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Sight Screen

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Games within games

An interesting off shoot of the Sourav controversy seems to be that it has spawned a whole new game: Watch for someone failing, and use that to make the case.
Sunny Gavaskar in his latest column, for instance, has this to say:
That however can’t be said about Gautam Gambhir, who showed a streak of irresponsibility in his innings. The manner in which he got out and the way he kept on chasing wide deliveries doesn’t augur well. He was lucky to hold his place, for with the Pakistan tour on in a few days it was as good a time as any to try out Jaffer who has been in prolific form for the past couple of seasons. Gambhir’s poor form from the ODI’s against South Africa continues to be ignored by the authorities and he would have been better off playing in Ranji and getting his confidence back. But performance is the buzzword only for certain people and not for the favourites as we all know, don’t we? India will only dream of bench strength in this way and never actually build it.

This is Gambhir's Test record (We are going to be playing Tests in Pak, yes? Not ODIs?), innings by innings. This prolonged failure, it turns out, actually spans all of three Test matches. (There is a larger question, to wit whether he is the opener India needs for the long haul -- but if we are discussing his performance, not potential, then the above list sums it up; read the figures and make up your own mind).
Meanwhile, the Telegraph uses Sunny's column to make this point:
Sourav can be expected to talk about double standards in judging form, too. It’s not insignificant that the iconic Sunil Gavaskar has, through his columns, been nailing the powers-that-be on that count.

All of which leads Dileep Premachandran to get acerbic on the subject, here:
But while Agarkar's innings spoke of the great depth of India's batting, he had to cede the day's honours to a man who came to the crease with everything to prove. His first-innings failure - few had bothered to note just how good a delivery Murali had produced to snaffle him - had reopened the debates about Yuvraj Singh belonging at this level and, shamefully, there were quite a few people willing him to fail here just so that their warped designs for Indian cricket could be carried on.

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