Friday, April 15, 2005

Ganguly's seesaw chances sawed off!!

My my my.. the last couple of days definitely have been a seesaw for Ganguly.

Everyone knows that he hasn't contributed anything in this entire series (and probably for a bit even before that). But the seesaw of events started with him having to take the brunt of the blame for the 4th ODI loss (both as a batsman and as a captain for overly defensive field settings). My guess is that the selectors would have had a tough time justifying his position in the team for the 5th ODI. But the selectors were spared the trouble, and Ganguly the blushes. A rather harsh 6 ODI match ban was imposed on Ganguly for slow over-rates. Then came the episode of Ganguly appealing against the ban. The ICC cleared Ganguly to play the 5th ODI while looking into the appeal.

And then, the BCCI totally cripples his chances to play the next game by pointing out that he is not in the squad for the next match. Let us note that the BCCI definitely has the power to just drop Sriram from the squad and include Ganguly back into it. But, like the following Rediff article points out, it would raise an interesting question..

Given Ganguly's recent form, given that both his batting and captaincy have slipped, does he reserve to be reinstated?

More importantly, does Dravid deserve to be named skipper and then replaced, within 24 hours?

Here is a link to the related article on Rediff..
"How can Ganguly play, asks BCCI chief"

In my opinion, leaving Ganguly out of the match has FINALLY enabled the Indian team to play with 11 whole players. Apparantly, I'm not the only one who thinks so. Imran Khan in his article for the Indian Express also drives the same point home.. Ironically, the absense of Ganguly helps India restore the balance of the side. It enables them to bring in the 5th bowler who can tip the scales of a match in a game where almost all our top order batsmen are in form and can get us a defendable total.

Here is a link to the related article on Indian Express..
"Dravid ideal No.3 in ODIs too"

I'm thrilled at the new vistas opened out to India because of the unfortunate event of Ganguly having to sit out. Dravid, Yuvraj and Kaif can now come up in the batting order. All of them have been amidst runs, and bringing them in early will only keep the runs flowing. Ofcourse, we all have Dhoni to thank for his excellent support with the bat. Even though he has been in only two games so far, his presence at no. 3 is somewhat reassuring.. something that was lacking when Ganguly came in at no. 3. I was always in fear of another quick wicket falling.

So, what happens to Ganguly now? Only the man himself can answer that question. Adaptability hasn't been Ganguly's strong point ever. His strength has always been his bull-headedness and arrogance. Hopefully he will realise that every team has sorted him out.. both spinners and pacemen. It is entirely upto the man himself to adapt to the changed times. If Dravid does well in the next 6 ODIs as a captain, then there is a chance that Ganguly might not make it back into the team at the end of the ban.

Will Ganguly's 10,000 run quest remain unattained? Will his quest for 10,000 ODI runs become like Mohammad Azharuddin's 100th Test? (for those who are unaware.. he's still on 99 tests and he hasn't retired officially). Hopefully not. As it stands right now.. it is a really sad scene to see a stadium full of people boo their home captain when he walks in. And this is not just at one venue. This happened all across the country. Infact, the only two times the crowd at Ahmedabad cheered for Ganguly. The first time was when he won the toss, and the other time was when he got out.
Ganguly was a good batsman and a great captain. Hopefully he'll find his form. Its entirely upto the man himself.


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