Monday, September 17, 2007

STRIKING PARALLELS!

With the resignation of Dravid, the hunt for a new captain has begun. Predictably, no new names except that of Dhoni are doing the rounds. Dhoni, of course, has very little chance to become the Captain. The other two contenders are Ganguly and Sachin.

The Mumbai lobby will never want to make Gaguly take charge of the team for a second time. So Pawar and his cohorts have been busy in propping up Sachin. Even in the past, there was no dearth of people in favour of Sachin.

The news channels have found a new topic that is far less tricky in relation to the issue of Ram or the Sethusamudram. Polls via SMS have been conducted and Ganguly has become the preferred choice of the average cricket fan. But in the ultimate analysis, it is Sachin who is most likely to be made the Captain.

In this context, I cannot desist myself from reminding everyone about the Presidential elections that took place a couple of months ago. APJ Abdul Kalam was the choice as far as the people were concerned but that did not stop Pratibha Patil from claiming the occupancy rights to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Similarly, none seems to have the power to prevent Sachin from becoming the Captain for a third time, despite a poor record in the Captaincy department.

Of course, Sachin has the ability and the experience. But the plot is similar.

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A COUP?

The resignation of Rahul Dravid looks like a coup of some sorts. This conspiracy theory of mine may not stick but Indian cricket has always had the reputation of being in the hands of the worst script writer that Bombay films ever had.

The appointment of Sachin Tendulkar as the Vice-captain before the World Cup in the Caribbean was something that was touted as a masterstroke by the selectors. Sachin, it was argued, would provide valuable inputs to the team think-tank and also would play more ‘responsibly’. We all know what happened in the World Cup. Sachin himself put on highly forgettable displays against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It was only against Bermuda that the bat of the great man talked.

In the tour to England, Sachin played with a rare freedom especially in the one-dayers. The test series was won and the one-day series was lost in the last match. But the success of the tour has soured now with the dramatic announcement made by Dravid.

One has to take the appointment of Dhoni as the captain of the team for the T20 World Cup in the right perspective. As is the case now, the likelihood of Dhoni taking the mantle from Dravid appears remote with Sachin being the clear frontrunner. The Mumbai lobby led ably by Sharad Pawar has been very efficient plotting the downfall of Dravid. Various satraps connected to the ruling body of cricket in India have made noises over the strategy of Dravid. The Chairman of the selection committee, Dilip Vengsarkar was, reportedly unhappy over the defensive approach of Dravid.

It is true that in some instances, the strategy of Dravid appeared to be less than sound. The decision of not enforcing the follow on in the third test when England was on the mat baffled everyone. Dravid defended himself on the ground of giving the bowlers time for recuperation. But then every captain has his own way of making decisions.

Now the decks are cleared for the anointment of Sachin to the top job. There is a report in the media about an interview given by Sachin during the tour to England. All these, only add to the rumors and the innuendoes that very much characterize Indian cricket.

I hope to be proved wrong.

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