan, 3 challenger trophy games were far more important than the whole of last season ?!? that seems quite silly to me....

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:18  

  • Of course, what greater risk could one take? Of course the fact that he's not the captain anymore and that Sri Lanka's bowlers set the stadium alight recently could have something to do with it. :)

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:20  

  • ramshorns said...
    Changes in the offing: Krishnamurthy

    CHENNAI: The former Chief Election Commissioner, T.S. Krishnamurthy, who is to oversee the BCCI elections on November 29 as per the directive of the Supreme Court, indicated on Wednesday that "some changes in the nomination procedures are being contemplated."

    Pressed by the media to elaborate, he said, "just wait and see. It will be known in a day or two."

    Mr. Krishnamurthy made this observation after meeting the representatives of 13 associations here, individually and thereafter together. "They had made their points. We have come to some decisions and will be formulating and circulating them to the various member associations," he said.

    All these steps are being taken with a view to making the elections `fair and transparent' he added.

    The BCCI elections are to take place in Kolkata. The associations which made representations are Bihar, Karnataka, CCI, Vidharba, Punjab, Delhi, Saurashtra, HP, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP, NCC Kolkata and Hyderabad.

    A team from the Cricket Association of Pondicherry was also present but that, Mr. Krishnamurthy said, was not part of the 13 and had met him separately. — Special Correspondent

    By Blogger ramshorns, at 16:24  

  • SAURAV GANGULY will EXIT unceremoniously in chennai....Run you SG supporters....run to support him when he will FALL from grace at CHENNAI...
    oooh....SG...whos ur daddy

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:25  

  • No way, England are playing 5 bowlers (4+1 or 3+2), because they have flintoff - a true all rounder, he can get in the team as a batsman or a bowler. IP can't do that, not yet anyways. So unless we find an all-rounder or IP becomes one, we can't play 5 bowlers. Look at all teams who play 5 bowlers. The 5th "bowler" can play as a batsman or a bowler alone. Aus sometimes played 5 bolwers in the past, because they had Gilly, whocan get into the team as a batsman alone.... MSD is not ready to do that yet.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:25  

  • Fear not SG.
    there is a moron called southie_joker who will catch ur fall, and u can both go underground and do whatever....ooooh the GREAT fall of SG....ooooooh

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:26  

  • No, it's not. To give an extreme example, Sunil Gavaskar's record means that he should play today. Yet, fitness, agility , age would rule him out. :)
    Balaji had a good season but SL was better for him with the bat than as a bowler. He bowled in patches in SL just as he did in the Chalenger. The newer pace bowlers bowled well in the domestic circuit and outperformed him in the Challenger. The Challenger series was meant to be the acid test for players whose form had dipped somewhat in previous series and he was outperformed.
    Damien Martyn was dropped for just 1 bad series. Performance in crunch situations must matter otherwise the Challenger series would have been a farce. Form does matter.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:26  

  • SG is lucky that he is playing in a somber stadium like Chennai...if only its as rioutous as the Kolkatta stadium, he will have his BOOO.BOOOO.BOOOOish farewell.

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:27  

  • SG should be in the team as a batsman. I haven't seen enough of GG to depend on him. Not sure if Dhoni's technique will work in test cricket. SRT is not consistent any more. Dravid scored a duck in his last innings as Rest of World XI against Aus XI.

    By Blogger Sudip, at 16:27  

  • glorious - SG will be back with a century. And then it'll be the ganguly bashers including you who'll be running away :D. Then u'll realize who's ur daddy ;)

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:27  

  • Vaas and Muralitharan will cut SG to pieces and serve to the chennai crowd.

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:28  

  • Prem diluted, Prem diplomatic, Prem less anti-SG etc.

    may be he had a change of heart, may be he saw the light, may be some huncho at Rediff asked him to be!

    Anything is possible.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:28  

  • I agree-England has an enviable situation. Flintoff is easily one of the best all-rounders in cricket today. Yet, he pushed himself to improve as a bowler before he got to this stage of his career.
    IP certainly looks like he has the potential to become a good all-rounder.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:31  

  • Poor southie_joker will be bleary eyed...have ur last fun now....no more once SG dances to Vaas and Murali.

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:31  

  • chennai has the most sporting crowd ever. MAC rocks :D

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:31  

  • sudip, just a quick note, SG can't be in the team, just because YOU haven't seen enough of GG. There should be logic to it. -:)

    By Blogger flute, at 16:33  

  • yes, djlykan. Oh, I would say FLintoff is the only all-rounder in the world right now. I can't think of anyone in any other team. IP has the potential to be become one, Hope he does for the good of indian cricket.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:33  

  • First ball from Vaas to SG: SG awkwardly fends off a rising ball and it falls just short of first slip.
    Second ball: Vaas pitches up and SG just abt brings the bat down on time...good ball by Vaas
    Third ball: Moving away from SG and ugly fish outside off stump by SG...SG walks muttering something to himself.
    Fourth ball: OUT! Gone! Clean bowled...Pitched up and swinging in and Ganguly plays down the wrong line...India 474-6 and Ganguly departs for a DUCK!

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:33  

  • Glorious, Vaas is good for Ganguly only?

    What about the other Indian batsmen? Did he cut them to pieces in ODI? Took 4 wickets in 7 matches at 76 runs a piece.

    Indians may be cutting him to pieces and make this one his last series.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:34  

  • For me IP is showing more promise in his batting rather than his bowling.

    By Blogger squarecut, at 16:34  

  • ravi krishnan,
    Agreed. MAC rocks.

    By Blogger Glorious Uncertainty(GU), at 16:34  

  • Sudip
    SRT has had an elbow injury which has affected his play for a significant period of time. In a sense, this is something of a return to Tests for him. Dravid was one of the top-scoring batsmen in Indian cricet over the last year.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:36  

  • Ravi K
    Kallis, for one. He's very under-rated.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:38  

  • sqarecut,

    If you leave BD and ZIN out of the equation, Pathan takes a wicket at 47 runs a piece!
    Ditto Agarkar, Khan and Nehra.

    I hope RP find a place on trial.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 16:38  

  • @Flute,

    Need to go. BTW, what I meant was GG is still not fully tested yet. We don't have established openers in good form now. So, God forbids, middle order may have to do the stabilization early in the game.

    By Blogger Sudip, at 16:39  

  • I want to see Kumble bowl frankly. It's been too long.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:40  

  • I guess both djlykan and ravi wanted to know why YS or MK deserve a shot above SG. It's simply because they have been in good form AND SG has been in especially bad touch (only one of the two would not suffice obviously). As things stand, SRT, RD, and VVS are the best middle-order batsmen in the country and VS and GG are the top openers. The only batting spot left is the one that will face the most competition. Until 2001, when VVS was the weak link in the big 4, it was his place that all aspiring batsmen looked to. Now that he has established himself (averaging 51 since 2001), the only spot left is no. 6. IMHO, neither MK nore YS has done anything to lock up a test spot, nor have they done anything to suggest that they shouldn't be the next in line whenever a spot opens up. As I said before, if SG can prove that he has regained form, he should lock his spot up again. To me, it's important how assured he looks, not necessarily how many he scores. If I was RD, I'd get AA and Sree Santh to bowl at top pace and pepper SG with short deliveries. If he can't handle AA at top pace, which is likely to be around 142-143 kph, he doesn't get into the XI. Otherwise, he does and if he looks uncomfortable against better bowlers, he's out. If he gets into the XI, he has to show something (either in his batting or his bowling) which YS and MK don't have, because in their fielding and youth they have something which SG clearly doesn't, and so if it comes to a toss-up between 3 similarly matched batsmen, it's likely to be either YS or MK, because of the intangibles.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 16:40  

  • squarecut: i agree, think he's learning slower as a bowler than as a batsman. he looks very ordinary if he can't swing the ball, if he swings the ball, he's unplayable. perhaps he's our batting allrounder :D

    djlykan: kallis has limited his bowling because of his back trouble. also i guess he's the lynchpin of their batting now. so he may not be able to get into the SA because of his bowling alone as of now.

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:41  

  • SG is ABSOLUTELY a great middle order batsman for TEST - why is there even a debate about his place in the Team?
    GO SAURAV!!!

    By Blogger SandeepanBanerjee, at 16:43  

  • Mr.Sandeepan Banerjee,
    One more West Bengal supporter...what can we say?

    By Blogger SandeepanBanerjee, at 16:44  

  • Before u ask me this question...let me tell u...I have many non-Beng SG supporter friends...so I hope u get the rhetoric above, and no I am not embarrassed to say I am bengali.

    By Blogger SandeepanBanerjee, at 16:45  

  • And you shouldn't be, Sandeepan. Guys, let's give this regionalism thing a rest here, shall we.

    By Blogger Sudo Nima, at 16:47  

  • avin miller jr
    I agree with you. The only problem here is that considering the current situation, SG has to play for at least one Test, for many reasons, very few of them being cricketing ones. The selectors could not have sent a blunter message in calling him an all-rounder. To pick him and not play him would cause media hysteria, as well as civilian hysteria in a certain Eastern state. As much as we would like such agendas to have no role on a cricketing stage, they have been pushed onto it.
    They have been boxed into the situation of playing him. The good thing here is the other message that his spot in the team is not assured, especially when they made it obvious that Zaheer lost out due to his selction. He has to perform or 'fall by the wayside', as Chappell once said.

    By Blogger djlykan, at 16:47  

  • alvin: I completely agree to that. If YS, MK and SG are equally comfy in the nets against our pacers, incl SG based on his record.

    well, personally i'll just give SG the full series and decide based on what he does. 1 test is too small - what if he gets a roughie ?!?

    By Blogger Ravi Krishnan, at 16:48  

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