Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sachin - The difference.

I recently came across this magnum opus on Sachin. Must see for all Indian Cricket fans. Please watch all three parts.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Soothsayer from UTOPIA

My prediction for the first round. I think South Africa will top Group A. The second round will see a resurgent India beat Australia in a totally one-sided game in their first game. India will continue its run beating West Indies, New Zealand and England before being checked by South Africa. India will start afresh beating Pakistan in their last game. finishing second behind South Africa in the overall table.

Group A
South Africa

Group B

Group C
New Zealand

Group D
West Indies

Second Round

South Africa

Semi Final
India vs Srilanka -------------> India
SA vs Australia -------------> Australia

India vs Australia

Rahul Dravid handed over the cup.

India will beat Srilanka in a bitterly fought semifinal. Australia will trounce SA in the other semi setting up a 2003 encore - but this time only to go down to the Men In Blue.

Sehwag will prove vital with both bat and ball throughout the tourney. Yuvraj will give way to Dinesh Karthik as his lack of preparation will show in the early games. India must use Sreesanth only to rest Zaheer or Munaf for the initial games.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bengal vs Mumbai

Tamil Nadu was by far the best team this season. Yet, ill-fortune caused them to bow out to Baroda, who lost in the semis. Mumbai had a pathetic start to the tourney but now are in a position to pack the team for the final, with five Team India players. While Ganguly's presence will boost Bengal, Mumbai's power is just too much. I will be rooting for the underdog.

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Saurav Ganguly
Robin Uthappa
Virendra Sehwag
Sachin Tendulkar (vc)
Rahul Dravid (c)
Yuvraj Singh
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Ajit Agarkar
Irfan Pathan
Zaheer Khan
Dinesh Karthik (12th man)
Munaf Patel
Anil Kumble
Mohammed Kaif.

I would have given more chances to Joginder Sharma which could have given us a viable alternative to Irfan Pathan's indifference with the ball. Mohammed Kaif's place can go to anyone from Suresh Raina to VVS Laxman to Romesh Pawar depending on who Vengsarkar, Chappell and Dravid want. I think Mohammed Kaif will be the best option considering his three half centuries during the Carribean tour. He might never pad up if Yuvraj finds his touch.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Zeroing down on Mhmd Kaif

His obsession for zero seems to never end. Whether it is an international match or a first class match, he is consistent in keeping the scorecard unperturbed. With Dinesh Mongia, Irfan Pathan, the bowling all-rounder Ganguly (hee hee), Hemang Badani, and youngster RA. Jadeja around, why are the selectors so adamant on Mhmd. Kaif. Some people find it hard to break into the team, but our man is desperately trying to get out; in vain - or atleast it looks like. Maybe I am missing something here. What do More and friends see that is blinding my eye?

If India Red beat Blue, will it change the team composition dramatically for the Champions Trophy. What about the World Cup? Then what value has Mr. Chappell brought in for Team India.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sa-chin up, Team India down.

On his return game, after an hiatus of six months, Sachin showed the world what really he is made of - reminding us of his class. With the injuries behind him, Sachin looks ready for a second innings and what better way to start than an unbeaten 141. On a track that proved to produce "Nagastras" to right-hand batsmen, thanks to the curators, he played like a gem.

Yet another game where the little master shines but the team loses. This time though it was Messers Duckworth-Lewis to be blamed. Partially Rahul Dravid is responsible for India's loss. Rain had already halted play during India's innings. The game is being played in Malaysia. Why on earth would you use 3 power plays consecutively, especially when Gayle and Sarwan were wrecking havoc. It was clear that West Indies played for the rain while India was looking for a 50 over result. A spread-out field and a couple of tidy overs could have seen India home. West Indies is know to chicken out when tied down - we just saw it against Australia, didn't we?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Master planner that is Woolmer

The last time when India was in Pakistan, they made history by defeating the hosts 2-1 in the three match series. Then, their coach was Miandad. The team lacked discipline and control. The raw talents had no focus. Mohd Yousof was a Christian (Youhana). Ofcourse, the last statement has nothing to do with the rest.

This time around it was different. Pakistan, under Woolmer is a more disciplined and confident team, especially with a series of good performances against England.

There must have been a lot of planning happening in Pakistan, even before the Indians landed in Pak. Their strategy seems to have been well thought out by that time.

Woolmer wanted to prevent back-to-back embarassment for Pak at all cost. He did not want Pak. to lose the series in trying to win it. So he ensured that Pak would not lose in the first two tests by ordering for dead pitches where even his bowlers cannot pick twenty wickets leave alone India's. Remember the hype of preparing fast tracks to test the Indian batting line-up before they came up with feather beds? All that mind war, India did well not to fall for.

Everyone thought India came out well in the first two encouters by meeting aggressive batting with solid responses. But Woolmer had different plans. He had already set the Indians up for the ultimate encounter with orders for a green strip in Karachi.

To an extent, even he would agree, that his plans backfired on him when India, surprisingly, won the toss and when, of all people, Irfan Pathan started off with a hat-trick. At 39-6 he would have cursed himself for not being more aggressive right from the beginning of the series. However, he must have been happy to see the final score of 245 on the board and India reeling at 74-4 by the end of the first day. His plan had already worked.

Whereas, his Indian (shouldI say Australian) counterpart, Greg Chappell, overwhelmed by the record breaking performance of his makeshift opener captain on dead tracks (I still love Dravid), had no game plan whatsoever. Oh! wait, actually he did have the surprise element of sending Laxman in as the opener at Sehwag's expense. I thought Gambhir and Jaffer were in reserve just to fulfill that requirement. Didn't the Chappell/Dravid duo assess the pitch beforehand? Then why would Dravid choose to bowl when he won the toss, if they didn't after two high scoring draws? The answer is "Over confidence". Woolmer won there.

Gavaskar has a valid point.

Ordinary stuff, I tell you... Disappointingly pedestrial.

PS:- A great player does not necessarily, a good captain maketh. A great player does not necessarily, a good coach maketh.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Our men in BLUES

The way Kamran Akmal batted with the the lower order to take Pakistan to respectability, showed that the pitch and dew had nothing more to offer. But the first session was enough to create jitters to the Indian batsmen. The Men in Blue looked like they were suffering from Early Morning Greens. I am sure they were wondering, "If Pathan and Zaheer are getting this much out of the pitch, Akhtar and Mohd. Asif will make a meal out of us" .

Show them some grass and you will be witness to "Domino Effect". It would be hard to recover from here. Pakistan has taken full advantage of the situation and are sitting pretty. It would be a huge accomplishment for India, if they can get away with a draw here. From 0/3 in the first over of the game, who would have imagined such a turnaround. My arguement that the team will fail outside the subcontinent just got a boost.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Atherton's Analogy

Mike Atherton, one of my all time favourites, hits bulls eye with this comment.

Atherton added that India's behaviour toward the ICC conveyed an image of a country 'acting as superpowers tend to act: self-interest first and last and bugger the rest.'

"Last week, Malcolm Speed, the chief-executive of the ICC, found himself in a position much occupied by Kofi Annan and the United Nations in recent years: being bullied by a superpower for whom the notions of international law and collective responsibility have long ceased to have any meaning.

"He needs to stand his ground and we need to support him."

Friday, January 13, 2006

A man who tries to please everybody, pleases none

After being sent on a leather hunt by the Pakistani batsmen, the Indian think tank is planning a huge surprise on Day 2. Rahul will be donning the gloves. Sarad Pawar will be setting the field from outside and Dhoni will be opening the bowling with Laxman. Chappell and co. have never failed to introduce a surprise element during their short tenure. I wouldn't be stunned.

Leadership is not science. It is behavior. A modest and soft Dravid can never make up for an arrogant and strong Ganguly. This is the inference from yesterday's team selection and the chaos that followed (atleast per all interpretations), captured in candid. One foreign tour (outside the subcontinent) will bring to fore, the true strength of our captain and his winning strategies. Pathan's cameo, Dhoni's powerplay, Kumble's flippers will not have any impact, where Ganguly's tacts can make significant difference between defeat and victory.

As ridiculous as it was to replace Ganguly with Jaffer, it seems even worse to reverse the pick by replacing Gambhir with Ganguly. Ganguly's selection will be singled out as the biggest blunder, if India goes on to lose this Test match without a significant contribution from him. Although Ganguly, playing as a batsman this time around, has done nothing wrong yet to be thus blamed.

If Ganguly had to play, India should have just gone in to the game, playing for a draw by picking both Jaffer and Ganguly at the cost of one spinner. While that surely would have shut the doors for a outright win, that would have been the best bet for a draw.

In any case, expecting Pathan and Agarkar to pick twenty wickets in five days is a bit too much of an ask, any day. India, therefore, was playing for a draw - atleast strengthening the batting would have made more sense towards that effort.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Why I don't want to be Rahul Dravid.

It is not the first time that the Indian Team selection has been met with a lot of heat from both the media and the experts alike. It has become customary for the yapping to go on for a few days and finally die down when the tour opener begins. This tour is no different. Questions about the selection of Ganguly, Zaheer, Parthiv and Jaffer surfaced all over. The case of Dinesh Karthik, Murali Karthik, Balaji and Kaif were discussed with equal vigour. As usual everything has died down and the focus shifted to the Tour opener against Pak A where all the batsmen scored half-centuries as if to justify their case for selection to the Pongal Test.

This time is quite unique. Every batsman selected for the tour is in the pink of fitness and form. The captain is in a spot where he has to pick the playing eleven and ensure that his decision doesn't backfire at home or in the playing field. In the previous series against Sri Lanka, Rahul had it easy because the selectors did the job for him. But now, with Ganguly's inclusion and the positive outcome of Yuvraj's exposure in the previous series, Rahul has to make the decision of who to leave out.

Positions 8-11
Considering that Ganguly's selection, this time around, is based on his batting prowess and not his allrounder abilities, four regular bowlers will be picked for the First Test match. While Irfan is a sure shot, the other three slots are at Rahul's disposal.

Position 7
Dhoni is sure to retain is position as a wicket keeper batsman. The selection of Parthiv Patel for the Tour is a joke. Even if Dhoni suffers from severe diarrhea due to excessive milk consumption, he will be forced to keep wickets.

Position 5-3
Laxman, Tendulkar and Rahul are automatic. Laxman will have to show strength in batting with the tail. But Rahul's liking for Laxman will assure a berth.

It is a tough choice to make. Shewag will be selected for the first test based on his past exploits in Pak. But he cannot be complacent to ensure his place in the second test.

It is hard to make a choice between Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer for the other opening slot. I think Chappel and Dravid will make the decision by asking them to run a 100 metre race or "lucky draw". I will place my odds on Jaffer. But not more than $5.

Oh I missed one position. The sixth one
Well that is why I don't want to be Dravid for the next few days.

Sixth position
Yuvraj made use of the opportunities that he got in the Sri Lanka series with two well made seventies. He has also scored a fifty in the tour opener. He has made no mistakes since his inclusion into the team and his form has never been better. Infact he was the best of all the batsmen in the SL series.

Ganguly had to skip the tour opener as he was asked by the Board to play in the domestic match against TN. He obliged and did well by scoring fifties in both the innings. He also shone with the ball by picking up three top order wickets before he was shown the Red Card for stepping on the danger area. To his credit, Ganguly has done well inspite of pressure in every outing (except for the rain-marred Chennai test) since the drama unfolded.

Rahul will not be comfortable in making either one of them sit. His decision may backfire. If he decides to play both of them.
Will Laxman suffer?
Will someone be forced to fake injury to accommodate both Yuvraj and Ganguly?(like falling in the bathroom a la Jayasurya)
Will Ganguly be asked to open at the cost of Jaffer/Gambhir?
Will Parthiv be asked to open at the cost of Jaffer/Gambhir and Dhoni.

To me the last option will cause the least damage to the sentiments although it can prove costly at the centre.

Now does anybody around wants to wear Rahul's shoes? I will take a rain check.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cricket commentary and English language - A practical training.

During my schooldays, there were a few boys who spoke English at home,read Hardy boys.... I mean a very few. And there were some others who refered to their parents "Daddy" and Mummy" and that was all English they could speak.
I come from neither type . My parents were always amma and appa for me and I never read those novels. And I believe majority of kids were like me.

All the English I learnt, came purely from watching not Hollywood movies but cricket matches.

Ofcourse, I went to an English medium school. But then I had second languages of Hindi and French both of which I cannot claim of speaking fluently, inspite of learning them for 10 years.

My case
It is one thing to read and write but "to speak" requires courage and confidence.

Thanks to Tony Greig and his Channel Nine for introducing today's young India to the language. The language that has helped to bring home a millions of jobs from across the seas.

The interest in cricket and the keenness to analyse the game, have forced people like me to increase the TV volume to follow what is being said by the experts.
After the 1983 Prudential world cup victory, all one talked about was cricket. If you didn't, then you are a girl that is reading my blog now.

To talk to friends during the recess, required full concentration from the toss to the presentation ceremony. From the pitch to the post-match analysis, every factor was explained. And explained with phrases and words that I never knew. Every game was an English lesson. To speak fluently means to construct sentences on the feet. This I learnt from the commentators.

"That ball bamboozled the batsman"; "He caressed through to the boundary"; "Pluck it from thin air; mandatory overs; follow-on..." are all examples of how easy they made it for us.

Metaphors and similis were used at will. I was learning all this while.

Imagine, other than cricket, all we got were sponsored programs in regional languages and Hindi.
Yeah, we were shown the regular "Sorry for the break" and that was all.

In school, it was "Yes miss, no miss, sorry miss".

At home it was "ikada raa naina or kamanaati seekaram vaa" depending on your mother tongue.

There was no better place for a kid where English was spoken or was necessary in the society. Nor were we any longer under the British Rule.

Atleast now we have the Cable that brings Star news ...

From today, if some one asks who my English teacher was; my reply will be Tony Greig, Ian Chappell... in different matches and not Mrs. Girija or Nalini Ravindran.


In the previous post, I was praying for Ganguly's failure. But finally it was a win-win situation for me, Ganguly scored half centuries in both essays of the innings yet allowing TN to complete an easy victory. Jesuraj, spearheading a depleted TN attack - sans Balaji, was impressive with a 10-wicket haul. Must have raised a few eyebrows.

Ganguly's prelude to Pak tour.

Cross Posted from Pencil (1/2/2006)

Inspite of supporting Ganguly all this while, I want to see him fail in the Ranji match preceeding the Pak tour.
The reason - Bengal is playing Tamilnadu. It is a crucial tie for TN who are stranded with 5 points - thanks to the Nov-Dec rains that sabotaged their chances in the previous matches against Gujarat and Karnataka, and a vital injury blowthat has kept Balaji out of action for quite some time.

Harsh Pun-ishment

Cross Posted from Pencil (12/16/2005)

Dull-miya's recent loss is Sharad's Power gain. He was quick to fire the three who voted in favour of DADA. And now he is shocked to learn about the axing?

Poor DADA has become an overnight "bakra" falling from riches to rags. Yeah he needed to be disciplined (probably a Warning Slip) but not given a TC.

The Gang-Hooligans of Calcutta are protesting that the CHAP from Down Under go to HELL with slogans reading "no MORE".

Honestly, while I feel that the reaction from Bengal has come out pretty strong , the rest of India is not doing enough to pay its respects to DADA.

The reaction from the Bongs alone may not see DADA back into the team. It will, however, send an alarm to the BCCI's bunch of jokers, not to take our seniors cricketers lightly.

Kapil's quote

Cross Posted from Pencil (12/20/2005)

Retirement at thirty five, in any profession, will seem pre-mature, no matter how much one has earned or how hard he has worked to get there. It is only obvious that cricket players take to commentary or umpiring or coaching to stay in touch with the game and still continue to make a living.

Kapil Dev, by the time he retired, was the highest wicket taker in Test cricket and was happy to call it a day. However he soon returned to the game as coach and also tried commentating, following the footsteps of Gavaskar. I used to laugh to tears when Kapil was at the commentary box. He thought Richards was plural for Richard and Jones was plural for Jone. I am sure he was wondering how Richard had a son when he was 10 years old - I mean Richardson.

Cricinfo had a recent quote from Kapil that reminded me of his days as an expert commentator.

"My dad is 70, my mother is 60. The chances of another Kapil are close to zero."
Kapil Dev on being asked when India will see another Kapil Dev.

Laid Off - a la IT professional

Cross Posted from Pencil (12/16/2005)

Picture this!!! Silicon Valley Year 2K.
You are a software professional who has worked through the ranks of a startup company for eight odd years and by now are sitting pretty as a Team Lead. Your team consist of some talented young programmers many of whom you interviewed and selected. You take over a hopeless project from a senior and with this bright talented team, you lead the project to a success, meeting all deadlines... within budget... Now the success is being celebrated throughout the company.
First you are being praised for what a wonderful job you have done, a valuable asset... yada...yada.... This comes in the form of an email, gets mentioned in the team meeting or a "Project completion" party. You are all smiles hearing the accolades.

Just when you feel very assured of your job that you have, every now and then, been worrying about, the big news breaks - "The project is over and so are you". This happens in the form of an email or a one-on-one meeting with the manager. You are asked to pack your bags and leave. An escort walks with you and leads your way out (if it is a big company). Your colleagues, who you shared a joke at the break room as late as that morning , silently watch you pack . Nobody utters a word. Probably they received the news a little earlier than you did, you wonder. Neither do you want to speak to them (a professional that you are), nor do they attempt to break the ice. Some of them don't speak to you at that moment because they don't know how to open a conversation with you or they don't know how you react. There are some others who never liked you and are happy to see your back. And the remaining are busy worrying about their own fate thinking "Am I next". If you received a "Bye man, keep in touch..", its a huge consolation. End of story.

Drawing Parallel
Ganguly's sacking bears a striking similarity to that of this IT professional of Y2K times.
According to cricinfo :

Funnily enough, just moments before Shah made the announcement, Dravid had addressed the press, and praised Ganguly's batting in the Test, soon after attending the selection meeting, along with Greg Chappell, the coach. "He played very well in both innings," said Dravid. "I'm sure he'll be disappointed that he did not go on and make a bigger score." The selection meeting was a short one, lasting approximately 20 minutes..

Just when Ganguly would have started to feel reassured of his captain's remarks, cricinfo notes:

The manner in which events unfolded soon after the Delhi Test left a few people stunned. "The selection committee decided to retain ..." began Niranjan Shah, and the packed hall expected a routine announcement, " ... Rahul Dravid as captain for the forthcoming series against Pakistan and England." Then came the announcement, deadpan as anything, that there was one change in the squad, with Jaffer replacing Ganguly.

Cricketnext notes that no other player said "bye" to Ganguly as he left.

How did this happen? Are the BCCI administrators as smart as the HR Heads of Silicon Valley or say even Bangalore? I would say "no". Only a foreigner can script such a nicely executed plot. Or wait...
Could it be a lesson learnt from the IT Industry itself?
May be. Read my take...

We all know that Dravid's dad worked for Kissan and that is why his nickname is "jammy". But not many know that Dravid has an uncle who was once the HR Head for my previous employer.Dr. RN Dravid, the uncle, later moved on to become the CEO of a startup IT company called @Roads around the year 2000. As the head of a tech-startup in Y2K, he may have had to lay off a fair share of his own employees.

Rahul Dravid has been able to maintain a stain-free public image all along. Did he take a few lessons from his PHD uncle. Is this where Rahul learnt his lay-off skills too? Effortless ease. Typical way of laying off an IT professional. I would not be surprised.

Special Mention
cricketnext.com has been covering the Ganguly saga better than anybody else. I urge folks to check out the following stuff. Pretty funny and yet informative.

1. Greg Chappell's bio
2. Greg Chappell and a bunch of con-men.

PS:- The closest I can ever get to investigative journalism. Also, I love Rahul Dravid inspite of this post. Dont get me wrong.

At par performance, yet out?

Cross Posted from Pencil (12/14/2005)

From the below stats of the recently concluded test match, it is very evident that only two players have performed consistently in both the innings - Gautham Gambir and Saurav Ganguly. While the former increased his second innings tally by adding one more than his first essay, the latter got one lesser than his own first outing. Was this the yardstick used for dropping Ganguly and retaining Gambhir?
Do I hear you say; "You are comparing apples to oranges; Gambhir is a opener but Ganguly..."?
But then, why replace an orange with an apple for the third test? Yes I am questioning the replacement of Saurav with Wasim Jaffer.

Okay, now let us consider the middle order. Surprisingly and as rarely as it happens, every one of the middle order batsman has gotten a decent score atleast in one of the two innings. Ganguly stands out as an exception being the only player to cross 35 in both the innings. Yeah he didn't get a fifty like the others did. But to me a 40 and 39 seems equally good if not better than a 69 and 11 (Laxman) or a 0 and 77 (Yuvraj) or a 5 and 51 (Dhoni) or a 0 and 93 (Irfan).

This is not an arguement against the other Indian middle order batsmen. But, it beats me to justify the selection of Ganguly just to be dropped again after what should be considered a decent performance on a brave comeback inspite of the odds that are working against him.

If the selectors had already decided to drop Saurav, irrespective of his performance in the Test, then why include him at all in the first place for one game.

If at all somebody needs to be dropped to bring in Sarad Pawar's Wasim Jaffer, it was the opener who has been miserable in all the oppurtunities that he has had in this series.

If Ganguly is old, Wasim Jaffer is not far behind especially considering that he is just beginning all over at 27. Atleast if you are bringing in the youngsters like Shikar Dhawan or Gaurav Dhiman or Robin Utthappa, I can understand.

My worry is, I just don't want to see the entire Bombay team be labeled the Indian team yet again as we had it in the 70s. I would n't be surprised if Sairaj Bahutule gets a call back along with Romesh Powar in the bowling department.

The stand and deliver attitude of More and Co. does not help and if it can happen to Ganguly, so can it easily to every one in the team.

It is essential, as I reiterate from my previous post, that superstars like Saurav, Kumble and Laxman be given a proper farewell for they have served the country for long and well. An abrupt end to their careers is simply not acceptable and does not reflect the character of the nation that celebrates this particular sport as religion and worships its players as ...

Stats of the batsmen in the 2nd Test Match against Sri Lanka
Player - 1st Inn - 2nd Inn - Ave
G Gambhir - 2 - 3 - 2.5
*R Dravid - 24 - 53 - 38.5
VVS Laxman - 69 - 11 - 40
SR Tendulkar - 109 - 16 - 62.5
SC Ganguly - 40 - 39 - 39.5
Yuvraj Singh - 0 - 77* - 77
+MS Dhoni - 5 - 51* - 56
IK Pathan - 0 - 93 - 46.5

Border Crossing

Cross Posted from Pencil (11/25/2005)

They said he was getting old. They were talking of the wrinkles on his face, the slowness of his feet, his eyesight and his sense of timing. He had scored only 106 runs in four outings. But the fact is, he was wrongly given out three times in this tour. Obviously, he cannot do anything about it.

He came back at them and how? With an unbeaten 202, just twelve runs shy of becoming Test Cricket's highest run getter. It would be nice to see Lara surpass Allan Border in what could be his last Test in Australia.

An old, slow and tired Lara, on his day, is still better than any other cricketer in the world. His retirement could mark the beginning of the end of long-innings players. For, all we have left, is a generation of cricketers that can wack the ball a few times before getting out.

There will be a certain deficiency of temperament that will become evident when a few retirements are announced. The more it is delayed, the higher the chances of Test Cricket to survive in this modern day world.

Proper farewell

Cross Posted from Pencil (11/23/2005)

The Indians have pulled out a never seen before performance in this series.
Never before has the Indian team shown such domination in a series home and away. With every individual contributing in one game or the other, it is obviously going to bediffucult for the selectors to pick the team against the South Africans. A quick look at the playing twelve narrows down to only one rotating spot available for experimenting in the batting front.
With Shewag, Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni (wk) and Yuvraj taking away four slots. The team think tank has ony positions to fill.
Considering Shewag's drought for runs inspite of getting a good start, Gambhir becomes an obvious choice for opening with Sachin and Shewag dropping down one slot.
We now have one open slot for batsman and the supersub slot.
If Suresh Raina takes up the super sub slot (due to his ability to bowl a bit), it will leave Venugopal Rao, Mohammed Kaif and outsiders like Ganguly, Dinesh Mongia, Badani and S. Sriram fighting for one spot. Kaif, however wonderful a fielder he is, is yet to produce a convincing performance (for sometime now) with the bat. Will they leave out Ganguly and his legacy drop dead. What about Dinesh Mongia's performance at the English county. Will it go unnoticed. Laxman? Lets wait to see what's in store for them in the future. Kiran More and co. may totally surprise us by dropping and never bothering to call back some of the youngsters from this series like they did for Balaji.

The seventh spot in the Indian One Day team

Cross Posted from Pencil - 11/09/2005

The Indians have pulled out a never seen before performance in this series.
Never before has the Indian team shown such domination in a series home and away. With every individual contributing in one game or the other, it is obviously going to bediffucult for the selectors to pick the team against the South Africans. A quick look at the playing twelve narrows down to only one rotating spot available for experimenting in the batting front.
With Shewag, Sachin, Dravid, Dhoni (wk) and Yuvraj taking away four slots. The team think tank has ony positions to fill.
Considering Shewag's drought for runs inspite of getting a good start, Gambhir becomes an obvious choice for opening with Sachin and Shewag dropping down one slot.
We now have one open slot for batsman and the supersub slot.
If Suresh Raina takes up the super sub slot (due to his ability to bowl a bit), it will leave Venugopal Rao, Mohammed Kaif and outsiders like Ganguly, Dinesh Mongia, Badani and S. Sriram fighting for one spot. Kaif, however wonderful a fielder he is, is yet to produce a convincing performance (for sometime now) with the bat. Will they leave out Ganguly and his legacy drop dead. What about Dinesh Mongia's performance at the English county. Will it go unnoticed. Laxman? Lets wait to see what's in store for them in the future. Kiran More and co. may totally surprise us by dropping and never bothering to call back some of the youngsters from this series like they did for Balaji.