Friday, September 23, 2005

Dada ka rada

Sourav Ganguly. The most succesful test captain India has ever had. A man who didn't shy away from giving it back to those 'arrogant', 'white' captains. A man who rose above the parochialism so endemic to Indian cricket, and created tough competitors who had the steel to compete with the best in the world. Sourav Ganguly. A man who, today, and before it is too late, should be out on his butt.

Make no mistake, I've had a lot of respect for what Sourav brought to the team with his streetfighter attitude. I have had a lot of admiration for his ODI game. But, and I said it to all who would listen, as far ago as 2001, that he did not deserve to be in the test match side. The reasons, at least to me, were quite obvious.

1) Technically flawed against short pitched bowling.
2) Complete lack of courage in the face of short pitched bowling.
3) Clear lack of success against the best bowling attacks in the world.
4) If Bevan and Kambli, who were walking wickets for the quicker men, were out in the wilderness, what made Ganguly special?
5) Setting a wrong example for youngsters coming into the game, "it's alright if you can't play the bouncers, you can still captain the side"

Ganguly, even in his prime, was at best, a flat track bully. Back then, I had opinions ranging from " even Steve Waugh struggled against the short stuff", to "Ganguly is a tough customer, he'll learn to cope" to counter my argument. I had hoped that they would be right, but it was obviously wishful thinking. Face it, Ganguly just didn't have the balls to stand up to really quick bowling. Steve Waugh did, and accepting the fact that he was technically as poor at it as Ganguly was, it was the only thing that made the difference.

Today, he had the opportunity to do the right thing. Put his ego away in the waste basket, and do what's right for Indian cricket. Not compare himself with Dravid, who is on his way to become the No.1 or No. 2 legend of Indian cricket. Accept his shortcomings. Accept the regimen that the coach had designed to get the best out of each player. Not feign injuries. And definitely not sideline young cricketers in the team just because they were a threat to his place in the side. But to put it mildly, and excuse the French, he fucked up. He went to the media. Only this time he underestimated his adversary. Greg Chappell did not shy away facing the best fast bowlers of his era, and in my opinion, was, along with Gavaskar the best bastman of that era, a certain IVA Richards not witshstanding. He was certainly not going to get cowed down by Ganguly.
He had a vision for Indian cricket and Ganguly was increasingly putting himself out of it. After calling a temporary truce, in what I believe was just a move to make sure that the team didn't lose focus of the 2nd test, Chappell sent a missive to the BCCI, practically demanding Ganguly's ouster. Ganguly responded by questioning the character of a man who could do this within hours of a truce. Yeah right. Rich, coming from a person who cold shoulders his young players just because they are a threat to his place in the side. I never did like Nasser Hussain much, but as an excellent article on Cricinfo put it yesterday, he did his Churchillian bit for English cricket, and stepped down at the right time, letting Vaughan take over. Ganguly was the Churchill Indian cricket needed the last few years; now however, he's outlived his welcome.

Ganguly, with his bunch of supporters in the BCCI, might just win this battle with Chappell yet. In the process, the biggest loser would be Indian Cricket.


Blogger Minal said...

No dispute there. About him comparing himself to Dravid time and again, I think it is time to show him some real good stats!
After that I won't be surprised if hits back saying all test sides are equal. Be it against Aus or Bangladesh, what matters is you got the "test" runs!!!
He is currently in that mode!

Chappell is being out of character? What is this guy doing!I don't believe that he,himself is losing all supporters thanks to his stupid claims! At times like this I wish he would not talk!

2:12 PM  
Blogger Rohan Kumar said...

Nice post my feelings are pretty much along those lines. I was a big supporter of Dada and his style of capataincy but I think time has come when he make way for the next generation of cricketers with either Sehwag or Dravid taking over the captaincy. Feel free to drop by on to see my take on the issue.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Truman said...

Attaboy. To the point. What you have said is precisely what I think.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Anirudh said...

You are wrong man!
Look @ Ganguly, The person who has in him to rise and fight after tasting dust!Look @ the guy , a dead man can be inspired by him!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Anirudh said...

You are wrong man!
Look @ Ganguly, The person who has in him to rise and fight after tasting dust!Look @ the guy , a dead man can be inspired by him!

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come back to your brains you all kids.r u all nuts talking about the flaws of guys r not even fit to be the pubic hair of ganguly....forget of talking about him...

10:59 AM  

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