Wednesday, October 8, 2008

One down, four to go

I think Sourav Ganguly made the declaration a little too late, and lost the opportunity to become a hero. Just like he lost the opportunity to win a series Down Under by not making the Aussies follow on in the last Test at Sydney.

Imagine if Ganguly had called it quits at the end of the Pakistan series in India, where he got his first century at his home ground of Eden Gardens, Kolkata, and his first double century in the next Test at Bangalore (both in drawn games played on 'patta' wickets designed to help India hold on to its one-nil lead in the series).

Now, although he deserves all the nice things that everyone inevitably says in such situations, his grand farewell has been shorn of some dignity because of his terrible current form, the talk of him being dropped for the current series, and the quid pro quo deal reportedly struck between him and the board - that he can have his last hurrah, provided he in turn announces his retirement before the series (something everyone obviously denies).

The only thing that will make it a decent exit for him would be to hit a century or at least a fifty of some consequence against the Aussies. That would be fitting for a man who took over the Indian team at a time when it had been undermined by the taint of match-fixing, who put some spine into the team to handle aggressive opponents like Steve Waugh's band of sledgers, and who backed new talent like Sehwag, Yuvraj, and Bhajji who had all been shunted by the establishment.

Now the writing is even more clearly on the wall for other current non-performers in the team, starting with Rahul Dravid. He may have a little bit of a breather because Krish Srikkanth chose to induct S Badrinath from his home state of Tamil Nadu, ignoring the claims of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina who are more likely to do well against international bowling, simply because they have already shown that ability in other formats of the game. But eventually, the more deserving young talent will get in and the ones hanging on by dint of their past records will have to make way.

To a lesser extent, this also applies to the Australians. I'm extremely surprised at Shaun Marsh not finding a place in the eleven for instance, despite the obvious ease with which he played in Indian conditions during the IPL. For India, there is even more proven talent available to take the place of their illustrious seniors, and I think the claim that the next gen is not yet ready is hogwash. They can never be ready because the only way you can establish your Test credentials is by playing Test cricket. What were Michael Clarke's credentials when he made his debut in India during the last series which he helped to win for Australia? I have dwelt more on this in an article I wrote for DNA - There is no alternative... Really?

7 comments:

Straight Point said...

very well said...right time was then...and that would not only served him better and would have got the grand farewell befitting his stature...

i also not liked the timing of declaration...we certainly don't want this side show...

if he scores well there will be calls that how he was forced to and if, god forbid...he don't, the calls will be how indian team carrying his 'prolonged retirement party'

Sumit said...

yes, it's a no-win scene

Soulberry said...

I don't deny that and I have said as much that I'd like to see the fab four retire now (VM's earlier blogpost on the fab four).

Appreciation includes looking at a thing from all sides, and for the sens eof balance to remain we need to hear of all perceptions.

I've had my complaints with Dada as well and have also questioned his continuance, but for me, purely my own opinion, this is not the time for rational analysis - that is for after the series, after the retirement has cooled down. These few days, I'll allow myself the indulgence of Dada-ism. :)

Ottayan said...

At the risk of sounding repetitive, lets us forget the why's and why not's and celebrate the achievements of the man.

Sumit said...

okay sb. hope your wish is granted, and dada signs off in style.

Christopher Poshin David said...

I share the same thoughts as Ottayan. We should not be scurtinizing the Five great indian gems the way everyone has. Just look at Dravid after resigning from his captaincy he has been under enormous watch eyes of all. Does it help?????

No way

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Trideep said...

I agree with SB. Lets celebrate what he has done for India rather scrutinizing his decision as has always been done with him.