Jai Ma Kali

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The “Chandidas” in the name Sourav Chandidas Ganguly means the slave (devotee) of Ma Chandi also known as Ma Kali to her followers.

When Sourav Ganguly was playing a command innings against South Africa on a difficult pitch under choking pressure, laying to bed the demons in his mind and the demons in the dressing room and in the press box, there was a presence on the field—a Godly presence shepherding him through the toughest few hours of his career.

I am talking about the substitute player fielding for the South Africans, on for the injured Dale Steyn.

A man by the name of Makalima.

Yes. You saw that correct.

Ma Kali Ma.

And when Sourav threw back the years, the hurt and the humiliation, hitting an amazing six of Ntini and then in the press conference desisted from gloating, instead choosing to heap praise on those those with whom his relationship can best be described as uneasy, he ended up proving something we all know to be true but sometimes have trouble keeping faith in—-that God helps them who help themselves.

Cause help himself he did. Whether it be rushing to practice within two hours of touching down in South Africa or doing kickboxing and parachute training to sharpen his reflexes, Ganguly showed a desperate hunger to be back inthe team— an inspiring determination which his jaundiced critics interpreted as “his stubborn refusal to let go” and his desire not to lose the commercial advantages of being in the cricket team.

Talking of critics, if there was anything funnier than Sreesanth’s bat-twirling and Shakira-esque butt-shaking it must have been Ravi “the expert” Shastri laying the credit for Sourav’s performance at Greg Chappell’s door who, if we are to believe Shastri’s spin (which is far more exaggerated than anything he bowled), made Sourav and Zaheer take a break and come back stronger. Of course this does not explain Greg Chappell’s accusations about Sourav faking injury, nor his desire to humiliate and break Dada down but who cares? In the larger context of India making history by kicking the butt of the arrogant South Africans on their own tampered pitch, what’s one more idiotic Ravi-Shastrism between friends?

Apart from Sourav’s return what was heart-warming to see was the spectacular comeback for another “Chappell Way” victim Zaheer Khan. While his bowling was incisive and his batting fearless, what impressed me the most was his amazingly sharp display of fielding that accounted for the fast-running De Villers. And no words of praise can be high enough for Sreesanth, a Chappell-Dravid inclusion (just to show that they do get it right too), whose high-energy seam bowling (the delivery to remove Kallis was a gem) and rocket-like verbals must have been a shock for the South Africans used to the apologetic Srinath and the caterpillerian Prasad.

In conclusion, the battle for the series has just begun. The South Africans have paid once for their arrogant complacency, they are unlikely to do so in the future. Sourav has started on the path to reclaiming his glory (a place in the World Cup 2007 being his immediate goal) but the path to his rehabilitation is long and with people waiting for him to stumble, the pressure and weight of expectations can only increase from here on.

And unfortunately there won’t be Ma-Kali-Ma on the field everyday, whispering words of wisdom to her dear devotee.

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91 thoughts on “Jai Ma Kali

  1. good one GB lol … seriously how many people noticed the name of the substituted fielder Ma Kali ma raise your hands. what no one ? good observation GB. AAs my name suggests these are happy days 🙂 for me hope the trio make it to the world cup 🙂

  2. Overall an excellent win for India. Now all we need is for the team to keep their feet on the ground and actually close out the series and not throw away the lead like other touring Indian teams in the past.

    We should keep the real celebrations till later.

  3. Almost spit out my drink when I read “Makalima”. Sweet Zombie Jesus with the wordplay.

    So you don’t think having an australian coach is helping the indian team any bong? Or is it just chappell you don’t like?

  4. So we have two camps now.. The Chappell-Dravid Camp(Sreesanth is a member, you say) and the Chappell Victim Camp..

    I thought all the camp stories would deflate after a win.. Does not seem to be happening. Dont think it does a world of good to a team to know that some members are gunning for their heads, a bit like your boss telling you, one more mistake and you are fired.

  5. GB..Ganguly interview with ESPN:

    http://videos.streetfire.net/video/c6ba51d8-619d-43f1-95a1-989b0105581d.htm

    Ganguly probably should stay away from the media as much as possible. Remember what happened last year in Zimbabwe. Harsha Bhogle is actually a slimy bastard…a bread of a diabolical manipulator hiding behind the caviar of smoothness and sophistication. Notice how irritating way he ends the interview…”hopefully I will see a smile on your face the next time”. I liked the fucker on ABC and AIR radio ..but not on TV. His cricket writing is also abysmal nowadays. Also the interview kinda showed what a nice person Saurav is how innocent and straightforward manner he answered the questions….and people call him arrogant!

    Great knock in the first innings…and poor shot in the second. Great test win too….nothing feels better than when India wins a Test match …and this one was straight outta blue.

    I second your opinion on Ravi. He sounds good on air with ex cricketers. In the studio…and when he tries to appear larger than what he was a cricketer….is when he really gets on the viewers nerves…especially for viewers who have watched him play. But you know as well as I do that people like Ravi and Harsha dont like Saurav in the side. Ravi is actually in a dilemma now…he was shouting Gautam Gambhir all along…now with Jaffer failing…he has gone silent..as if Gambhir comes into the team now…it”ll be at the expense of bombay boy jaffer.
    And makalima willing..saurav will score more runs on this tour and go to WI as well.

  6. @GB’sfan2
    Well, Harsha is not that bad a guy afterall, but I guess the extreme attachment with Ganguly may lead one to feel hurt by that.

    Which, may not have been the intention from Harsha.

    Ganguly really did not look at ease in the interview, you certainly can’t deny that. Gavaskar noticed that too.
    Its pretty understandable, given his not so easy recent history and all that.

    But lets face it, “may you score more and more runs and we’d like to see the smile back at your face!” is a straight forward comment, if not nurturing extreme optimism, well its certainly devoid of any real ill-intentions as well.

    I’d take it as someone expecting him to be comfortable and in full flow again!

    If you have other incidences however, where you noticed the Ganguly-hating-instincts in Harsha, then I wouldnt like to argue.

  7. Ganguly’s autobiography will be really interesting and inspiring-“Return of Tiger” sounds good to me ?

    Yourfan2: Mate you are losing objectivity here.
    AFAIK Harsha never claims to be an expert.
    I think now are being vindictive like anti -Ganguly camp !

  8. As one of those who thought Dada was finished as a bat and didn’t deserve his place in the team, I was amazed to see his courage. One can only imagine the kind of pressure he must have been feeling. One failure here and the cynics (myself included) would have been jumping to pay the return fare. What a man. To do it again (remember his debut in England? I got that wrong too!) is just too much. I bow my head in reverence to Ma Kali Ma’s das.

  9. Hey GB…m not a fan of DADA but this performance of his deserves all the praise that he gets.. he is a sure pick for the 2007 WC if he hits another 50 and the selection panel doesn’t change…as for what the “experts” say well sidhu was an “expert” too 😉

  10. There is a tinge of truth in Ravi Shastri’s statement. Dada did deserve to be dropped when he was for the very first time…that would definitely have helped him. The humiliation and political skulduggery that followed was crap.

    and i doubt Greg Chappell pulls enough strings in Indian cricket to keep Ganguly out for so long. The BCCI remains as opaque and unaccountable as ever.

  11. Hahah true. just today, i’m walking back from college, and it suddenly strikes me that there hasn’t been a ‘welcome dada back” blog from greatbong yet, and i rush home to see one in place.
    Maa Kali maa granted my wish?

    Go dada go! 🙂

  12. As you all may know that Chappell is a strong contender for the postion of Australian coach when Buchanan retires the WC2007. Australian team has lost only series in the last 25 series they have played i.e the Ashes last year to england and the series to India. “Coaching” India for 3-4 years by breaking the mental strenght and the confidence of the team by divide and rule policy, will definitely ensure that when we starts coaching the Ozes his job is just as easy as sitting on an arm chair and picking his nose. To make his objective even more easier is our BCCI honchos, mostly from the time of the British Raj era who still have a little bit of white worship virus reminiscent in their blood. As long as they are around no white western coach will ever be provred wrong and loose his job.
    I am looking forward to another 4-5 years when the present batch of cricketers retiers and take up profesional coaching.

  13. I was no great fan of Ganguly but used to be happy with the Indian team winning under him. My most memorable one is the Sahara series in Canada. Possibly because it involved thrashing Pakistan 🙂

    Dada was the Man of the series if I remember it right (4 man of the match awards?).

    What he has done for his comeback is remarkable. You can not ignore the fact that his fighting spirit has rubbed on the others in the team. Can you think of Sreesanth doing a ‘Shakira-esque butt-shaking’ in the one day series?

    Team India finally played well. Other than Sreesanth, the major contributers are Ganguly, Laxman & Zaheer. What does Greg-Da (yes, he has to follow the Bong way now) has to say to that. BTW, have you noticed, no more Greg-Da interviews now !!

    Joi Maa Kali. Durga Durga.

  14. Cricket is a team game! Sadly at some point in his cricketing career, Dada thought that presence in the cricket team was his birthright! His performance in the series in Pakistan was nothing short of pathetic and the steadfast pigheadedness and refusal to let go of the captaincy cost him his place for a year.

    Same goes for people like Zak. There was a time when he was overweight(he has lost a lot of weight since)and repeatedly getting injured.

    There is NO lack of talent in these blokes. They are a great asset to the team when they have the right attitude and fitness. But after a cricketing high(read WC finalists, winning in Pakistan, NATWest etc etc), the group under Ganguly, himself included became very complacent.

    There is no place for complacency/sentiments in sport(Poms will testify that for sure). Hopefully, the folly is corrected and we shall see some good performances now.

  15. Great observation Arnabda! Let your observation powers remain like this forever by Maa Kali’s grace!
    Frankly speaking even though I’m a Ganguly fan, I never expected such a comeback from him in South Africa. He has exceeded all expectations. I think it would not be unfair to say that his fighting comeback has uplifted the spirit of the whole team.

    @Jack The Ripper: You wrote “There is NO lack of talent in these blokes. They are a great asset to the team when they have the right attitude and fitness.
    Man! You can’t say that about Ganguly. His greatest contribution to the Indian team was the attitude. We never had shortage of talents. It’s his attitude that made him the best Indian Captain and made him stand apart (as captain) from immensely talented people like Sachin and Dravid.

  16. SCG played well but it was only a 50 not a double 100. To justify his place he needs to make more runs in the remainder of the series. Same goes for SRT and Sehwag.

  17. @Aslam
    Aslam bhai, wake-up….we are talking of a pitch in SA not a dead pitch in India !!

    BTW, the 51 of SCG was n.o., didn’t you hear SCG in the interview that he would have scored a 1000 runs if he wouldn’t have run out of partners? (Link not provided coz theres none. The interview I mean. Ho Ho Ho) 😉

  18. Asterix, so why aren’t people talking about Tendulkar’s 44 or Laxman’s 73? Not much difference between 44 and 51 or 51 and 73 now is there? Why so much hype over a 50? And don’t be such a self loather. All pitches in India are not dead. India has it’s share of dead pitches just like SA. Ever heard of Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth or Kimberly?

    And when Ganguly was dropped from the ODI squad, it was justifiable and long overdue. He had been absolutely pathetic for quite in a while in ODIs. But I never agreed with him being dropped from the test side.

  19. @Aslam,

    1. because that was 51* ( not out).

    2. The pressure that was on him . I doubt how many people would have continued even playing the game the humiliation he had to go through!if you can not appreciate that then I do not have to say anything.

    3. In the first innings the pitch was almost unplayable ( in the second day morning Guru himself said , each run counts for two).

  20. Well it might be also true that Chappel deliberately asked the Indian team to perform badly in the one dayers so as to make
    1. SA complaisant and then shatter them in the test
    2. Bring back dada. Ah this was filmy way of bringing back dada…no one will even doubt his intentions.

  21. dodo

    Agree about the pressure. But he did not play a boy on the burning deck type of knock. He chipped in just like everyone else. More than Ganguly it was Tendulkar’s knock that came in when the pitch was nearly unplayable because the ball was darting all over the place for the first 2-3 hours.

  22. @Gang_LaX_Zak_Fan: Hope so too.

    @Simon: That of course remains to be seen…we have lost one-ups before most famously in Australia, 2003.

    @Anangbhai: I have no problems with a foreign coach. As a matter of fact, I prefer a foreign coach because usually foreign coaches wont have any regional agendas. The problem is in the personality of Chappell….his “respect ma authoratty…” way of doing things.

    @Jason: The team is too deeply divided for that. Make no mistake—-there is a strong section just waiting for SG to trip up so that the knives may be brought out once again.

    @Clairvoyant: I hope so too.

    @Giri: His samurai sword waving is a great Youtube moment.

    @Yourfan2: I would be a little less stringent on Harsha Bhogle. Sure he has his biases (an amazingly parochial love for Azharuddin for instance) and as far as I remember he and Ravi Shastri were the two most stringent voices against Dada’s first comeback in 1995. However I kind of like his commentary and he does not exude the stuffy “I know best” attitude of Ravi Shastri which is all the more funny because among all the commentators, Shastri is the one who comes off as the least knowledgeable.

    @dEbOLiN: Thank you

    @Sam: SG’s autobiography…I look forward to that. It will come after he retires and he will take no prisoners I am sure.

    @Prateek: Yes the pressure on him would have brought a lesser man to his knees. SG is a player with many cricketing limitations. But lack of resolve is not one of them.

    @Gourav: I hope he is picked for WC07….I really do.

    @Parag: Yes perhaps. But several others also deserve to be dropped by the same yardstick of “performance”. Please let’s not compare ourselves to be Australia where there is an embarrassment of backup talent. SG was dropped not because his performance was exceptionally bad (other people performing as badly retain their spots) but because of a personality clash and board politics.

    @PJ: Well if Dada performs can I be far behind with my “I-told-you-so” post?

    @Fel_Uda: I do hope Dada becomes coach one day…he would be terrific.

    @Asterix: Greg-da is tending to his injured middle finger for sure !

    @Thlayli: And Dada is the underdog now.

    @Jack The Ripper:

    “His performance in the series in Pakistan was nothing short of pathetic”

    Which one? He played one Test and scored 40 and 39 (his last Test before this one) and his batting was solid. He was unlucky in both the innings to be out to the first false shot he played.

    @Joy Forever: 🙂 Thank you

    @Aslam: I think the subsequent commentors have answered your question as to why this 51* is more significant than a century. As to the ball darting around when SRT was playing, I have two things to say.

    1. Just because SG made batting look so easy, does not mean that the pitch had eased off.

    2. Right after SG came back after his 51*, the SA went in and got shot out. Which proves the devil in the pitch had not gone away.

    @Sharique: Heh.

  23. @Aslam bhai
    Dodo bhai mentioned about the pressure on Ganguly. That is why his innings is so important. Also if you have been following the SA tour, Team India was giving up without a fight. It is only when Ganguly arrived in Potchefstroom and scored that fighting 83 that Team India started believing in themselves.

    I agree that Ganguly was not playing well when he was dropped. But to label him as a bad influence on the team & being there for financial reasons shows the contempt that was shown to one of Indias greatest cricketer.

    What would you prefer, a batsmen or bowler performing exceedingly well or a player enthusing everyone to perform better for a win?

    And wait, the story is just getting written. Noone can say how Ganguly will perform in the next 2 tests. Will he be dropped if he doesn’t perform or will he be given a lifer like say a Sachin or Sehwag gets?

  24. I would rather have non-performing(with bat) captain in a winning side than a performing(again,batting) captain in a losing side. Right from the days of Gavaskar, we have had captains who played to draw tests rather than win them.Mind you,I never opined that Sourav is a better batsman than Gavaskar,but he is hell lot a better captain.
    What do you need to win,besides talent?ATTITUDE.Ozzies have both,the Springboks have only the former(other than that historic run-chase).
    Saurav brought attitide to a talented team.And attitude counts for a lot nowadays in the cricket field. That’s why McGrath declares his bunnies before the start of a series,that’s why Ozzies sledge.Fair?Guuess not. Wins matches?Sure does.I very much doubt “gentleman” Dravid would have had the gall to make Steve Waugh wait for the toss.
    Of course,his gentlemanliness is questionable by the way he hankered for the captaincy.
    He,of course,is an excellent batsman.
    And as for jokers,or experts,like More,Shasti and Bedi are concerned….
    At least Greg is consistent on his dislike for Ganguly.
    Look at turncoat More.the same man who declared that Saurav would not find a place in the Indian team as long as he was selector,was singing praises to his experience n Times Now.
    And how many Tests did Bishen Singh Bedi win as captain?Didn’t he take his team off to protest against hostile bowling?a real braveheart,I must say.
    And Shastri.Quite an team-player,especially on a particular World Cup game.

    Saurav is a man of spirit, a fighter.And he has proved it.
    If he doesn’t perform,drop him by all means.But have the same yardstick for everybody,even geniuses like Tendulkar.
    My Ma Kali help Dada to find the strength to continue fighting.

  25. I really loved that Sreesanth dance. But I am also loving the Ganguly comeback. How is that suddenly everyone from Chappell to Shastri feel that “Ganguly still has a lot to give to cricket” when the same idiots would have given tooth and nail to shove Ganguly into his grave – Chappell is perhaps the biggest hypocrite we’ve seen in Indian Cricket for a while.

    I think its about time Tendulkar & Sehwag are also dropped from the team as Ganguly was on “performance counts” – perhaps in chappell-speak, a break should do them “good” and allow them to come back to the game more “focused”.

    S

  26. After all the whining that came after the one day series Chappell has proved the naysayers wrong and has come out on top.

    Here’s a big fuck you to all the Chappell Haters!!

    Chappell coach for Life!

    Hopefully those politicians have STFU too. Nice to see Ganguly playing well too.

  27. Bong babu:

    Sure Ganguly batted well but the hype that his 51* is getting is astounding. It’s like he’s made a triple. For me SRT’s 44 was a better knock as it came under more trying conditions, especially since we were 14/2. He attacked and put us in control. Anyway, best of luck to both of them for the remaining tests.

    Asterix:

    Sehwag has outperformed Ganguly ever since he made his debut in tests, so lets not even go there. Sehwag has also been in good form in tests over the past year. Sachin has been in poor form of late so he has something to prove in the remaining two test just like Ganguly.

  28. @Ramesh:You think this victory was due to Chappell??! Seriously,you got some imagination. Would this victory been possible without Ganguly and Laxman? No? Well,for your kind information the Great Guru and his protege didn’t want them in the team.They were included IN SPITE of their objections.So that kind of discounts Chappell’s winning strategies and observations,doesn’t it?
    And one more thing:You may have strong feelings but there’s no need of abusive language towards any community.Any abuse in any posts before was directed towards some specific individual like More or Shastri.I am sure you are not More writing under a pseudonym.I don’t recall any “Fuck Ganguly-haters” or “Screw Dravid-lovers” comments here.
    Bongda,would appreciate if you enforce this.

  29. Good article as usual greatbong. But I have one question.

    It came across in the article that you thought Zaheer Khan was wrongly dropped by Chappell and Dravid. Are you serious? Do you remember him bowling like the way he did when he was dropped? The stint away from the national team has done him a lot good and I strongly believe that players like Sehwag and to some extent Sachin, should be made to do so too. Both these players have a lot more to offer to Indian cricket and the getting their seat hot would help a lot. The only problem with making Sachin sit out is that we don’t have Yuvraj available right now.

  30. @Aslam:So Sehwag has been in good form in the tests?So you agree that he should be dropped for the ODIs?

    As for comparisons…..

    ” Player Mat Rns HS BatAv 100 50
    Sehwag 35 896 108 26.35 1 4
    Ganguly 35 979 90 29.66 0 7
    To those who can ask for giving stats of more matches:
    Sehwag 60 1690 130 28.64 2 7
    Ganguly 60 1860 112* 35.09 3 10
    Source : http://cricinfo.com
    And this trend holds true even for the last 30, 25, and 20 matches!! Our next would be captain is still worse than ex captain! We are just comparing the batting proficiency not the captaincy ..Ok?
    (In statistics table Ganguly data given in black and Sehwag in red )
    Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St

    Overall 279 10123 183 40.65 22 60 93 5/16 37.31 2 96 0
    139 4148 130 32.15 7 19 66 3/25 39.45 0 57 0

    Though ganguly played almost double matches compared to Sehwag , he still maintains a far better batting average than that of Sehwag in one day. Despite plateau of performance, Sourav is far ahead of Sehwag .if Sehwag moves in same pace then he will take almost 320 matches to reach to Ganguly’s 22 centuries —much more than Ganguly took! so is the case for half centuries. Scoring 10,000 magic figure in one day like Ganguly –Sehwag has to go a long way .above table explains the points clearly .

    Source: http://www.welovesourav.com/com.doc

    Of course,you can make jokes on the name of the website,but that doesn’t change facts,does it?

    Moot point is: If Ganguly had been punished for non-performance(which maybe,he should have been) then many others should also have been dropped.
    He wasn’t dropped for performance;ego clashes and board politics were the reasons.

    @Greatbong: My apologies for the successive long posts.

  31. Sourya:

    I was talking about test cricket as was evident from my post. Sehwag was outperformed Ganguly by a mile since his test debut. And yes, he should be dropped for his indifferent ODI form. And Ganguly being dropped from ODIs back in 2005 was justified. He was simply pathetic, especially against Pak in the 2005 series at home.

  32. @Sourya, thanks for the stats.
    @Aslam, do you need more info? Noone is simply backing Ganguly because he ‘was’ a good captain / cricketer. Tell me what you would do if your boss hates you & dismisses you from your organisation saying you are a bad influence on your colleagues. The organisation you so much love to work with because you have fond memories there. And you wont let go not because of financial reasons but because you don’t want your boss to keep you away. Would you have the attitude & spirit to fight back & get back? Lets give Ganguly the credit the deserves.

  33. I pray to the great Makalima that Dada maintains his form and that he become the captain once again.

    Did you see something GB? When Dalmiya used to be the BCCI president and Calcutta was given the “good” matches, The Hindu and the other “unbiased” newspapers would point out Dalmiya’s roots and accuse Dalmiya of regional politics. Now that Sharad the Power has given Mumbai the honor of hosting the World Cup final, you do wonder why no-one is making the connection they rushed to make when Dalmiya ruled the roost.

  34. @Rohan: Only Bengalis(or Kolkatans,in case of Jaggu dada) are parochial;rest of Indians are Indians first.Didn’t you know that.Its merely a coincidence that Andhras root for Venugopal rao and all 11 members were at one point of time from Maharashtra.

    NOTE: I am as parochial as an Andhraite or Maharashtrian.I just hate when I am the only one to be pointed out.As Greatbong put so eloquently”No one askes a Maharashtrian how His Tendulkar failed or a Kannadiga how His Dravid scored a duck.”
    But one Ganguly failure,and its “What happened to your prince of Kolkata,bangali babu?”.

  35. I don’t care about Shastri, Anand Vasu etc much. What please me is that the team is now relying on Dada, Lakshman, Kumble and Zaheer 🙂

    All marked men as far as Chappel and Dravid are concerned.

    Hope we continue like this. And I hope sachin and Sehwag return to form. Full marks to Sreesanth.

  36. Hilarious! Ma-KaLi-Ma…what??!!! Hahahaha:D! I don’t follow cricket much these days but this observation about Ganguly’s middle name and a South African fielder’s name is superlative. I am getting inspired by you to write something funny.

  37. Good post but why did you forgot VVS Laxman. He is the highest scorer in the match and took couple of good catches in the slip amongst all the talk of him being unfit and a lousy fielder.

  38. Arnab,

    I disagree slightly. When Ganguly was dropped, it was a fair call. You can argue that someone else deserved the same fate, might be entirely true but that doesn’t mean Ganguly didn’t deserve to be dropped. I would entirely agree that subsequent witch hunt was uncalled for. Similar is the story of Zaheer Khan, he was grossly underperforming when he was dropped, now he has lost weight and doing much better.

    We shouldn’t have any problems dropping players as as long we don’t permanently throw them out. in my humble opinion, it is time for SRT to be given a ”break”.

  39. @Confused

    You desisted from naming the ‘someone else’ at the beginning of your post. But you have redeemed yourself in the last line.

    In this country, there is a certain taboo attached to the topic of Sachin’s place in the Indian team. You can comment on his injuries, his consistent failure to perform, his loss of form. But you CANNOT question/discuss/debate/broach the subject of ‘Sachin’s place in the Indian team’. Manjrekar did that and was ostracised.

    If this team management is so ruthless about the non-performers, drop Sachin. Let him do the Nagpur-Kolhapur-Jabbalpur circuit in domestic cricket, just like SG did the Siliguri-Guwahati circuit. Let him prove himself.

    And if he performs and if there is a place for him in the team, he can come back! Otherwise, it’s a case of different strokes for different folks.

  40. @Dhruv and Sam: I get what you are saying…the thing is after listening to a particular commentator for many years, you kind of know his tone and tenor as if hes your next door neighbour. Harsha Bhogle actually used to a program called “Inside Edge” on Espn in 1996 and anyone who has seen those episodes will know what his real attitude towards Ganguly is. In fact Harsha actually wrote an article for Anandabazar Saturday edition sometime in 1997 clarifying his position towards Ganguly. My point is that its natural for Ganguly to be a little cautious in what he says in public domain….in fact he should be after what has happened last year. Dont forget….it was Harsha’s persistent questioning which led to Saurav’s spilling the beans last year in Zimbabwe.

    Now I may be biased in the sense that I like Ganguly, or you may call me cynical and unobjective or whatever, but the fact is that whenever I hear stuff like “what else have to gotta prove after 10000 runs and so many tests”, “when you were coming thru that dark tunnel …what was going thru ur mind” kinda questions, I cant help help but think that these are aimed at the emotional buttons of an emotional person. A melodramatic answer would have made good headlines …..and to Saurav’s credit, he replied in quite a wry and staccato fashion. Say if he made statement like ” With that pull shot in 1st innings, I have now made an offer to fast bowlers around the world that they cannot accept”…and then goes on to bag a pair in the Boxing day test, he would look like a real ass. It is therefore to his advantage to keep as low key as possible and let his bat do the talking.

    I have nothing personal against Harsha though, just that i always believed that his style of talking is best suited for radio. I like the fan’s enthusiasm he brings to the table and the childlike wonder with he still sees the game.

  41. Confused,

    Tune to barre ke chatte mein haanth ghused diya hai,
    Now be ready for the swarm of angry commentrators 🙂
    (Half for tendlya, other half for dada, though if you ask me cricket is a british conspiracy to keep India down)

  42. @yourfan2: Great vid. Thanks for the link.
    I’ve never seen such cold, bone dry expressions from Sourav in an interview- ever. I’m glad with the way he answered questions from a mediocre cricketer turned “I’ve aaaaalways said so” epitome of cricketing wisdom- Slimeball Shastri. It is very important for him to stay calm, focussed and objective right now, but I do hope that he writes an autobiography someday- with a page or so on the “magical scorer of 25 runs from 67 balls” or “he who morning walks the last 5 feet to crease after being given a life by the keeper”.
    And when he does that, I hope he follows Keith Richards’ words of wisdom- “when you kick somebody in the teeth, it’s best to use both feet.”

  43. >> Ganguly probably should stay away from the media as much as possible. Remember what happened last year in Zimbabwe. Harsha Bhogle is actually a slimy bastard…a bread of a diabolical manipulator hiding behind the caviar of smoothness and sophistication. Notice how irritating way he ends the interview…”hopefully I will see a smile on your face the next time”.
    ===============

    Hahaha… Yesh yesh.. Horsha Bhogle is bad. Sshlimey Bosshtord. He ish reshponsible for Gongulys bad fortune. hehehe..

    Hey man get a life. Bengal has more to it than Ganguly.

    I am so sick of hearing More bad, Chappell bad, Pawar bad, Dravid bad, Tendulkar bad, Sehwag bad, etc etc.

    Get it straight pal, Ganguly was out of the team because he wasnt performing. He hadnt had hit a fifty in two years. Now thats a long period of time, even Sehwag and Tendulkar score some good runs once in six months. If he had been performing well, no amount of politicking could have thrown him out. In fact, Ganguly got a lot of time to improve. He should have learnt from Mark Taylor, former Aussie captain, who used to drop himself if he were out of form.

    Even now, realize this. Ganguly still has lot to do to make up for lost time. I absolutely love his aggressive captaincy style, but not at the cost of one player to the team. It is the beginning, and I am delighted to see him back in action, and better than overhyped Tendulkar.

  44. Also, I missed out “shlimeboll Shostri” in my comment. Yeah, any cricketer who is not from Bengal is a slimey bastard or a slimeball. Right?

    Gaurav,
    Yep, I guess me too will now face the brunt.

    Ganguly zindabad. Ganguly zindabad… (phew.. )

  45. In fact Harsha actually wrote an article for Anandabazar Saturday edition sometime in 1997 clarifying his position towards Ganguly.

    =========

    @yourfan,

    Hey hey, you are dreaming up stuff, arent you. Yeah of course, the same ananda bazaar might have first fanned the flames, spread the notion that Harsha is against Ganguly (of course, they cant say anything against Ganguly, even if he is not playing well).

    Ganguly zindabad..
    Ganguly zindabad..
    Ganguly zindabad..
    Ganguly zindabad..

    @GreatBong,

    Shastri was a bad player, but he is not as bad a commentator as you think.

  46. “even Sehwag and Tendulkar score some good runs once in six months.”

    ==============================================================

    Brilliant!

    I guess, for Sachin and Sehwag, runs are like recharging the talktime of a prepaid mobile phone connection. Just make sure you recharge it (score some runs) every six months and your connection (place in Team India) will not lapse.

  47. Don’t know if this point has already been made… but for me dropping anyone is justified only if
    1. the person in question is performing badly
    2. we have a replacement who would perform better

    point 1 may have been true in case of ganguly and maybe sachin and sehwag today… but who do you think is going to replace them…
    look at the bench we have jaffar/rao/raina/kaif/pawar/mongia/kartik…. all average players… only yuvraj comes close to quality of the people in question….

  48. @Shikari Shambhu

    About Pt. 2. “we have a replacement who would perform better.”

    “Would perform better” is an assumption. Technically you cannot foretell the future performance of a player. I am sure what you meant was the person’s past record which could be an indication of his future performance. If that be the case, who were the players who replaced SG? Suresh Raina? Venugopal Rao? What were their past records?

    Now you may say that these guys may not have great past records but they have proved themselves in the Indian team. I think we can safely assume that these players were NOT chosen on the basis of having a better record than SG, but the fact that the powers thought that ‘perhaps’ (an assumption) they would perform better than Ganguly.

    Therefore, trying to find a person who “Would perform better” than Sehwag or Sachin is a fallacy. If we took a chance with SG’s replacements, I am sure we can think about an Indian team without VS and SRT. Hell, the second guy was out for most of this year. And he is not growing any younger. So let’s start preparing for Life After Tendulkar. And if the past few performances are anything to go by, it’s high time we did that.

  49. I met Sourav on Nov 18,’06 , early morning at the Calcutta Airport. He was waiting to check in the Air Sahara counter for the flight to Delhi for a debate and I was also travelling back to my workplace from the dear old city. I was surprised that there were none for the autographs, even the paparazzis of Bengal had also disappeared. I walked up to this lonely man and when we were handshaking I just whispered, “Keep up the fight, we are with you, Sourav”. He didn’t thank me but accknowledged my wishes with a steely determination on his face.

    When I think of this incident and all the drama, controversy & humiliation which had been following his career like a ghost shadow, I feel there is a lesson to be learnt for all of us who face similar treatment at some point of our life. We, the greatbongs, are really great at complaining about the step-motherly treatment, favouritism and injustice, particularly while working in mixed groups. All that can fetch sympathy, but at the end of the day only the brave rules.

    “Makalima or Machandima, only he who helps himself can help himself”

  50. @rahul dude

    Looks like what I said is very difficult to understand… let me try to explain in english …

    as far as the issue of dropping ganguly goes… we are in same team
    and “Would perform better” is not really an assumption… more like an educated guess (or better, after all our selectors are supposed to be better judges of talent than you or me)…
    its a mix of several factors such as experience, current form and performance in domestic/junior circuit… and based on these can you say that anyone among the list given by me deserves to replace tendulkar or sehwag today…

    please come out with some names if you can…

  51. @Sourya: Unfortunately our yardsticks are chosen by region and person.

    @Suyog: Do you think SRT can be dropped from the team with Sharad Pawar as president? Highly unlikely. After all Sachin is God…he can well do anything.

    @Ramesh: Indeed Chappell has come out on top. Now I wonder who is on the bottom.

    @Aslam: Strange your obsession with scoring triples. I suppose it is futile trying to convince you about the fact that its the conditions under which runs are scored that is more important than the numerical value. But wait ! You just said that Sachin’s innings of 42 was much better (even though he didnt score a “triple”) and that he scored it when India was 14/2 —–so you do understand the importance of the “context”. Except only when Sachin is concerned ! I do not think that SG’s innings was played under any less pressure—– Sachin plays knowing that even if he gets 5 ducks in succession he wont be dropped. Noone else has that luxury.

    @Sourya: Aaah let them.

    @Ashish: No he was bowling badly. But unlike Irfan who has been given one chance after another, the benefit of expert advise, Zaheer was jettisoned like a ton of bricks. The problem under the Chappell way is one of inconsistent treatment of players—-the “performance” is merely a bogey for GC to further his personal agenda.

    @Rohan: Yes ! I noticed that too. If I remember the first thing that Pawar did on coming to power was to announce plans to create a new ultra modern stadium in Mumbai or something to that effect. Of course if this was Dalmiya..

    @An Ideal Boy: Yes hope we continue like this.

    @Lotus Eyes: :-).

    @Vaibhav: Laxman was not making a comeback. And of course the theme of this post was Sourav and not a discussion about India’s maiden test win in SA.

    @Confused: The point I have always made was “consistent treatment”. If SG deserved to be dropped when he was, there were others who deserved to be dropped before him and there were others who since have deserved to be dropped but were not. Again I do not have the forward any longer but there was a comparison between the last few innings of Dada and Sachin (this was before he was dropped) and Dada came out marginally on top. The thing is that even GC knew that he could not push out SG just on the basis of performance alone which is why he was reduced to accusing him of faking injury.

    @Footballnath: 🙂

    @SD: I know even I was surprised that I did !

    @Gaurav: 🙂

    @Shadows: “He hadnt had hit a fifty in two years.”

    Ahem. If I remember correctly, he had hit a century (albeit against Zimbabwe) on their soil just before he was dropped. So where did the “two years” come from?

    And if you think Shastri is not a slimeball and knows “something” about cricket then I can only say “speak for yourself”. I think I have a fairly decent understanding of the nuances of the game and for many years I have been amazed at how Shastri is unable to “get it”. It has nothing to do with his pathological hatred of SG.

    @RahulGhosh: LOL …that recharging thing was too good.

    @Shikari: Agree.

  52. This has to be a strong contender for the joke of the year: Guru Greg on Cricinfo

    “I don’t intend to do my coaching through the media. Virender and I have got an ongoing dialogue all the time, as with all the players.”
    Link: http://contentusa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/current/story/273408.html

    Another thing, is it just me or has anyone else also noticed that when the men in blue are being beaten up black and blue (e.g. in West Indies ODI, DLF cup, Malaysia, Champions Trophy 2006, South Africa ODI), the great guru disappears into the proverbial woodwork (aka dressing room) and we don’t hear a squeak out of him: just 1-2 lines at mandatory press conferences and a very low profile elsewhere.

    As soon as we win something, anything, this guy comes out with a huge interview on his mouthpiece, Cricinfo.

  53. @GreatBong..
    With Ganguly, your objectivity goes out of the window :):):)
    All your other posts are almost to the T, fair and balanced.

    Ganguly was dropped unfairly from Tests.
    In onedays his and Laxman’s fproblems were fielding and running between the wickets which is a oft lost in the discussion art very imp to one day cricket

    Tendulkar and Shewag are great test batsmen, way better than ganguly dont forget that Shehwag opens..so don’t even go there…even their records stand up for better scrutiny than ganguly’s

    Btw…Chappell is an ass….amazing the way he twists words…….he will rip people apart,,,,,unfairly…..and then if they are strong enough to come back……he will call it tough love

  54. Isnt it amazing how Greg-da is talking about “strong leadership group” (reference Cricinfo http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/ci/content/current/story/273408.html)

    He goes on about group within group etc. & how much Dravid was overloaded both physically & emotionally. Greatbong, do you think this is a tacit admission from Greg-da that Dravid can not lead !!

    “What I was seeing was Rahul taking on too much responsibility, more than one person could possibly hope to be able to handle. He was taking on not only too much of the physical responsibility but the emotional responsibility as well.”

  55. @asterix

    In my opinion, this is just another of Guru Greg’s pseudo-techno bull crap.

    I am a well educated person and have a reasonable grasp of English language. But I just don’t understand what GC is trying to say here (from GC’s interview)

    “What I was seeing was Rahul taking on too much responsibility, more than one person could possibly hope to be able to handle. He was taking on not only too much of the physical responsibility but the emotional responsibility as well”

    Huh!!!!!!!! More physical responsibility by Rahul Dravid….what the hell is meant by that? Cricket is not soccer or basketball that the captain runs back and forth on the field sometimes defending in his own half & then running to opponents half to attack. For Christ’s sake, physical responsibility, in cricket, is nothing compared to other games. if you are a pace bowler thndering in at 90mph for 40 overs a day, then I can understand. But as far as I know, Dravid is not a pace bowler. For a batsman who bats all day in the hot sun, the physical strain is a lot….but again, in only 2 games on the tour so far has Dravid batted for any considerable time. What is all the crap about “too much physical responsibility”.

    And what on earth is “emotional responsibility”?

    I am not sure if the BCCI mentioned it to Dravid when giving him captaincy, but Dravid, as a well-read man, should know by now that it is the captain’s job description to be responsible, for strategy, performance (self and team), praise as well as brickbats.

    In any case, it may be implied from GC’s statement that Dravid is finding it too hot in the kitchen. He is not the first. Even the great Tendulkar found captaincy to be too hot. But Tendulkar was man enough to admit so. Let’s see how long Dravid lasts.

  56. Before i start, Two things

    1)I am not a ganguly hater.Infact, when he was on song, he could put anybody in shade including the great SRT.
    2) I am no fan of of chappell and his ways. He seems like the loony professor who is after some insane idea.
    Having said that, i do feel that dropping ganguly and zaheer was not so wrong as you seem to feel(It’s a different thing about how it was done). Ganguly repeatedly failed to remedy his problems with short deliveries and bouncers. Worse thing was he never,ever accepted that there could be a problem with his technique. All he kept talking was how coul he not score 10,000 runs without having talent. Icing on the cake was the statements he made after scoring a painful century against zimbabwe and claimed he is in form. He was the worst batsman in the team when they dropped him. It’s another thing that the so called replacement for him, mohammed ‘zonty’ kaif was utter crap.
    As far as zaheer is concerned, how many times, did he announce that he is fit and raring to go before the first match in the series, only to pull out of series after a game.
    It’s good to see that both of them performing(Although i would reserve my judgment against ganguly till the end of the series) well, but it does not make the actions taken a year back wrong. Infact dropping both of them was probably the best thing that happened to them.
    It’s time to do the same thing against other so called superstars in the team, Sehwag and tendulkar.

  57. Great post greatbong, as usual. I think the highlights of this Sourav’s innings along with Miracle (the movie about ice hockey) should be made compulsory viewing to motivate people, when they are down in the dumps and fighting all odds. It gives me goose bumps just to think what Sourav had just achieved, when all naysayers had left him for dead, one false step and they would have bayed for his blood, this man rises like a Phoenix and just let his bat do the talking. Ofc there is a lot of cricket still to be played but it had been a stupendous performance. BTW look how a Mallu gloats at the performance of a fellow Mallu and spins the Kerala angle – http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/273399.html

  58. @Shadows: I”ll step aside your crude (and foolish) mimicry. But the crux of your rant seems to basically echo that “You guys wear blinkers of such a shade that we cant find any fault with Ganguly.” Did I ever say that Harsha was responsible for him getting dropped….Im saying that Harsha is cunning enough to coax out of emotional individuals what he needs for good copy…and Ganguly fell in that trap last year foolishly and naively. So its natural for him to be wary. Where does his getting dropped last year come into the picture here babe? i was only referring to the controversy it generated. If anything it was probably good that he was dropped, but it wasn’t fair when his replacements were found to be even more pathetic and the way he was portrayed as the root of all evil…ironic when he resurrected indian cricket after the match fixing low at the turn of the millenium.

    In fact i have my own grouses against Ganguly…his Duncan Fletcher like blind backing of Patel, disdain for Akash Chopra and not giving Anil Kumble his due.

    And yes…admit it…that by the same token, Sachin and Sehwag should be dropped for some matches for them to recharge…hmm. Sometimes before passing en masse judgement on say Anandabazar and Bengalis etc, you should probably ask yourself….are they Ganguly fanatics any more so than I am a hater. Notice your sweeping generalisations for anon’s comment…”Shastri not Bengali I dont like Shastri = Obvious as you as a Bengali would not like non- bengali (and I hate that term) cricketer/s”. Anandabazar parochial…definitely…and thats not beacuse they love Saurav but cuz Saurav makes good copy. …and so is Cricinfo…they are biased too..do you admit that?…if not then well dude you are biased too.

    But your line of argument seems to be like “oh you would say that…you are a bengali”…then its a waste of time trying to reason with you…and I hardly care if you think that my dislike of Harsha and Shastri stems beacuse they dont like Ganguly. I dislike them anyway….Ganguly or no Ganguly…and its mine or GB’s right to like or dislike a particular commentator…just like its your right to love them and hate Ganguly. I dont like David Gower and Mark Nicholas either….but I love Athers, Manjareker and Ian Chappell..now try to think of a rejoinder on the lines of “Ohh…ishh..youd like Ian …assh he ish the elder brother of Greg…..whom he bullied when they played backyard cricket ash kids.”

  59. There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about what GB said here.

    “Talking of critics, if there was anything funnier than Sreesanth’s bat-twirling and Shakira-esque butt-shaking it must have been Ravi “the expert” Shastri laying the credit for Sourav’s performance at Greg Chappell’s door who, if we are to believe Shastri’s spin (which is far more exaggerated than anything he bowled), made Sourav and Zaheer take a break and come back stronger.”

    That was actually a marvelous observation. So Greg Chappell kinda put those 2 out to pasture and he had a time frame in mind when he would nudge the selectors to bring em back, rejuvenated and strong. GB here is justifiably making a mockery of the logic Shastri uses here. Most people’s reactions are ” Your logic goes out of the window when it comes to SG…he should have been dropped in the first place.” By the same logic, someone should ask Shastri “So how about if Sachin tendulkar is made to take a break and maybe he”ll come back as good as Ponting, Lara, Hussey, Pietersen and Yousuf are now …” and he will shout “ask any bowler…whos the main man in the Indian lineup…its Sachin”, although that day has long gone when bowlers used to lose their night’s sleep over Sachin Tendulkar.

    Saurav being dropped / not dropped is not being hinted anywhere, but to suggest that he was brought back by Greg to mark the culmination of a masterstroke of a tactic to rejuvenate players like him and Zak is ridiculous at best.

  60. India have won a test match in South Africa for the first time and we still are fighting on pro-bengali, anti-bengali,pro-saurav, anti-saurav,pro-SRT,anti-SRT(Ok.I’ll stop here).
    Relax guys, enjoy while we are playing great cricket cos donno when it would happen again.Anyways feel very happy for saurav.wishing him all the best.
    Ma-kali-Ma…Sheer genius,GreatBong.

  61. @ shadows :
    From your comments it is quite evident that you think of bongs as people who think anyone but Sourav Ganguly is bad, be it Bhogle, Shastri or Chappel.
    For your kind information, when someone is really bad, most people (not just bongs) who think in a sane and impartial way will think he is bad.

    The treatment metted out to Ganguly about a year back was , without a doubt, shabby.
    He wasn’t at his peak at that point of time….agreed. Judging by that yardstick GOD (SRT) should have been dropped at least 4 times in his 16-year career and Veeru twice in his 6-year career. But they have taken their places in the team for granted. No matter how badly they perform, they know they are never going to get dropped.

    The GGRREEAATT Ravi Shastri and the like think it’s all GC’s credit and his idea of bringing back SG after a long gap has paid off. It sounds like the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in years. If that was GC’s purpose behind dropping Ganguly, why on earth would he accuse him of “refusing to go away because of financial reasons” and “creating unhealthy environment in the dressing room”?

    The bottomline is, there never was, there never is and probably there never will be the same yardstick to judge everyone in Indian cricket. Uniformity and impartiality are the two words missing from the dictionary of people who influence team selection in India.

  62. @Captain Haddock
    Perhaps Greg-da was referring to the kabaddi match, hence the physical responsibility….btw, it just occured to me why Greg-da likes kabaddi. Its because in kabaddi, either you get your opponents out of the playing field or you get out. Not like say Golf where you win if you are better.

  63. Great to see the energy over SG. But as things have panned out, just looking at his cricket at Joburg is perhaps missing the big picture. SG’s return is the stuff of which novels are written, and how I would love to read to good cricket novel. It’s a story of determination, of plumbing the depths, of emerging from the depths with prayer and grit, of course, but also with the help of a simultaneously drop in the strength of his adversaries (like it or not, it’s the Guru Greg-Chela Rahul combine). SG’s is a story of the triumph of the mind, his political acumen to jump the Dalmiya bandwagon in time and make overtures to Boss Pawar (which I don’t mention disparagingly; it’s important to understand realities), his necessary restraint right now, and hopefully his getting into the World Cup team. Actually, unless he goes to West Indies, the novel won’t have the requisite sweep to qualify as one. I am personally – and I’m sure so are thousands of others – following the SG saga with keen interest, if only to see how this story turns out.

    Meanwhile, it’s amazing to find the kind of support he’s drawing. And also how his trenchant critics are eating crow, guided by opportunism as they think SG will be there for a while.

  64. @GreatBong,

    >> Ahem. If I remember correctly, he had hit a century (albeit against Zimbabwe)

    No fifty or century, for two years before that century in Zimbabwe. Ok, if not two years, then maybe 1.5 years, but Yes, he hadnt scored for quite a long time. Not for nothing were email forwards regarding cooking Noodles while Ganguly was batting, doing the rounds.

    Great to see him back, but dropping him was not unjustified then.

  65. >> I”ll step aside your crude (and foolish) mimicry.

    Crood.. Yesh, my mimicry ish foolishh too. Yesh, if you recoll, Horsho Bhogle ish a TV preshentor, his job ish to get people to shpeak. Horsho ish like that with everywon on hish show. I dont shee any difference in do way he talks to Sorav or Shochin or Shehwog. Shlimey Boshtord Horsho. Ganguly ka intorview mein ushko fasha diya.

    >> And yes…admit it…that by the same token, Sachin and Sehwag should be dropped for some matches for them to recharge…

    What are you talking about? I mean, where did this come into the picture? Yeah, I am one person who wants Sachin and Sehwag dropped, and like Bengalis, the Maharashtrians go ballastic on me when I say “Sachin should be dropped, or he should resign”. Whadda Jerk. Yeah , I admit it, now what?

    >> Sometimes before passing en masse judgement on say Anandabazar and Bengalis etc

    It could very well have been times of India. By the way, what judgement did I pass on Bengalis. I said there is more to Bengal than only Ganguly. Ganguly in the team or not is not the end of Bengal. Nobody is giving Bengal step motherly treatment. Even TN feels that, Andhra feels that, Bihar feels that. What say you now? In fact, you vote CPM to power, and we suffer for it. Get a life…., pal. And Horsho is not a shlimey boshtord 🙂

    >> are they Ganguly fanatics any more so than I am a hater.

    I am not a Ganguly hater 😀 hahaha. I liked him more than Sachin, before he was dropped. He was a much more useful player than Sachin then. And he was dropped for a good reason, thats my point. His good scores have come at a time when Indian team has needed it, unlike Sachin when most of his good scores have come when the team was not desperate for them.

    I said ananda bazar wont say anything against Saurav because their press would be gutted, if they did so.

    And rest of your accusations, I ignore. Same old thing in other words, is what you have stated.

    >>although that day has long gone when bowlers used to lose their night’s sleep over Sachin Tendulkar.

    Good one. This is one of the few correct statements you have made so far.

  66. One amazing thing I notice is that

    Its ok to abuse a national newspaper like Times of India. Everyone will agree. A newspaper is a truly national newspaper when it gets equal abuse from everywhere. And its not ok to abuse regional papers, particularly Ananda bazar patrika. When actually, the standards of anand bazar might be lower than even TOI.

    STrange.!!!

  67. DeboLin,

    >> He wasn’t at his peak at that point of time….agreed. Judging by that yardstick GOD (SRT) should have been dropped at least 4 times in his 16-year career and Veeru twice in his 6-year career. But they have taken their places in the team for granted. No matter how badly they perform, they know they are never going to get dropped.

    Agree fully. Sehwag ko nikalo yaar pehle. 5 mein se ek match mein acchi start deta hai, baki single digits. And probably, he is another Ganguly in the making… one fifty in three months. His batting averages have dropped sharply in last six months or so.

    And SRT must be dropped now. Lot of money is also involved. Dropping Sachin means cuts in revenue from advertizing. The sponsors would not want him out, since Tendulkar endorses many products of theirs. Whether sponsors ultimately decide that or not is not sure, but definitely the pressure from sponsors is there. Players with fewer endorsements dont get such advantage, as Tendulkar has/had. A few more bad performances and sponsors will back off. Tendulkar has been certified the best batsman by Don Bradman himself, but that was a long time ago, when Sachin was GOD, not now.

    >>Uniformity and impartiality are the two words missing from the dictionary of people who influence team selection in India.

    How true.

  68. The thing about dropping someone is their Pepsi and Coke Contracts. The only person who can be dropped safely and easily is Laxman. Sehwag is safe as long as he can score onec in a while and COke renews its contract with him.
    What about MS Dhoni? Let’s see what he does on SA pitches – he has acquired a Sachin-type halo already – but I think he should only be played in home matches and an alternative should be groomed for away matches. And irrespective of performance, we should stick to it – becase we know that there is no match to Dhonis fireworks in Home matches. Equally, we know that he is never going to fire in away matches..

  69. @Shadows: now i really pity you. So basically what I said about Harsha is peeving you…tch tch. ..but trust me I had mo intention of breaking your balls this way….so chill. Again, what maybe what is plain studio talk to you may appear may appear diabolical to me..I am entitled to my opinion aint I?

    As far as getting a life is concerned, I am very happy with mine 🙂 ….you get a life yourself instead of moaning lugubriously.

  70. I think the telegraph article caught the point completely.
    If yuvraj had been here Ganguly would not have been in South Africa. I wonder what will happen when Yuvraj gets fit. We seem to have a plethora of middle order batsmen at the moment.

  71. When we win, we fight. When we lose, we fight. For once, just zip it and enjoy the moment.

    Yes, I am very happy for Saurav for his comeback. Yes, I am really pissed with Sehwag for his one shot wonder play. Yes, I am getting irritated with Tendulkar’s form (I am a Maharashtrian so all you anti Bongs, chill!!). But for now, I do not give a damn.

    For I am now really happy with Shreesanth and his “Elvis Pelvis” antics and fine bowling. I am really happy to see Laxman show the Rainas and other wannabes how it is done. And yes, I was happy to see SRT playing those trademanrk cover drives. Just stop playing that back foot push, will you??

    And finally,I am happy to see the South Africans with their egos busted. They were asking for it!! And thankfully the Blues gave it to them.

  72. Aah, wonderful isn’t it, the way cricket can SIMULTANEOUSLY divide citizens of our great nation?
    May I add my one paisa’s worth? R Shastri WUD back Chappell, wudn’t he? Does no one remember a certain 3-man committee set up by BCCI to choose a coach after J Wright’s departure, which eventually came up with Chappell’s name? The committee members were S Gavaskar, S Venkatraghavan, and the above-mentioned Shastri.

  73. Correction – that shud have read as:
    “the way cricket can SIMULTANEOUSLY divide AND unite citizens of our great nation”

  74. >> So basically what I said about Harsha is peeving you

    @YourFan2 or 3,

    No, it isnt 🙂 . Continue. But strangely enough, I find it amusing that you started abusing Tendulkar and Dravid because someone opposed Ganguly. Fanboy .. eh?

  75. awesome stuff! Even I noticed the substitute fielder’s name and found it funny but could not even think of linking it to Dada’s performance, the way you did! lol!

  76. Randomly came across your blog. Great reading. I was disappointed when Ganguly was kicked out of the side. I’m glad he became the top scorer for this series. His quiet confidance and his runs with no bragging are an indicator of the kind of guy he is.

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