Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Here's to a Kumble swan song

On the eve of the Test, it looks like Bhajji's toe is Mishra's only hope of getting to play in spite of bowling out half the Australian side in the first innings of the Mohali Test. Kumble wants to give Bhajji time until the morning of the Test to see if he can "declare himself fit". One can only hope his desperation to have Bhajji in the eleven is prompted by the need for balance in the side, as he says, rather than a reluctance to compete against Mishra on the same pitch. Having said all that, I do expect Kumble to get among the wickets at the Kotla even if he is only half fit, although he claims to be 100 per cent. This is the only pitch which is rough enough for him to turn the ball past the bat. That, combined with uneven bounce on a hard surface, means he will be difficult to handle if his shoulder allows him bowl at something like the speed at which he usually does. But so what? On every other pitch, Kumble will continue to struggle to get wickets because his in-dipper is old hat, and nobody gets trapped LBW to that any more. For his sake, I hope he bowls India to a series win in Delhi, and immediately announces his retirement.

5 comments:

Straight Point said...

perfect stage and venue for swan song...where he too all 10 wickets in an innings...

Sam said...

well, sumit, it seems you want Kumble to get wickets at Kotla only so that he realises that this match is going to be the best possible platform from where to announce his retirement - he won't get a better one — not till India plays at the Kotla next. But going by his past record, I think he will do the opposite — use his Kotla performance, if he does perform, as a base to prolong his career even further, and by that token, extend your agony as well.

But my gut feeling is that Mishra will outperfoerm him at the Kotla, provided he gets the right opportunity. I am willing to bet that Kumble will try every trick in the book to ensure that Mishra flops. One thing i'm sure of: when the Aussie tailenders are at the crease, he will bowl himself with one of the pacers, Mishra won't easily get to bowl at them.

None of the alleged cricketing experts and columnists have an answer to the point you raised: why should winning the series and the match with the best possible XI be secondary to accommodating a player in the team? Why? Till we sort this out, we will never dominate world cricket the way the Aussies have been doing, no matter how strong our pool of talent, because today's Dhoni or Mishra could be tomorrow's Dravid or Kumble and it will be the same story all over again: ageing players past their prime blocking young talent. The culture of expectations, misplaced sentimentality, and the arrangement of mutual back-scratching that cricket journalists have with the top players — all of this must change. Otherwise we will continue to have KumBhas ruining India's chances on the field and equivalent KumBhas in the media singing their praises ad nauseam in the hope of getting a contract to write their authorised biographies once they retire.

Srinivasarao Vundavalli said...

this series might be the last one for Kumble...

btw here's my blog..http://rousingcricket.blogspot.com/

plz have a look and give me some suggestions..

Sumit said...

sam, you're right, another jumbo haul at the kotla will probably mean an extension to kumble's career. basically, what we need are better criteria for assessment and selection.

Sumit said...

welcome srinivasarao