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Sight Screen

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cricinfo Agenda

I like Cricinfo. I really do.

They have a good bunch of correspondents. Amit Varma is good, so is Siddhartha Vaidyanathan. Rahul Bhattacharya and Sambit Bal are super.

Yet, this latest piece, by Dileep Premachandran, is kick-worthy.

My grouse ? This particular line (which he has used before) -

Mastering the chase was akin to reinventing the wheel for a team that had appeared clueless in ODIs following the surge to the World Cup final in 2003. With all due apologies to Hansie Cronje's side, India were the quintessential chokers - one outright win in 15 finals under Sourav Ganguly - and the motto when chasing usually appeared to be All Fall Down.

The World Cup ended in March 2003. 2003-04, which pretty much is agreed to be the golden period of the Wright-Ganguly era, saw India play the TVS Cup at home (which they lost to Aus), then tour Australia (where they drew the test series and got to the VB series finals), and then onto Pakistan in March, where they won the ODI and test series.

Results wise, the period saw India play Aus 10 times, win 2 games and lose 7. It played NZ thrice and won 2 and lost 1. It beat Zimbabwe in all 4 games, and beat Pakistan 3-2. The test results were much more impressive.

But even then, it is generally agreed that the team played superb cricket throughout the season, in both forms of the game. In one of his articles on Rediff in Jan 2004 (during the Australia tour), Prem said that India has been playing excellent cricket in both forms of the game.

Put differently: if in May, June, or July 2004, someone said that the Indian team had lost their way after the WC, what would the reaction have been?

Its almost as if, to build up the case that SG the captain had reached past his sell-by date, the man's legacy, and by logical continuation, the team under him, needed to be knocked down.

I suppose the frustration is more when you are a journalist, and can see more closely the decline of a once-good team, but even then, to diss the achievements of the team, and to virtually ignore their best season, is uncalled for.

Cross posted on Rediff ILand