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Sight Screen

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why Sourav will play

Just in case you guys had any doubts left -- Sourav will play. So says Mumbai Mirror. Coz he had a smile on his face. Coz Gambhir and Jaffar didn't. Coz it stands to reason. Or simply, just because.
Not to be telling tales out of school, but all of this reminds me of a story dating back to when Sachin Tendulkar led India Down Under. Those who followed that series will recall that he was, at the time, fighting a running war with the BCCI and Jagmohan Dalmiya, over the question of Mohammad Azharuddin. To cut a long story to size, JD wanted Azhar in the side; Sachin was adamantly opposed. Halfway through the series, Sachin reckoned that his batsmen had been thoroughly demoralized by the Aussies, and didn't have enough fight left in them. He figured he wanted someone who didn't give a damn who the opposition was, who could carry the fight to the other side -- and the name he picked was Ajay Jadeja.
When he asked for Jadeja, though, he was told that he would get his wish only if he agreed to take Azhar as well (why Dalmiya was so hell bent on getting Azhar back into the side is one of those eternal mysteries; let it lie).
At this time, a former Indian batting legend who was part of the commentary team in Australia, and who shall be nameless, took Sachin aside and gave him some advice, the gist of which was: 'Let Azhar come. Then send him out to open, or if that is too much of an ask, send him at number three. Brett Lee will do your job for you.'
Any resemblance to the current situation is -- no, seriously -- entirely coincidental. Actually, think of this -- if Sourav does open, and if his hunger, his determination to prove his point, and his recent return to form all coalesce, and give him the confidence to go out there and pray freely, then his experience, plus his bowling, gives the team that much more heft than either Gambhir or Jaffar could.


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