Thursday, March 29, 2007

Who takes the rap for these?

1. Harbhajan went wicketless against a side like Bangladesh on a pitch where the Bangla spinner Razzak took a 'fifer' against us. And yet he was picked for the do-or-die game against Lanka where he again failed to provide a single breakthrough in his spell of 10 overs for 53 runs after the Lankans were on the ropes with the early dismissal of their three most important batsmen - Jayasuriya, Sangakkara and Jayewardene. Harbhajan has lacked penetration ever since the wrist problem he developed four years back which required medical intervention. He seems unable to give the ball the kind of rip that Ramesh Powar does. But the selectors, coach and captain still kept hoping for miracles from Harbhajan, instead of responding to the claims of Powar who was pivotal in India's only emphatic one-day victory in recent times, the 5-1 whitewash of England. Not taking Powar to the Windies was a mistake, and picking Harbhajan ahead of Kumble compounded it.
2. What was the logic in dropping Sehwag after the South Africa series, then reinstating him in the World Cup squad? If the selectors wanted him to go back to domestic cricket to work on his game like Ganguly did, that needed much more time than a couple of weeks. And if he was needed for the World Cup, he had to play all the games against the Windies and Lanka to regain his poise. All right, it was Dravid, not the selectors, who wanted Sehwag, but then why did he let him be dropped in the first place? The warm-up series would've allowed him to experiment with Sehwag's batting position instead of having to do it at the World Cup. [Read What to do with Sehwag]
3. The return to form of Sourav Ganguly gave the team management the perfect opportunity to push the struggling Sehwag down the order. Instead, Sachin Tendulkar was moved to the middle order to make way for Ganguly, and the other opening slot alternated between the newbie Uthappa and out-of-form Sehwag. It destabilised both the top and Sachin, who had to adjust to a middle order role at the eleventh hour after notching up a few good knocks as an opener in the run-up to the World Cup. [Read Give the first 10 overs to the bowlers, where I advocated opening with Sachin.]
4. And, of course, choosing to bat first against Bangladesh after winning the toss, ignoring the fact that even Bermuda made early inroads into the Lankan batting in the previous match on the same ground because of the morning moisture, led to... The double jeopardy at Port-of-Spain.

1 comment:

Rita said...

And how come our so-called "experts" -- Gavaskar, Srikanth etc. -- who have such high profiles both in the print and TV media (who are paid enormous amounts of money to reveal exactly such shortcomings)never expose these matters. Their insights and opinions count. So, why don't they? Is it because of political correctness? Or is t because they simply don't have the wherewithal to figure them out? It would be intersting to know. Perhaps you could write a piece about our so-called experts.