No Spin Zone

If India is looking for the next great spinner, they should look no further than the good folks at Cricinfo whose adeptness in putting a spin on things would make even Murali blush.

Sample this:

With Dravid struggling for runs, and he’s hardly been at the crease enough to judge what kind of form he is in, the selectors have a tough decision on their hands. In different circumstances, with the series decided one way or the other by the time game six came around, Dravid would have been rested. But now, with only 44 runs from five matches, there’s hardly a case to rest him, and dropping him in the first series after he stepped down as captain would be cruel to someone who has served the team’s cause exceedingly well in both forms of the game for several years now.

One could say that “Dravid stuggling for runs” and “he’s hardly been at the crease enough to judge what kind of form he is in” kind of contradict each other as struggling for runs is generally what defines poor form. One could also point out that Dravid’s hardly being at the crease (because of zeros and sometimes a little more) is exactly what attests to his current batting form. One could also chuckle wryly to oneself at the assertion that dropping/resting someone “in the first series after he has stepped down from the captaincy is a cruel act” especially since it comes from a body of writers who lauded Chappell’s “current performance is king” mindset and wanted Indians to have an “Aussie” no-sentiments attitude in dropping big names. One could also chuckle again (for effect) if one remembers that it was the same author who, most “uncruelly” said on October 14,2005 that through Ganguly’s stubborn refusal to let go during a poor run of form, he has brought the ensuing public humiliation on himself.

[Cricinfo’s biases have been discussed before and I will not go through the bias deconstruction again. Some commenters have asked why so much is made of Cricinfo and my answer is that for a substantial number of Indians who are not in India, Cricinfo has become the “eyes” into the world of cricket (and deservedly so, their match coverage and the sheer amount of cricket-related content that they have dwarfs anything else available on the net) and the tint they put on their glasses color the perception and opinions of a significant number of Indian cricket fans.]

Sad to say it but it’s true. Dravid has lost his form woefully —watching him flounder and miss his bread-and-butter twirl to the leg several times (one of which caught him plumb in front but was not given by the umpire) before holing out to the first aggressive shot he played in the sixth ODI was proof enough that there is something that is not quite right. However that was not where he let the team down the most—for me his failure in the fifth ODI was even more disappointing. Here was a situation tailor-made for Rahul Dravid, coming in with no pressure to force the score (which never was his strong point) at his favorite slot: Number 3 on a pitch that had something in it for the bowlers, his first ball dismissal by playing down the wrong line (he expected the ball to swing out) to a delivery that was by no means sensational, was extremely disappointing.

Yes Dravid should possibly have been rested, just like Sourav deserved to be in 2005, for the sixth ODI simply because the Aussies have mastered the art of keeping a man, not in the best of form, down.

However Dravid should not be humiliated in the process, nor be made target of unsubstantiated innuendo (like in Sourav’s case where he was accused of faking injuries) nor should his attempts at keeping his place in the side be termed as his refusal to let go. Dravid is a champion, he is still India’s most solid batsman and I have no doubt that he will be back among the runs before long.

And so India loses yet another ODI series to Australia. To their credit, they took the sixth ODI to the very end but once again they made one too many mistakes. There are two ways you can beat Australia—1) they themselves throw it away (a rare once-in-a-blue-moon happening like the fourth ODI when they bowled a large number of wides and Gilchrist had a Deep Dasgupta day) or 2) you play your 100% game. Unfortunately India did not do the latter in the sixth ODI—–they had selected an out-of-form Dravid in a pressure game, Irfan was sent in one drop (which in itself was a good idea) but then he started playing like a genuine batsman and blocking deliveries (his strike rate of 100% was not what a pinch hitter is supposed to have), Sreesanth should have gone for Symond’s catch with his mouth—he would have had a better chance and Sourav Ganguly, despite his 80-odd score, criminally wasted way too many opportunities for twos and threes and contributed in no small measure to the “crawl” that cost us the match, which was there for the taking after such a well-paced opening partnership.

And finally in closing a word about the racist taunts targeted at Andrew Symonds at Vadadora. Total unequivocal condemnation and a matter of great shame. Its a pity that because of this, the Aussies can now take the “moral high ground” whereas throughout the series it was their behavior on the field (Sachin the coolest one lost it against Hayden and Irfan Pathan was being openly abused by Andrew Symonds in the last ODI) and their pronouncements off it together together with the “violent” hypocritical outrage in the Aussie press (read this article that suggests that “Sreesanth’s nose should have been plastered over his leering face” something which was only prevented because “Symonds is a man of peace and tranquility”) that was quite outrageous—all of which shall be forgotten amidst the deluge of “Indians are the most racist” shrieks that now naturally shall be heard.

63 thoughts on “No Spin Zone

  1. Perhaps Dravid should be brought down the order where he can go for broke. He IS capable of hitting boundaries when in the mood, in style too.

    Dhoni should move up a notch or two.

    As for the racist chants by the crowd, pitiful. Unfortunately, it will now backfire on the Indian team when they go Down Under, Ozzie crowds can turn ugly though wouldn’t mind if that bozo Sreesanth gets some stick 😀

  2. You missed quoting the Ponting “Somebody stop Sreesanth” comment. Saurabh must be enjoying the show!

  3. 318 was always a very difficult score, despite the fact that India has often chased 300 scores. Australia just seems to be a better team in every aspect of the game.

    Does anyone know what was being discussed between Irfan and Symonds?

  4. killerbee, yes, Dravid should come down the order, probably at number 12 or 13.

    “Symonds is a man of peace and tranquility”. Looks like the Australian press have a good sense of humor. Mahadanab Sage Symonds’s tranquility came to light as he imparted some great words to wisdom to Pathan. Wish the TV viewers could have benefitted from them. It is no surprise however. That great country is a mecca for such sages, the biggest and bad-ass of them being Prabhu Greg Chappel, who did not even need to speak, but imparted his great knowledge though merely hand gestures to Indian cricket fans.

    I was very surprised to see Sachin irked since he is almost as tranquil as the great MS Symonds. Maybe he got some tips from India’s great ‘fast’ bowler of yesteryears and current bowling coach – Lord Vekatesh Prasad. A little duck (official bird of the Indian top order, currently being endored by The Berlin Wall – Rahul Dravid) tells me that Lord Prasad once slapped NZ’s Craig McMillan in a friendly game when he made the mistake of suggesting that Indians have no manners or something sacrilege like that.

  5. Inja sux in cricket. In fact Inja sux in any sports. Heap big time

    Rules world in IT tho so partly evens out

    Oh, Inja is gud in chess. N kabaddi

    Hoki gone

  6. Well written, GB. Yes, the Cricinfo vacuous logic was quite a funny one to note (akin to claiming that all members of an empty set have the property P because there’s none without it). Intriguing.

    By the way, why don’t we just patronize the Ausies as subjects of psychopathological condition through our sledging instead of being outraged by their duplicity? Then we automatically gain higher ground (still sledging, but being ‘sympathetic’ to one’s sick condition), not be crude (e.g. racist), yet humiliate (nothing hits an ego harder than patronization) and not be hit back (utter helplessness of being at the receiving end of patronization).

  7. Yes we should prove our mettle against the best that apart aren’t we competing against world champions.

  8. The problem with India’s squad is that they’re so inflexible with seniors, there’s always someone who’s out of form who’s still in there in the team out of faith that he’ll turn out good.

  9. Dravid is not clinging to his place in the Indian team, unlike Dada’s earlier prolonged stay before his unceremonious ouster.Dada’s fitness is nowhere close to the other team members. His run out in 5th ODI was avoidable and the slow paced innings in 6th,converting twos to ones and ones to dots was a major factor in us losing despite having a decent start.Scoring runs but contributing to the team loss is noways desirable.
    The selectors have to decide who plays and serves the purpose in the team.Give Dravid some time (series against pak will be a good test) and throw him out if he doesnt perform.

  10. When I saw this Cricinfo article, I thought this is going to upset you.

    You are so predictable.

    “things would make even Murali blush.” LOL

  11. It is absolutely essential to have Rahul at his best for the tour Down Under. To me his body language seems to be that of a person who is physically and mentally very tired. It will do him a world of good to skip the Pak ODI and take some quality time off with his family and return freshed for the Oz tour.

  12. GB, very frankly dude, you got to accept that your love for Ganguly does not need to be justified, and he did play bad for a significant period of time, and he was woman enough to not even accept that he was playing bad at all…. and Cricinfo (like me) saw that, and wrote about it quite a few times – ultimately earning copius amount of your hatred.

    But do what you can dude, Cricinfo is the most organized, and intelligible cricket website out there – and you really can’t help it if they are baised against Ganguly. Actually, anyone whose not hopeless in love, but up for facts can vouch for same.

  13. These are dravid’s statistics for last 15 matches (courtsey cricinfo) –

    15 320 92* 26.66 0 2

    Ganguly’s last 15 innings before he was dropped –

    15 286 55 20.43 0 2

    Decide for yourself

  14. …there is something that is not quite right.

    My thoughts exactly. I don’t think he’s in bad batting form…something’s going around in his mind…it’s only he who can sort things out. Him giving up captaincy is something that will perplex me forever.

  15. “Sreesanth should have gone for Symond’s catch with his mouth”

    🙂 🙂

  16. @ RichAndFamous ::

    dude … and when i saw “this” blog of GB … knew that someone’s hand must be itching ..even u r predictable … LoLz … n dont try to act smart@$$ ….

  17. I have come to detest the Australian team more because of their on field and off field girly whinies rather than anything else. Australians are just absolute whiners – cry babies – a la super high maintainence girlfriend that sees the need to whine and complain.

    Somebody should put those milk bottle nipples in australians mouths and shut them up.

  18. Its all a part of Australia’s gameplan.

    Plan A : Sledge, dominate, bully.

    Opposition gets bogged down, plan A succeeds – Australia wins.

    Opposition returns fire with fire, plan A not exactly succeeding, go to plan B.

    Plan B : Opposition is being agressive. Turn it back on them. Whine, cry, talk about racial taunts and the likes, irritate them.

    Opposition becomes quiet. They are not used to being aggressive. Lost a couple of games. Might as well shut up and play. No aggression anymore – Australia continues winning.

    Opposition continues aggression, wins a couple of games too, plan B not exactly succeeding. Go to plan C.

    Plan C :


  19. Plan C : Yet to be seen

  20. Well, Dravid does seem to be out of sorts at this point in time. I agree with some of the other folks that maybe he should drop down to 6. Also, as far as i’m concerned, its time one out of the sach-gangu duo goes. My choice wud be yusuf pathan to replace whoever is dropped, preferably sachin.

    Secondly, i agree with Peter Lalor entirely on the various points he’s raised in his article. The Aussies, though at times brattish, have been an absolute model team both on and off the field. They win, and thats all that matters to them. Stats like so many hundreds, fifties,wickets dont have the same importance to them as i wud think to the indian team.
    It was indeed commendable on Symmo’s part not to beat the hell outta sreesanth when he supposedly “clapped in his face”

  21. It was indeed commendable on Symmo’s part not to beat the hell outta sreesanth when he supposedly “clapped in his face”

    Indeed. He deserves the Nobel Prize for Peace.

    Apologies for the digression, cdnt help it.

  22. Rohit,

    ”My choice wud be yusuf pathan to replace whoever is dropped, preferably sachin.”

    What dope you smoke? I would like it too.

  23. To be fair, the same Aussie writer called Sreesanth ‘humble, intelligent, and gentle to talk to off the field’ in another article earlier during this series:,25197,22532876-5001505,00.html

  24. What is this endless prattle about aggression? Please tolerate this rant, because I am so sick of us chasing the white man’s magic.

    South Asia’s best bowlers were never scowlers. Waqar would shatter your toes, and smile all the way to the arms of his teammates. Wasim would give you a scornful look at most. Vaas does a little dance and a gesture of send-off (that too in his dotage, when he himself is surprised he still gets wickets). Most of the SL and Pak team cant even speak the English required to get in anyone’s face.

    Neither have our batsmen thrived on aggression. Except the great and strange Mr. Miandad, South Asia’s cricketers have only found their voice at the commentary box. Sachin, Sanath, Yousuf get on with their record-breaking genius without as much as “go fetch it” comment.

    It pains me to say this, but India has the most talented cricket side in South Asia. Sachin, Sourav, Ganguly, Dravid, Dhoni, Zaheer. Donate these quiet (o.k maybe not Ganguly until recently), intense and wonderful players to Sri Lanka, and I guarantee you, we will win a whole lot of games without every saying a word in anger.

    What have the screamers of the Indian team achieved? Yuvraj, Bhaji and Sreesanth have been made to look like children who can only play the shortest (and lets admit, most mindless) form of the game. Stretch them beyond twenty overs, and they’ve collapsed under the Aussie’s assault. To compound matters, Bhaji and Sreesanth combined to let Symonds off.

    India plays beautiful cricket. Why does it have to sink to this “Chak de India” bravado? Leave it to Bollywood no?

  25. Oh, and speaking from a non-Indian fans perspective, the way India has treated its visitors on this tour has placed the Indian cricketing fraternity in the same league as the Australians. Assuming all Indian posters on this blog are educated cohabitants of the civlised world, we would agree that Indian specatators and some players have ill-treated people who are still, aggressive cricket or not, tourists.

    If the Indian team achieves as much the Australian team, the “we’re doing the same as them” (a self-damning defense at best), would hold. Considering India has lost the series, I hope India will back off this vile treatment of visitors in the future.

    Ofcourse the Aussies are going to treat the Sri Lankans like shit this November, and promptly lose their newly-found high ground. It is up to India to treat the Pakistanis better next tour and retain the veneer of respectability. Least of all, to avoid Shoib killing Sreesanth with a bouncer.

    Lets not destroy this beautiful game of ours.

    Back on topic: Rahul Dravid should be dropped, and given to Sri Lanka. Seriously, who the hell are you going to replace Dravid with? The rumours are, Rohit Sharma and some bugger called Badrinath. Good luck with that. He is a class player, and as long as he can hold a bat, give him time (GB, I would feel the same way about Ganguly).

  26. Anthony, a lot of the points you make are valid. It’s heartening to see a non-Indian lauding something Indian, given the love-to-hate relationship most South Asians have with India & Indians.

    I just hope you were not being sarcastic.

  27. cricinfo is based out of bangalore isn’t it?

  28. Dravid sure looks out of sorts at present. At the same time, I reasonably agree with the author hisstints at the cease have been too short at the crease to guage his form. I guess GB has gone with the pure literal meaning of the sentence. An avid follower/close observer of cricket for long, would know that a player could be in great form ie, striking the ball well, but might still get out the first few balls he faces. A lot of past cricketers have spoken about the fact on commentory in the past. Sunil Gavaskar for one!

    A case in point is Sachins 70 couple of matches back, he looked woefully out of form, but then still managed to stick it out for those amount of runs.

    Also, I dont think Dravid merits being dropped at the moment.He should be given another go in the Pak series,and if he fails again he should be dropped.

    And Comparing Dravids form to Ganguly’s couple of years ago is not justified. Ganguly had a lean run for a much longer duration; both forms of the game taken in totality.Also,I dont see why Dravid cant force the pace? Hes done it ample number of times in the past when needed. He started-off his one day career being a defensive batsman, but the turn of the century saw him develop as a batsman who could bat at any stage of the one day game.You just need to look at his strike rate from 2000 onwards, which is not very different from Gangulys! It was heartening to see him hold himself back in recent series and come into bat after the 40 over stage and perform.

  29. GB,
    Dont you think Ganguly and Tendulkar should be coming down the order in the One day game? Nothing to do with thier performance, they have been the best opening pair India ever had. More to do with the circumstance.In the twilight of thier careers, shouldnt they be helping Dhoni build a team for the future? Especially since we have two young openers, Gambhir and Uthappa in the side! These are guys who have opened all thier lives and are now made to come down the order, beats me why?

    Sourav and Sachin have been middle order bats, moreover it wouldnt difficult for them to adjust having played over 300 games each. I feel this one are Rahul scores over them. When asked why he wasnt palying at number three in England, he felt its time for one of the younger lot to cement thier places in the side. And playing at the top certainly gives the youngsters a chance to score big and cement thier places. A hundred shouldnt matter as much to a Dravid, Sacin or a Sourav as it does to a younger player!

  30. @CS:

    Why should it be Ganguly and Sachin’s responsibility to groom players of the future? It is the BCCI’s responsibility to do so. And unfortunately there is not a SINGLE opening pair that can do better then them in the whole of India.

    As for Dravid, he has always fancied himself as a floater, even when stats show that in most positions other than his standard one, he has failed more often than not. All the bull about grooming for the future is useless. The job of the team is to play well, not groom others within to take their own places!!!

    Dravid’s complete inablilty to play in the current series has thrown into even sharp relief the form of Sourav and Sachin. Thet are frequently the only ones scoring. When they get out, the collapse starts. Others, like Yuvraj and Uthappa are occassional “guest” contributors. And on top of all this, Dhoni, the latest village idiot, comes up to the press conference and says – “Sachin and Sourav got out at the wrong time” and this is AFTER they have posted a 140 run opening partnership!

    Face it. Sachin and Sourav STILL seem to be covering for a distinctly unimpressive and unconvincing ODI team. And after all this, some idiot called Rohit wants to replace Sachin with Yusuf Pathan!!! WTF was that. Clearly, that moron is a unique case in point where “20-20” vision has caused seemingly irreversible impairment to the brain…

  31. @ Shan, and to an extent Rohit from retributions:

    Sachin sure was one of the greatest players in the world few years back. But when the time of a batsman’s up, you can instantly make out. He’ been getting hit on the head and getting bowled cropper far too often now. His success in BIG matches is pretty pathetic.

    Now, obviously Yusuf pathan,Badrinath etc havent achieved anythin in Int. cricket yet. But everybody whove seen them play say that they’ve got loads of talent. Maybe its time to give these guys a go. I’d much rather have “20-20” vision and win, than have well “1-5” vision and lose at home.

    Rem someone like Steve Waugh. If he’d continued, he too would’ve made many more hundreds and scored runs. He wasnt on a walking stick when he retired you know. But he had to go. Cause the selectors felt that there were people more capable than him in the wings.

    But, of course, cause Tendulkar won 2 matches for us in Sharjah in 98, you cant stand the thought of him being dropped. Maybe thats the kind of psychology and attitude that results in us losing 4-1 at home. And maybe, just maybe, in a not-so-far-fetched way, why fans still get pigeon shit on their seats after paying thru the roof to watch a cricket match.

  32. @Rohit:

    I am confused. Are you talking about performance or age? Because if performance is the criteria, then you have no leg to stand on. Sachin is still the highest scorer for the team even when his powers are on the wane. Instead of comparing him to his heydays, why not just compare him to the others in the team now. He still is the best bat in the team. And till the time he is in the top three in the team he should stay. As simple as that. Nothing else matters. As for “big matches” we never had any “big match” players other than Dravid in tests and Sourav in ODIs – at least not in the last few years.

    Yusuf Pathan’s talent was nowhere till he suddenly was sprung on us as a 20-20 player based on 20-20 performances at home. He was not even considered good enough to play in the team except in the finals where his performance was nothing to write home about.

    “I’d much rather have “20-20? vision and win, than have well “1-5? vision and lose at home.”

    This is the stupidest statement you have made. What you are saying is, you will support whatever type of cricket we win in and drill that winning team up to other forms of the game. What next? Yusuf Pathan as Test opener? Because he plays 20-20 well?

    You don’t really like cricket as a game do you? Or even understand it.

  33. Dropping big names brings out lot of emotive crap and just the other day some devious fool was saying on TV

    I want to ask all those who are saying that Sachin should be dropped. Just because you are earning more than your father, would you drop him and go for another father.

    If someone knows this guy, let me know. I’d like to get him beer.

  34. GB can go bonkers when it comes to Ganguly, but it is undeniable that Cricinfo has been playing prude when it suits them, over time. The next one by Anand Vasu or Bal or that creepy Mukul Kesavan will take a pedantic approach and admonish the Indian fan (read those who dont subscribe to Cricinfo’s views), administrators and anyone within earshot how they fail to appreciate finer points of cricket, Dravid’s class and what not. What ought to be read as a failure of the player to be unable to satisfy fans/selectors will soon be paraded as a shortcoming of the fans/selectors to not see whatever the cricinfo guys have seen in the player. Utter sham if you ask me.

  35. Not being sarcastic, and the love-hate relationship is only with the Indian cricket team (give us Sachin dammit!). We will all be playing together against the Aussies, English and Proteas in the Champions League. Can’t wait.

    Imagine it, the “Tata Tigers” or “Reliance Rowdies”: Sanath, Sachin and Shoib…Chak de Asia!!!

  36. @Shan:

    It would not have been Sachin/Sourav’s responsibility a few years back, but it is now! They play for the country and not themselves, they have had thier share in the sun! I’m in no way advocating dropping them for they cannot be replaced! But then, then could still bat from the middle order and contribute with all thier experience.Its time they sacrificed thier personal preferences.

    As for there not being not a single opening pair which can match them, well! rome was not bulit in a day! You need to give sufficient opportunities to people to perform.Sachin Tendulkar, the precosious talent that he was, scored his first centery only after playing 75 ODI matches, would you know that? And do compare the stats for the last 50 ODIS of Yuvarj and the others, you would have a answer as to who the contributors are!!!

  37. GB you need to get your Sourav blinkers off……have you tried to apply for Lokendra Pratap Sahi’s position in The Telegraph. You will make a great replacement.

  38. What a randified performance. Are you guys watching this appaling display? We’ve lost four matches, tied one thanks to the grace of the weather god, and won another because Australia played sloppily.
    Australia stamped its dominance in the match after that, it was a proper smack down. India hasn’t looked like it could recover after that.

    In spite of Murali Karthik’s stellar performance in the last ODI, our princely batsmen have toppled over all too tamely. It’s 57/4 now, with the last batsmen on the crease.

    So in all likelihood, we might lose this series 5-1.

    If we ARE going to lose, why not try Badrinath and the likes? Groom Yusuf Pathan, and see if that sticks. Seriously.

  39. hah .. we won this. 🙂

  40. GB has started a flame war and is now just sitting back and enjoying the show. Guru fatafati!

  41. phewwww…some relief at last, 2-4 looks much better than 1-5 🙂

    Well, like Sachin himself said performance should be criteria not age.
    And, we need guys who can bat till the end, we need matchwinners like Jayasuriya/Inzy/Kallis/Symonds who can finish the game on their own.

    Openers and 1-down are specialist positions and shouldn’t be changed frequently.
    And only Dravid is a kinda player who can come to bat in first over and play till end.

    Yuvi cannot play in early over against moving ball, he cannot play quality spinners; his record against Murli/Vettori etc is pathetic, he is good only when ball is soft and medium paces operate. He is a demolisher and suites only at 5/6 slot.

    No doubt Sachin/Ganguly combination is best available, but still it’s high time to groom another set of openers, drop Sachin to 2-down, so at least Dravid or Sachin can play till the end.

    Anyways, this is a endless discussion, so I better stop 🙂

  42. Somebody please tell me.. what are ‘monkey chants’ anyway ? Do they call Symonds a monkey because of his hair ? Is that racist ?

  43. Unfortunately, these days anything to do with the word ‘Hair’ in cricket has come to be associated with racism.

  44. 1> Till about a year back, that guy Anand Vasu really used to piss me off. Its no clandestine fact that he hates Ganguly. And frankly, no one gives a damn. Except that a lot of people inadvertently stumble on to his words from time to time. But now I feel sorry for Vasu. He tried to be Bal’s sidekick but failed miserably. Sidhartha Vaidyanathan has risen fast up the ranks and is now banging one hot chick after another. Premachandran is still hungry and would anyday be preferred by Bal over Vasu. Also Premechandran is a Aussie- a holic and I am pretty sure that hes licking his paws eagerly to go Down Under. Frustrated, distraught, forlorn and petulant, Vasu’s recent articles sound more like a drunkard’s soliloquy. His despondency has been accentuated by the fact that Ganguly has made such a great comeback this year. The fact that he is incoherent is not much of a surprise as it is a historical trend.

    2> Dravid’s problem is more mental. I am sure Dravid now understands what Ganguly went through during his tenure as India captain, especially after he had taken over the mantles of captaincy after the match fixing era. Ganguly would have been a better batsman had he been emancipated from the clutches of captaincy. Dravid is also a well-within himself sort of player and so one can imagine how big a burden captaincy must have been to him when hes in batting doldrums. There is also a slight batting problem in the sense that I saw him handle Lee with a bit of discomfiture on the backfoot- thats more slowing down of reflexes than technique, his staunchest ally.

    3> I hate to say this but to match Australia in their backyard, Dravid should be dropped. You need to force the pace and Dravid clearly cannot do so against Australia at 3 at his current form. Should Saurav be dropped too? Now I wouldn’t have minded at all if there were some smashing opener around. But Gautam Gambhir clearly hasnt delivered as much as it would take to replace ganguly on current form. And sachin Tendulkar is still indispensable, if not by his talent, but by the lack of talent on the bench. My money would be on 2 players – Rohit Sharma, who has a very fine technique or the exciting Manoj Tiwari. People may say that on Australian wickets we need Dravid at 3, but that would be a retrograde step. People who have followed the CB series of recent years will know that how good the Australian wickets are for batting. You need a bit of guts and let a young player or 2 to make their mark- lets not forget, England beat them last year in the finals. And theres no Mcgrath. Utthappa is better lower down. No 3 doesnt seem to be the position for him. Dravid however is still indispensable in Tests. Dravid may still come back to form soon and prove me wrong, but i think that a new player who has good technique and can force the pace at 3 is still worth the gamble.

    4> An Australian journalist need not be a good one just because hes Australian. Chloe Saltau is a shame, Malcolm Conn is a con-man and Lalor is as bad as our Anand Vasu. Marshallsea, Pierik, Coward and Roebuck are still readable. Cricinfo has improved a lot. Theres now more expert opinion and Audio and less of those stupid “verdicts”. But old habits are still hard to shed.

  45. Why bother about any particular player or his form?

    We have been outplayed in every department of the game by Australia in this series. Apart from verbal aggression!

    None of our players are — consistency and reliability-wise — anywhere near the levels of Australia.

    Dropping someone? Either we give a lot of leeway to those with history behind them (respect and all that) or we go purely by performance and drop those who don’t. In the first route, obviously we will lose a lot as any 2 of our team are always out of form! In the second route, we will still lose as the guys who replace them haven’t played enough to gain any consistency at the international level.

    I love this 😀

  46. Anand Vasu is a pure a&*elicking bastard. His blog title is amazingly accurate for a pea-brain like him –

    “This is a website dedicated to cricket writing that is not publishable in any mainstream outlet. There will be no level-headed analysis, no room for straight thinking, and, of course, any unbiased writing will face the editor’s cut. Sadly, this space will almost always be filled by Anand Vasu, who writes for Wisden Cricinfo.”

    Indeed! We must praise his honesty in accepting his material is unpublishable , lack of level-headed anal-is-is, and evoking sadness in any serious cricket lover’s mind. This guy is an unadulterated first degree a**hole.

  47. One has to admit that Ganguly, in contrast to Dravid, failed miserably many number of times before he was finally dropped. And unlike, he did not even step down from captaincy. Even then the whole of Bengal rose against those responsible for this ‘sin’ of dropping him. In this light, it’s difficult to know whose views are biased and whose views are not.

  48. He is a big time dada a**licker

  49. There are two ways you can beat Australia—1) they themselves throw it away (a rare once-in-a-blue-moon happening like the fourth ODI when they bowled a large number of wides and Gilchrist had a Deep Dasgupta day) or 2) you play your 100% game

    I think that should be “and” instead of “or”.

  50. Absolutely crooked view of Crookinfo dot com.
    Either you support the view of ‘current form’ or that of ‘seniors providing excellent service’. There is no need to support Dravid the way Crookinfo is doing. He will come good soon, but till that time the team composition should be based on realities.

    To those who say the GB is biased towards Ganguly, etc. , if you are no impartisan why don’t you raise your voice on the exclusion of Ranadeb Bose? Just check his record and see for yourself whether he should be in the team or not.

    When Ganguly is excluded from the team, he is dropped. But when its the turn of Dravid, then he is rested. Why this double standards? If you are a true fan of the INDIAN team then you will support the best. C’mon guys, even the guys have realised what it means to support Team India.

  51. I suppose now you’ll wait for Murali Kartik to fail in one match before you can dismiss him as a ordinary bowler.

    Surely, now you must agree that here’s a talent that could have been made something of if given opportunities and encouragement – or are you going to stick to “No, Sourav is a talent spotter and he didntt see anything in Kartik so Kartik would never have been a decent bowler- this is a fluke “. For, it wasnt any 6 wicket haul – even Agarkar has a 6 wicket haul – but it was a reward for an intelligent spin bowler. Ofcourse, your Gangs love would mean you’ll never admit that.

  52. Well, I honestly think that it was Saurav who was responsible for the loss in the sixth one. I think that Saurav is playing for the wrong reasons now. He doesn’t have to prove himself everybody knows what he is capable of but still he chose to play the wrong way. he ate up too many deliveries in the middle and that is what costed us the match.

    Dravid is no doubt in poor form and was wisely rested for the dead rubber but look at Yuvraj Singh and for that matter Dhoni. They both have lost their touch. Dravid is suffering from a poor run of form but Ganguly’s problem is more of a mindset. You have two senior players playing at the top of the order who raise some hopes only to shatter them after some time.

  53. Without wondering into the mire of personal invectives that the anti-Gangulyites retort to I wonder why an article on Dravid’s lack of form and Cricinfo’s biased reporting should even bring this topic up. I never said Ganguly did not deserve to be dropped in 05 I only said that it was not right humiliating and making false accusations (false=unproven) at him, accusations this certain website gave credence to, using that old chestnut “a source”. As a matter of fact, even in this post I have said that I hold Ganguly’s inability to take twos and threes as a contributory factor to the defeat in the sixth ODI—thus showing far more objectivity and perhaps civility than those who call me ass-lickers or likewise.

  54. BTW, I was quite with you on the Gangs-defence and I do think you were spot-on about Cricinfo’s bias against him and softspot for Dravid. But they are all humans, just like you and I. You have your own biases – only, no one is bothered to articulately string together proof and nail you – I might have spent 30 minutes today on telling this to you but I dont have the time or inclination to do a greatbong on you!
    Alright, I know the response too. You are running your own site while they arer’responsible’ journalists who have an obligation towards the Cricket-mad NRI’s, who depend on them for cricinfo. Sorry, things come in packages and you have to swallow it – just like we swallow your miniscule biases for the greater joy to be had in your excellent writing.

  55. Incidentally for the person who said I should apply for Lokendra Pratap Sahi’s job in the Telegraph here is what he wrote about Dravid’s exclusion.

    Read the tone of the piece and see if it is biased against Dravid.Unfortunately those with an axe to grind against certain people will fail to notice that Sahi is against the resting of Dravid just as he was against the dropping of SG.

  56. great blog i love

  57. The boot is on the other foot now, The wheels of the chariot have sunk in the mud. And now you clamour for “Dharma” !!!

    “Form is temporary, class is permanent”, “He has served us so well in the past” .. blah blah blah … wait a minute – didn’t we hear this before ? When Ganguly was down in the dumps – didn’t we hear that past records didn’t matter, performance in the last match alone makes a difference, Aussies are ruthless with their “stars” !!! Now that Ganguly is in the team on his own merit and Dravid is (almost) out due to his non-performance, the rules of the game have suddenly changed ??? GB – you summed this up perfectly by comparing the crookinfo spin with that from Murali !!

  58. Dravid is getting his own medicine – he plotted with Chappel and played politics to get captaincy – now he is in the same boat. Ganguly has shown his mettle by making a heroic comeback under adverse circumstances.

  59. @Alok Mehta: Do we have to sink to the level of Dravid has done enough for the country to deserve sympathy when he is dropped. Let’s just wish him well and hope he too regains his form before he is permanently forced out.
    That Ganguly was treated badly is no excuse for us to do the same to Dravid. That would take away our moral right to criticise the crookedness of Chappel and Cricinfo.

  60. Could someone please explain it to me how the hell is monkey noises and gestures to someone amount to RACIAL ABUSE??? u call a guy monkey who looks like a monkey. In fact we used to tease a (indian) friend of mine b’coz he looked like a monkey, how did the racial angle come in to it, can someone please elighten me???

  61. Couldn’t have agreed more!! Exactly my thoughts.

    Seriously sometimes these guys start writing nothing but complete rubbish. I am reproducing one of their gems dated 7th jan ’07
    ” Rain is falling, chama cham cham. And I, Jamie Alter, am wondering when it will start again. Not much you can do but read Matchvox comments from all of you. Thanks for that, else I’d be watching paint dry. Sample Mahesh’s impromptu rain dance to bide the time (Note: he strongly advises that you think purely about Newlands when you do it or it may end up raining in your town!)
    Here we go: Indian Rain Dance, by Mahesh.
    Step 1: Raise both hands in the air above your head.
    Step 2: Wiggle your fingers.
    Step 3: Swing your hands straight up and down while continuing to wiggle your fingers. Hands must remain straight and pointing in front at all times (no bending your elbows).
    Step 4: (most important) Sway hips seductively while continuing Step 3.
    BTW super-sopper has ran out of gas 😀
    Hmmmm….I like my job.”

    @Dravid & Sourav
    Dravid is a gem of a batsman. Agreeing that he was not in the best of his form, but not letting him bat at number 3 was a major factor too. He is not a person to be sent in the late thirties and expect a cracker coming out of him! He got out a couple of times due to some brilliant bowling by Lee and his getting out in the 5th match was entirely due to the poor batting(86 off 111 balls) by Dada which forced Dravid to play an airshot.

    I am seriously pissed at media and timesnow in particular which are humiliating a batsman of dravid’s caliber by displaying that he has some 11% chance of making it to pak tour and he should retire. All this for one bas series? huh?

  62. Dravid maybe dropped temporarily from ODIs fine, no problem. There might be a difference in Cricinfo’s articles, no problem. But what is good to see no effigies of Vengsarkar being burnt in Bangalore, or demonstrations, what not. That’s one difference from the time Ganguly was dropped. And that’s how it should be.

    GB used to wonder why people bring in the Bengali angle when Ganguly is concerned. Should be obvious now.

  63. A point well made there- Deep3rd Man.There wasnt much hue and cry over his dropping except for silent protests in Bangalore. Perhaps goes with the man’s personality, he’s hardly spoken about the issue, quitely gone on with his business and has now answered with a double century against one of the best teams in the national format! So much for Vengsarkar asking him to play for his state side and prove his form and fitness!

    Ps: I just hope he doesnt get picked too soon, for I want him to continue playing the Ranji matches, where obviously hes too good not to score. And then finally, wouldnt it be wonderful to see Vengasarkar with egg on his face! lol.

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