Sunday, May 28, 2006

SPARE A THOUGHT FOR GANGULY

In the aftermath of the loss of the fourth one dayer in the Windies, there was a lot of debate and discussion about the possible reasons for the loss suffered by India. In a particular television news channel, viewers were asked to vote via SMS the ‘culprit’ responsible for the loss of the series. Not surprisingly, the main accused was the Chairman of the Selectors, Kiran More. The second position was taken by Greg Chappell and the Indian skipper, Rahul Dravid came third.

One other point the viewers made was the non-inclusion of Ganguly, the much maligned man of Indian cricket, at least for some. It is not surprising since the left-hander happened to be the biggest match winner in one-dayers, with the sole exception of a certain gentleman named Sachin Tendulkar. It was foolish to say the least that there was a gross error of judgement in not taking Ganguly for the one-dayers, especially with the absence of Tendulkar due to injury.

The argument of Chappell and company that Ganguly was past his prime, when it came to running between the wickets and in the field, did not cut much ice when players handpicked and groomed fell by the wayside. Just imagine Ramesh Powar fielding the boundary. In a match, Powar slid and allowed the ball to touch the rope for a four. Ganguly could not have done worse. Further, Ganguly’s bowling would have been useful, even as another ‘experiment’.

Ganguly has become a pariah and the enemy number one for a large number of people. Harsha Bhogle has, in his scheme of things, has already made Ganguly retire. If Chappell is a true professional, then why should not be there any accountability? People have used the same justifications to sack Ganguly.

It was a well known fact that the Windies were a very weak team. New Zealand and South Africa completed clean sweeps while India are struggling to keep pace. With the kind of cricket displayed by India so far, the win the test series is still going to be a dream.

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