Thursday, September 22, 2005


Sunil Gavaskar has an unenviable record in taking on the best of the fast bowlers of all time. Many time a long innings from the original 'Little Master' saved the day for India. The only one classic innings I remember is the one played at Bangalore which was his last appearance in a test match. I could not watch his other innings live.

Here I am not interested in telling the world about the fantastic record of Gavaskar. During the second day of the second test at Harare there was a comment from the great man that prompted this post. He is known for his political correctness(- a quality that is perfected by Sachin). But this one had me stumped.

Maybe Gavaskar was reacting to the media criticism over the quality of the hundred scored by Ganguly in the first test at Bulawayo. It was argued in a large section of the media that the hundred came against a very ineffective bowling attack. Gavaskar on the contrary, argued that a hundred is a hundred, irrespective of the quality of the bowling. He also pointed out the fact that only two hundreds were scored by the Indians in the first test when the other batsmen could not against a weak bowling line-up.In order to support his argument, Gavaskar cited the 380 scored by Matthew Hayden against Zimbabwe while the rest of the Australian batsmen could not score even a double-hundred in the same match.

I agree with Gavaskar that a hundred is a hundred, no matter the opposition or the venue or the situation. But here the case involves a player who has consistently struggled against all opposition in both the long and the short versions of the game. The player concerned gave the impression that this hundred gave him the freedom to do whatever or say anything. It is only after scoring the hundred that Ganguly 'disclosed' the proposal for his stepping down from captaincy. This is when the credentials of the Zimbabwean attack came to be discussed. In the second test the same batsman could not prove his supporters right!

There is no belittling the contributions made by Ganguly but now the time has come for a change. This is where I find it ridiculous for SG(Sunil Gavaskar) to bat for another SG(Saurav Ganguly).

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