Sunday, October 21, 2007

Drop the trio

How refreshing it was to see the young Indian team play fearless cricket after a month of one-day matches dominated by the self-preserving instincts of the senior pros Sachin, Sourav and Dravid who never scored at above a run a ball. I suspect Dhoni would not be sorry to see the back of the trio either, going by the number of references he makes to the fearless and risk-taking nature of his young batsmen. But the best quote of all came from Aussie captain Ricky Ponting after losing the Twenty20 match in Mumbai: "We would like to play more matches against the new generation Indian players."
Forget the fab four I wrote in this blog before the start of the Twenty20 World Cup, and forget the trio I say before the ODI series against the Pakistanis. I would much rather watch the younger batsmen, win or lose. The problem with the senior batsmen is that they don't just flop, it's worse when they hang around and lose matches by scoring at a below par run rate. As far as the bowlers go, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan have surprised me with their performances because I preferred Ramesh Powar and Zaheer Khan before the T20 World Cup. Now I don't know, but more options the better for Dhoni.

12 comments:

Stuart said...

India have a lot of young talent coming through, and it is always a dilemma for the selectors when you bring them in. I still remember the problems Australia faced back in 1984 when Chappell, Lillee and Marsh all retired at the same time. It left a vacuum that took years to even partially fill.

My concern is that Indian selectors will lose all their older players in one batch, and that is a lot of experience. They really should take the hard decision to gradually phase them out, even if they are still playing well enough. Otherwise, there could be a significant problem in the next few years.

Vidooshak said...

India went through a similar crisis in 1987 in the aftermath of the Gavaskar and Amarnath eclipse. This was in my memory. Later with Shastri, Vengsarkar, Srikanth and Manjrekar all coming cropper at the same time, India's bench strength was down once again to nothing.

We don't remember the Vikram Rathore and Dinesh Gandhi days with fondness.

Bold decisions are warranted. India's 20-20 success should prompt the seniors to leave limited overs cricket and plan to eventually leave test cricket too.

Straight Point said...

they have achieved all they could have during their illustrious careers and i dont know what more they would achieve other than few more records...

they want to be seen to be doing right things rather than doing things right...they are putting all their efforts on survival which can be clearly seen thru their efforts...

decisions are not always taken counting on performance only but overall package with an eye on future. Its not that we are winning everything...with them also we are neither winning consistently nor we are progressing ahead...

in todays scenario of ever demanding schedules and fitness one can safely say that this can be the sole reason alone for not playing all of them together...coz it is a luxury india can afford at this moment...

Straight Point said...

oops i meant cant afford...type error :))

Sumit Chakraberty said...

thanks for the comments. i think an additional point to be made is the tag india carries of being laggards in the field and in running between the wickets - but when you see the likes of gambhir, uthappa, yuvraj and rohit, you realise we're as good as the rest in these important departments of limited overs cricket too, but it's the seniors who let us down. when is the last time you saw sachin getting a runout with a direct hit? how many times have we lost the second or third run because of ganguly? and these days they're dropping too many catches too, probably due to slower reflexes.

Ottayan said...

One other thing I noticed, whenever dissenting voices regarding Sachin are raised, the you have the Kapil Dev's,Srikanth's and others jumping to support him.

Lately, Dravid is getting the same support from them.

I assume the sponsors are putting pressure on these guys. These World Cup heroes livelihood depend on the same corporates who have signed up the Fab 3.

Sumit Chakraberty said...

ottayan, you've probably made the most important point. the interests of advertisers with huge long-term contracts with some players is a problem that's unique to indian cricket.

Stuart said...

If the media outlets have paid a lot of money to get exclusive comments from a player, it is therefore in their interests to make sure the player stays prominent. And as such, that media corporation talks the individual up and any potential challengers get dumped on.

Fascinating - had never thought that one through before. Thanks Ottayan and Sumit - one for me to ponder.

Sam said...

if corporates have paid money for them to be in the team who has paid money for the runs they score ?

Strange. In India we would come up with silliest of excuses to moot our point.

Talk abt the consistency. Put Yuvraj, Dhoni, KKD, Gambhir, Uthappa on one hand in 50-50 and put the trio on the other hand.

Forget the run rate or records or whatever benchmark that is devised to spank the greats. And then compare.

Seniors would win hands up. But even if thats unable to put up a logical end to this crap discussion, then its a prejudiced and one way argument.

Sumit Chakraberty said...

sam, you're entitled to your viewpoint as all of us are. crap, silly, prejudiced, one-way - maybe, but the influence of sponsors on our cricket is well known, and fairly obvious, however strange you might find it. as far as comparisons go, by consistency if you mean a high average, then that's not good enough to win matches - on the contrary, a low strike rate with a high average is more likely to contribute to losses. if you compare yuvraj's average and strike rate with that of dravid, or even sachin or sourav, in matches won by india in the past couple of years, you will find a stark difference.

Sam said...

I came to know now that corporates too play a selector. And they bet their money on non performers, old horses, isnt it ?

Sachin Tendulkar is worst player when comes to corporates branding, yet he gets more brands than any one else.

Now he wont get this many brands just for nothing ?

Your comments make me laugh Sumit. No one is going to buy this ever. No one. Drop seniors. for what ? Just like that ? And get whom ? Karthick ? Or Sharma or who ?

Sumit Chakraberty said...

sam, the way it works is that an advertiser picks a player with long-term potential and builds a brand and campaign around him. naturally, the advertiser would be loathe to let something like that go easily even if performance subsequently dips, especially as fans like you remain committed even though the team wins only one-third of its games and the stars deliver an odd significant knock in the midst of a string of flops or meaningless knocks. that is changing, however. who could've imagined that sachin would be booed in his home town?... as for who should take their places, dinesh karthick i think has done nothing to justify a place in limited overs cricket. but certainly gambhir, uthappa and rohit sharma deserve regular places in the side and fixed batting positions. besides, players like badrinath or manoj tewary need to be tried out, otherwise how are we going to identify new talent?