The Champion

122 Comments

Cricinfo 2005:

The wheel has turned, and Ganguly’s time is over.

For all he has contributed to this team, Ganguly deserved a better farewell – if indeed that’s what this is – than being abruptly dropped. He deserved to walk away into the sunset, head held high, not be nudged out, first by coach, then the media, the public, and finally the selectors. But then again, with his batting, his behaviour and his almost stubborn refusal to let go, he barely gave anyone a chance to do any better by him.

Cricinfo 2007:

But he is living out a fairytale at the moment, and nothing he achieves will be a surprise anymore. There are many, me included, who believed Ganguly’s time as an international cricketer was over. We owe him an apology and a salute.

Thank you dear Cricinfo for being person enough to say that. Now kindly send two slices of that pie you are having, the one from  “Humble” bakery, to an Australian somewhere in Rajasthan and an Indian somewhere in Chandigarh overseeing the India Cricket League.

The fairy-tale comeback that started in South Africa has now assumed mythic proportions. Not so much because of the supreme confidence Sourav has exuded at the crease, or the amazing run of scores, or the fact that he is playing possibly the best cricket of his life. What makes Dada’s second advent so unique is how Sourav has played it off the pitch—-for a man accused of being arrogant and petulant he has not publicly uttered even one word of bitterness or ill-will towards those who tried to humiliate him, not so long ago.

A lesser person, when accused of having faked injury to avoid batting on a green pitch and of fomenting divisions inside the team (without an iota of proof being furnished in support of that accusation by the accuser) or having had the chief selector publicly announce that there is no way the said person can return to the team as long as the selector is in power, would have possibly taken the opportunity provided by his spectacular comeback to draw some blood —like Nasser Hussain once pointed to his shirt after scoring a century in the Natwest final, giving a middle finger to the TV commentators who had questioned his place in the one day side.

But not Ganguly.

He has deflected all questions about Chappell and More in recent interviews with a terse “no comment” and let his blazing bat and his glowing smile do the “I told you so”s for him.

Sourav has always been a great captain and a very good batsman.

But now on the comeback trail, displaying fluid batting on the pitch and supreme grace off it (without losing his signature Dadagiri), he has emerged a true champion.

The Prince is now the King.

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122 thoughts on “The Champion

  1. Hmm taking honours for posting the first comment, you you finally got your revenge at last haha..It must be noted though that Dada was always a unique cricketer and will definitely be remembered as positive impact in Indian cricket..

  2. Ganguly’s comeback is the most spectacular comeback I have ever witnessed. It will be an inspiration to millions of India that they can bounce back from however bad the circumstances.

  3. Haha, checked Google reader to see if you’d say something about this!

    Me and a friend were discussing how cricinfo will write the script this afternoon:

    me: Danish Kaneria to Ganguly, OUT
    SC Ganguly b Danish Kaneria 239 (361b 30×4 2×6) SR: 66.20
    12:30 PM hehe i’d like to see how cricinfo discounts ganguly’s performance
    Ashwin: hahaha
    me: im sure they’ll start with how weak the bowling was
    and how the pitch had nothing once the initial dew factor was taken care of
    12:31 PM and how there were a couple of missed chances at 20 and 30
    Ashwin: eheh
    me: and how the umpire was all generous with many lbw appeals
    Ashwin: and how the pakistani bowling attack was weak
    and how shoabi wasnt in thne attack
    me: but it was ganguly of the old, drawing comparisons to his backtoback 100s in england
    Ashwin: and how the break did him good
    how he is more determined now
    me: lol
    Ashwin: how chappel’s srtrategy actually worked
    12:33 PM i am looking forward to a chappel interview now
    me: first he must be made to eat his own shoe

  4. @Richandfamous:

    Never satisfied are we? Do you mean that no Indian cricketer should ever be considered good unless he performs against Australia in Australia? Or does that apply only to Sourav?

    It is not enough that he is the best performer in the team in BOTH forms of the game this year?

    It is not enough that he played the SA fast bowlers best in SA and the English fast bowlers in England and acquitted himself with honours?

    Of course it is not enough. Not for biased anti-Sourav idiots at any rate. Nothing is enough where Sourav is concerned. He has to prove himself over and over again. That too when to any objective observer he has proved to be one of the most mentally strong persons ever to have graced the cricket field in India.

    In the current lot, I don’t think anyone can match his mental strength. Not Laxman, not Kumble, and certanly not (captaincy)-quitter Dravid. Maybe Sachin, given he pressure on him all the time. But no one else.

    Sourav has nothing further to prove to you or anyone else. He has reached a realm of cricketing existence where he has become an example of all that is good and great and inspirational about the game. It is a prvilege to belong to the same era as Sourav Ganguly.

    Learn from him and gain inspiration from him, like we do, instead of always criticizing him and questioning his being called Champion.

    Frankly if Sourav is not a champion, no one is.

  5. Maybe Dada will draw the much awaited blood when he retires ( at some very distant point of time, of course) and writes a book. Though it’s well known dada doesn’t mince his words, we’d all elect you, Arnab , to be the co-author and pack in that sweet vitriol. Lol

  6. @Arnab:

    Frankly, I don’t think Sambit Bal has suddenly changed his mind. There has to be another reason. Here’s my conjecture:

    Crookinfo has fronted a blatant anti-Sourav campaign for the last few years. They were obviously helped in this and incentivized by reciprocal access granted to them by the selectors led by More, Chappell, and the captain of the team. In fact their moving to Bangalore probably owed a lot to the potential advantages accrued to them by being in close proximity to the Coach (who had adopted the city as his home) and Captain (whose home town it was).

    Things went swimmingly according to plan, except that someone forgot to tell Sourav the script. We know the story…

    But things also went downhill for Crookinfo in inverse ratio. Chappell was exposed and sacked (yeah yeah, I know his “contract was not renewed” etc.), and took Dravid’s balls with him to Rajasthan. With his guru gone, captaincy became a burden Dravid could not bear alone.

    Sourav came back into the limelight. Sponsors were interested again, as was the national press. People were interested in what Sourav thought instead of what Dravid felt. Media were clamouring for access to the Dada of Indian cricket.

    And Crookinfo was out in the cold. Sourav had understandably shut Crookinfo and ESPNStar out. And he was playing like a God. The double century was the last straw.

    Being a media company owned by Wisden, Sambit Bal the editor had to answer to his superiors and sponsors. He was literally forced to issue an abject apology to Sourav through the column.

    It does not mean that The Bal has suddenly started to like Sourav. His hand has been forced, and he will again ask for Sourav’s head at the first opportunity.

    But till then, let us enjoy watching him eat some crow… 🙂

  7. Hold your horses. People said Ganguly should be kicked out at that point because he was performing pathetically. It needed Greg chappal to slap Ganguly to make the prince get off his ass and put in the hard work once again rather than coast on his past achievements.

    It is great that he has got his groove back, but do realise that when people said he was useless, he WAS useless at that point!

  8. Hey Arnabda, was waiting since Dada knock yesterday afternoon for a post from you. Great post as usual. And let say that all Dada bhakts around here finally had the last laugh.

  9. I really long to meet my one time roomie now – who could barely conceal his glee when Ganguly was dropped for his second consecutive series. No wait, I longed to meet him when an India sans the “cancer” got whipped 4-0 in their worst ODI series ever. Right now, I’m googling up every probable keyword to locate him on the face of the planet. I’ll pay 50 dollars to have a discussion with him. Oh well, maybe his employers already fired him for being such a douchebag 😦

    On a slightly less personal note, THANK YOU GAYREG and THANK YOU KIRONMORON ! It’s been TOTALLY worth the agony ! Making no effort whatsoever to conceal your agenda of driving the braveheart of our times into the ground has made today’s events come around in a nice, big, full circle.
    And dear Sirs of CRACKINFO, THANK YOU too for your pearls of wisdom during your happier times of the “visionary egg” (that turned out to be a horse’s). Make sure you add salt before eating those things that routinely came out of your holes in those halcyon days. ( I meant your words, what did you think ?) 🙂

  10. Actually came to your blog after a long time…. after reading the cricinfo article… thought I’ll point out this link and ask you to comment…
    Nice post… as usual sums up perfectly what a lot of us feel on the issue 🙂

  11. Ganguly has an unfair advantage being left-handed. All the bowlers practice bowling to right handers and their line and length suffers when they are bowling to left handers. So, to prove his real worth, Ganguly should bat right-handed.

  12. Chappell is Ganguly’s fairy godmother in disguise. This is what Bal (apt name isn’t it?) probably means when he calls it a “fairytale”.

    Same guy’s delciate cricketing sensibilities had once been terribly hurt by Tendulkar :http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/story/275387.html.

    Like Chappell he’s also very concerned about the future of Indian cricket and awake to the virtues of young talent.
    : http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/story/314908.html

  13. @HistoryLesson : Uselessness is unpardonable and should be so for every Tom, Dick and Harry..not just for the GOD of character(and the offside). Unaccountability too shouldnt be pardoned..the bigger the f***-up, the harder should be the reprimand..which might include cutting off Greg’s middle finger and making More eat it along with Sourav’s two turds. What d’ya say ?

    @Kishor : I think so, too. Maybe thats why a lot of RHBs in the team didnt deserve to face Akram the way they played and did not deserve to play cricket(or any other sport) the way they were brought up. They should have taken up laundry cleaning service for all the gentlemen who keep their organs on the left. Some of the RHBs deserve just that.

  14. Surprisingly short post that!

    But yeah, Ganguly has done exceedingly well on his comeback. I myself was not sure that he’d be back after the More episode. Vengsarkar must be a happy man.

  15. Ganguly is a man of double standards. This is evident by the fact that he bats left handed and bowls right handed. He should bat and bowl with either left handed or right handed to prove his righteousness.

  16. Arnab,

    Touche.

    The man from Behala has proved once again that you cannot put down class by force or backstabbing. And the young ones do look up to him (eg: Yuvi’s reaction post his century)contrary to what big shit foreign coach would have liked us to believe.

    Kishore,

    Agreed. In fact, he should take his stance behind the stumps allowing the bowler to hit the stumps first. 🙂 In fact with Pakistan, he may still get a century as the Pakistan Bowlers have a history of missing stumps even when there is no batsman around.

  17. DADAAAAAAAAAA

    Mazaaa aa gayyyaaaaaaa

    BTW does anyone know if ‘bal’ is a bong? ‘sambit’ sounds kinda bongish?

  18. the best part is he is scored this in Bangalore right in his doom zone! and also the Indian team is successful with all Dada’s proteges coming to the party. Yuvi Dada partnership was a joy to behold!

  19. Apart from sending them, care should be taken that both those pieces of pie are shoved up Chappell’s a$$.
    Fabulous article, as always. Welcome back Dada, we missed you…

  20. yes, I was there at the stadium to see the epic double hundred. 🙂 n UV rocks too. How do we now put uv in the 11 against Aus? Make Dravid Open is wht my suggestion is ..Wht say?
    p.s: Had put up a banner as well “Akhtar, the Hospital is this way”.

  21. The last straw for people who are Ganguly haters is that it was Greg Chappell who is indirectly responsible for Ganguly’s revival. That is however, just like the cricinfo propaganda, something akin to a wishful truth. Rahul Dravid recently understood how difficult it was to captain the Indian team. By the time he gave up captaincy, he had almost peed in his pants. Dravid the wall had become had become Dravid the ordinary willow yielder. So Dravid knows what it is to captain India. And how much captaincy pressure can affect batting, especially when the team does not do well. Ask Sachin Tendulkar.

    Saurav Ganguly’s greatest contribution to Indian cricket will always be the fact that he rescued it from the doldrums of match fixing and infused some elements into it which were not there previously. Also he had a keen eye for cricketing talent. Just see Yuvraj Singh. He was the last man you would call parochial as he never pushed the case for any Bengal player. His partnership with John Wright was legendary.

    Even after taking up the mantle of captaincy which has affected almost all Indian batsmen he had played like a dream from 1999-2004 beginning. After that is it unusual that a player suddenly loses form? That he enters a trough of his career? Even people unencumbered by captaincy go through phases like this. I don’t believe that a player gives less than 100% intentionally. So allegations like he was complacent back then etc. are bullshit. Would it be fair to say now that Rahul Dravid had become too complacent of his place in Indian side and thus deserved to be kicked out of the ODI side?
    If there was one correct allegation against Ganguly at that time, it was the fact that his captaincy had become a bit predictable as was his player choices. But the theory floated by Chappell and Cricinfo that he tried to create teams within the team or tried to act as pawn-maker is utter rubbish.

    Rahul Dravid is one of India’s all time top 3 Test players. I firmly beleive that had Saurav had been free from the worries of captaincy, he would have been on at least 8000 Test runs (current 6300 odd) and about 13500 ODi runs (current 11500). Those are fine statistics. And compared to Rahul Dravid’s current stats, they make immense sense as even though Dravid is the better test player, Ganguly definitely is the better ODI player. In fact he should be one of the all time top 10 ODI players on any kind of list.

    Unencumbered by the pressures of captaincy but bearing the opprobrium and media-generated wrath of many, his comeback is really amazing and has surprised even his staunchest supporters. Batting wise, he is playing much closer to his body, much decisive in his foot movements, trying to curb his natural reaction flash outside off as much as possible and is beautifully balanced at the crease. His body language nowadays is almost like “could not care any less” rather than the fluttery eyed hesitation of the past. These are signs of a man who has had a huge burden lifted off his shoulders and can devote all his resources and energy to his primary responsibility- his batting. Never forget one fact- as abrasive as he was during captaincy, pressure is a two way game. Some of the high profile tournaments- WC 03 ,Aus tour home and away and the Pakistan tour, put immense pressure on a captain. Duress and pressure from all sides often show up in batting. No wonder Saurav didn’t show any interest to be captain again after he came back.

    On Greg Chappell- The world of cricket has never seen a more high profile coach. Now after he is coach no more, this is what he has to say:

    “The documentary does not quite capture the full depth of the ensuing breakdown in the relationship, with Ganguly believed to have recruited other players to resist Chappell’s attempts to instil badly-needed discipline.

    Chappell says Ganguly may have thought, as is common in India, that if you do someone a favour they owe you for life — but that wasn’t how the Australian saw it. ”

    Thats a very clever thing to say. Chappell has seen Indian culture from close range. As a counter accusation, it could be said that Chappell tried to be a dictator and assumed much greater powers than vested in him. People should remember Imran Khan, a great captain and the influence he yielded. Do you think that a captain like Khan would have tolerated the autocratic ways of Chappell? Absolutely not. Actually the kind of reception that Chappell got in India when he first came gave him the feeling that he was a white man who had come as a saviour to natives, much like the character in Conrad Hunter’s “The Heart of Darkness”. This feeling was accentuated by some low self esteemed and white arse licking journos and thus began an era of mutually beneficial propaganda and yellow journalism. Chappell tried to become the ‘God of Indian cricket’. Naturally, he liked sycophants and worshipers and called people who did not cowtow to his words as manipulative, unprofessional and sly. That is exactly why he did not get along with Ganguly. India has played fantastic cricket this year this year without a coach. A coach should be firm, but he should not be the face of the team. There was a time when Chappell was first and Dravid second. This suited them both. Dravid was not the type to take the bull by the horns and Chappell liked to be in control. Ian Chappell always said that a coach in cricket was highly overrated. A coach should try to complement, not substitute a team’s assets and strategies. Great coaches innovate. Just like Bob Woolmer and Bob Simpson did. So why did Chappell, who previous to becoming India’s coach was a huge failure as the coach of South Australia, such a megalomaniac? The reason is nothing but finances. Heart of hearts, Chappell wanted to hold on to his high paying, high profile and high perks job by hook or by crook. So even after being kicked by the national team and slapped by a supporter, he has still gone to Rajasthan to earn some moolah. Its all about money, honey. But you have to admire the slyness and cunningness of Chappell. When he says a statement like “In India…. if you do someone a favour they owe you for life”, he successfully uses the traits of Indian society to exonerate himself and at the same time putting the blame on Ganguly. If you are an Aussie viewer, you are more than likely to beleive in that. Just by the way he constructed his argument. Guru Greg indeed!

    Cricinfo:

    The sad thing about todays world is that fewer people are actually watching cricket themselves and trying to form prima facie inferences from the descriptions of some journos. These are the kind of people who worship Prem or the match reports of Cricinfo, or think that Harsha Bhogle is a great cricket commentator rather than a smooth speaker. Cricinfo found a perfect base for pushing their propaganda through this base. Some Cricinfo writers got inspired by Chapell’s Machiavellian tactics and tried to enhance their horizons. They started earning more by writing vitriol and baloney for British publications. Just like a pig wallows in its own shit, they even wallowed in their own supposed superior English language skills and tried to belittle Bengali journos. Sadly, the fact that they were sycophants too, albeit of a different camp was soon exposed. A reliable source told me that such a Cricinfo journo in 2005 beamed in joy getting his paycheque and asked his wife, “Do you know what happens when the earth rotates 30 times its normal speed?”. His bemused wife asked, “What?”. Showing his fat paycheque, the journo said, “Men like me get their paycheques every day.” In 2007, as one after another one of Ganguly’s boundaries peppered the off side fence, the journo developed ED. And his frustrated wife experienced unnaturally high bleeding. My source tells me that recently the wife shouted to the husband, “Do you know what happens when the earth rotates 30 times its normal speed? Women like me bleed to death.” My source also tells me that the bleeding has since stopped courtesy of a strange and fortuitously acquired candlestick. How do these detractors feel now? The guys who stood in the ‘dusk’ themselves and wanted him to ride into the sunset? But today is not the day for bickering. Saurav Ganguly has taught us all a lesson. Not only has he tightly slapped his detractors like the ‘Great Bal’, but he has given us a lesson in determination, courage and self belief. He has also shown that the best way to put down critics is not by confronting them, but by proving them wrong. Let us all try to excel in our personal lives by taking inspiration from this champion who refused to ‘ride into the sunset’, but instead basked in the glow of the dusk.

  22. Ganguly applied all non-cricketing tactics in his innings. He hit a straight drive very hard to injure Danish Kaneria. Subsequenlty, Kaneria could not bowl at his full potential.

  23. I do feel that Dada was not playing well at that time, so it was right to drop him, just as it is right to drop Dravid now. That Dada has bounced back and playing best cricket of his life is inspiring. The wrong thing at that time was to claim that Dada’s career is over.

    The most memorable moment for me was when Yuvi scored century in the match. It was nice to see Sourav happier than Yuvi himself on the knock.

  24. It will be nice to meet the forces who have scripted dada’s life. He just doesnt stop amazing you. 100 out 99 cricketers who were disgraced the way he was, would have not been able to come back. Not dada! He looks more composed than he was in the later part of his previous innings.

    And you know the shot I loved the most. Where he gave Yuvi a wide grinned hug once Yuvi had slammed his ton! Thats the dada that made the Indian team play together!

  25. Kishor – you are not well. You haven’t mentioned the most important fact of all – Ganguly is not from AP. Therefore he cannot be great. What more is there to say?

    Glad to see you back on the comment page! 🙂

  26. more kishor-esque…!
    ganguly cannot run between wickets, he’s scored his double ton with the aid of 26 fours and one six; which should be adjusted to reveal his real score.

  27. Read the CRICINFO article yesterday (by Sambit Bal) and the first thing that came to mind was – Good, tomorrow we will have a post from GB on this.

  28. I would wait till Australia tour to really think Dada has come back (of course i am not taking any credit away on scoring double century) . But it seems like everybody is hitting runs agains depleted pakistani bowling (Irfan pathan scored a century).

    I guess nothing wrong in cricinfo saying Dada’s career was over based on the way he had been playing around that time. If you give somebody a gazillion chances, (the way dada got it from ’03-’05 and thenagain from ’06) he might bounce back. This might hold true for some lesser known players, who retired or lost in oblivion because they didn’t get that many chances.

    And i think his committment to score for the team Vs. himself is still debtable.

  29. Arnab,

    Well said, The Price is now the king, Last evening I was lukcy to catch a glimpse of the king as he walked into the Grand Ashoka immediately after the match. His glowing smile to the motely crowd said it all..
    he has become a statesman!!

  30. @Kishor : You are always absolutely right no matter what you say. See, Ganguly could have scored a double ton in Kolkata itself but no, he preferred to preserve it for Bengaluroo…which means deep in his heart he too is a South Indian.

  31. @Kishor. Shhhh. Quiet man. I cant laugh out loud in my office. People will think I am crazy.

    BTW, Here is what Prem Panicker says about Ganguly in his blog

    “But the moment I saw the score was six wickets down for 500-odd and that Ganguly was marching towards his double century, I switched it off. Come on! Of what use is it to watch a game that has Ganguly, in today’s form, score a double century? And that too in tests? It was quite obvious that it was either a very weak bowling attack fielded by Pakistan, or a featherbed of a wicket, or a combination of both that allowed Ganguly to score a double century.

    It was just a month ago when Ganguly had a tough time negotiating the pace and bounce of Brett Lee. And he was also the butt of Aussie jokes each time he ran a single when two or three were easy takes. And it will be of no surprise when in Australia he is subjected to some short-pitched bowling – and on the true, bouncy, Australian wickets they will be quite a handful and far far away from the featherbed he got at Bangalore. ”

    Read more at http://www.prempanicker.com/index.php

  32. GB,

    I am not arguing. I just dont agree with the logic. I have a question. Many questions. Are you saying Ganguly was never out of form in 2005? Does scoring a century and a double century today erase all his previous bad scores? Why should anybody, australian or otherwise, apologize for saying the truth? The truth that Ganguly was woefully out of form in 2005 and deserved to be dropped.

    I personally think that act of dropping him out of the team did him more good than harm. Nobody needs to apologize.

    I agree with many wrongs that has been committed against Saurav. But I find it very hard to agree with this

    “Sourav has always been a great captain and a very good batsman.

    If “always… a very good batsman” had the been true, why should people be putting up posts like this today? Why not in 2005 or 2004? if he had always been a good batsman wouldn’t you have had some super performances to quote in 2005 too? That one had to wait to say such things until today clearly indicates that there was nothing, no data to back him up in 2005.

  33. @GreatGujju:

    “And i think his committment to score for the team Vs. himself is still debtable.”

    Just like your intelligence?

  34. He is like Phoenix. Emerging from his own ashes.
    What i really liked in this second innings is that he is more keen to play on leg side also. at first he was hesitant to play on leg side.
    But nowadays he is more comfortable and likes to play on leg side.
    In offside he is GOD. no matter how many fielders you put on off side. or how wide you ball… he still gets bat on it and timing is as always god like.

    @ Kishore :
    Why not rechristen him as ‘ Sourav Reddy ‘ may be after that you’ll be happy.
    You are really very funny Kishore … Hats off to you 🙂

    Thanks,
    Tarzan

  35. Dada has been performing quite well with bat and ball of late. I hope he averages above 50 down under. He played well in SA, but the Aussies are a different crowd. They will target him. So let us wait and see.

  36. @Shan:
    it is pity that i offended you a big time by commenting on Dada. I would have expected an intelligent argument based on cricket to counter my comment rather than a personal attack..
    alas that wasn’t the case….anyhoo that gives me an insight into your intelligence, if there is any (probably it won’t be even debtable).

  37. @kishor
    er, this here sourav is a SOUTH-paw.
    we hope this will make you like him a little (especially when he is batting)
    you CAN hate him when he is bowling AND getting wickets too, to say nothing of maiden overs.

    and talking of maidens, was not he smitten by a southern pulcheria?
    maybe you WILL like him a little more?

  38. @greatGujju:

    There is no point wasting intelligent arguments on obviously stupid statements. And questioning Ganguly’s integrity is so stupid that it only warrents a response questioning either your intelligence or your motives, nothing more.

  39. Nothing to say about Kumble. The man most people seem to despise. The man who gives the ball to ganguly each time the team needs a wicket? Well Well.

  40. “The Prince is now the King.”

    Amen to that !!

    I have been a big fan of dada, ever since his dream debut, the marauding one day stands with Sachin, the glorious captaincy days , the tough times during his lack of form prior Chappell era and going into that low period of his career, and now as some say “the best time of his career” .. .. hail to the Prince and now the King..

    so glad to see him back in “The Game”.. So glad to see him score a century on his home-ground in front of his home-crowd and even more glad to see him get a Double ..!!

    Cheers to him, for bringing smiles on our faces .. and joy in our hearts !!

  41. Its your blog and you can say whatever you want. Good for you that your fellow Bong did well, and you can cherish it.

    But the unfortunate thing with our team and us fans is that we always are more focussed on individuals than the team. Personal Stats than team Win/loss. And this is not limited to Cricket or just to any sport. It has become a way of life for us, root / favor/ help, someone from our State, region, city, colony, galli etc. Why can’t we just recognize brilliance in any one and appreciate accordingly?

  42. Kudos to Ganguly. I have to admit, I did not quite believe he had it in him to make a comeback like this. Lovely that Dada proved me wrong.

    Hopefully with a confident Dada and a rejuvinated Dravid, we can cause a few problems against the relatively inexperienced Aus attack (for I have little faith in our bowling attack at the moment and the Aussies batsmen are in dream form)

  43. @Shan:

    Calling somebody’s statements stupid and attacking the person without any justification makes you intelligent??? way to go bro..

    Anyway i will let you enjoy the blind man-worshipping and bask in Sourav-eulogy thumping in your “intelligent” brain.

  44. @ Hawkeye, GreatGujju, Vaibhav and all others who are still making a lot of hue and cry and still trying to justify how appropriate it was to kick out Sourav in 2005 :

    Mark Taylor was out of form for more than 3 years but since he was the best man suited for the Captain’s role, Aussies persisted with him. Ponting, Gilchrist, McGrath, McGill debuted under him. Warne , Healy and the Waugh twins reached their peak under him. Compare the Australian team of ’93-’94 with the Australian team of ’98-’99 and you’ll see the difference. Same players, different team. When Taylor scored 334* in his last test innings and handed over the team to Steve Waugh, we all know how the team was. It had become a team of champions by then. And it still is. Australia’s transformation from a ‘decent’ team to a ‘champion’ team was initiated by Taylor. And he wasn’t a great batsman like his predecessor Allan Border or his successor Steve Waugh. In fact, he was quite mediocre as a bat. But he knew captaincy.

    Now, coming back to the point of Ganguly being dropped in 2005,going by the same logic, a couple of months more should be it for Rahul Dravid too, right? It’s been quite long since he has done anything substantial in tests. He’s already been dropped from the ODI team. I sincerely hope he does perform down under, because he had been India’s best test batsman in the last decade. That he had been spineless , shaky captain and Chappell’s-arse-licker too is another thing altogether though.I’m not even going into all that.
    However, in the worst case scenario, if he is not able to perform down under, going by the same logic, he too should be dropped. And we’ll all get to see whether he’s got enough balls, if any, to fight against all odds and make a royal comeback like Sourav did.

  45. Lets not forget Amit Verma of Crookinfo, best clown of the indian blogosphere. Remember how he disparaged Gangs by saying that he was hiding in the bathroom? I have long suspected that Verma [expletive edited]

  46. @Srikanth: No there is no question of this being “my revenge” in any way.

    @Aniket: 🙂

    @Anonymous: Truly inspirational. The stuff of sports movies.

    @Sriram: No not Cricinfo. But I think Prem Panicker basically said this.

    @RichAndFamous: Will Dravid, Sachin, VVS also be considered as “not champions” if they do not perform against Australia?

    @Amit: Thanks

    @Dumdum_er_aantel: 🙂

    @Partha: It would be a privilege. 🙂

    @Supremus: It’s all part of the process. All part of it.

    @Shan: Hmm.

    @HistoryLesson: Yes right. Just a clarification. I do not think that making unsubstantiated allegations that he faked injuries and played politics inside the team was done to “make him get his groove” back. Neither do I think More’s saying that SG would never be part of any Indian team as long as he was chief selector was designed to encourage SG.

    It was personal vendetta plain and simple.

    You are however free to drink the Chappell Kool Aid.

    @Srira: Predictable am I not?

    @Mansij: 🙂

    @Sandeepan: I have unfortunately have met many specimens of the type mentioned.

    @Kunal: 🙂

    @Kishor: True. We all missed you here.

    @Anonymous: Chappell is fairy godmather. Sigh. Maybe just a fairy.

    @Akhil: Yes I also was apprehensive that he would never be allowed to come back. He would not have if Chappell’s process-players had not come unstuck against South Africa.

    @Anirban: True. And what I love is the dignity he has maintained throughout the comeback.

    @Shourideb: I suspect so.

    @Joyjit: True.

    @Whatsinaname: 🙂

    @Ranjan: Hmm.

    @Sh: Ouch.

    @Shravan: I think I saw that poster !!

    @Yourfan2: The thing is that we still have Greg in our country shoving his psychobabble down the necks of young players. When Irfan Pathan lose his bowling form, Greg the great kept on saying its all in his mind. The actual thing was that Irfan had developed a kink in his action, which was spotted by TA Sekhar and Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Academy—-just goes to show the level of perception of our know-it-all.

    @Vaibhav: I do think it was right to drop Dada at that time. But there was no need to humiliate him or to say as More did that we dont want you in the team, no matter what you do. I do not think also that Dravid deserves to be dropped.

    @Amit: Yep. The genuineness of his affection for Yuvi (reciprocated by Yuvi too) came through in that marvelous moment. Pity that certain media outlets once hinted how Dada was trying to sabotage his career for the sake of his own.

    @Vishak: 🙂

    @Greatgujju: Without bothering to even retort to the rest of the comment, here are two quotes from you.

    Quote 1:

    And i think his committment to score for the team Vs. himself is still debtable.

    Quote 2:

    Calling somebody’s statements stupid and attacking the person without any justification makes you intelligent???

    Am I the only one who sees a little irony here?

    And please dont bother to supply justification for Quote 1—even Chappell could not provide proof for that one, even when asked by the Board to do so.

    @Suneetha: That he has.

    @Abhishek: Mercy. No.

    @dEBoLiN: Thanks

    @Turrtle: I think he withdrew his post after it became a forum for regional name-calling. I think I know how that went.

    @Hawkeye:

    Okay here’s something for you. In the last 10 Test matches, Rahul Dravid has averaged 33.7. Doing a rough (and quick) comparison on Statguru on Sourav’s last 10 Test matches (actually 11) his average came to be 42.12. When SG was kicked out, a forward circulating showed his stats to be better than SRT when Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were not being considered.

    Forget the last 2 sentence for a while though I am sure you got my point.

    Here’s what I want to say. Shall we cease to call Dravid a great batsman because of an average of 33.7? [Note I called Ganguly a very good batsman and not a great batsman which is something I would call Dravid.]

    Based on his numbers (which are not better than what SG had when he was dropped) do you think Dravid should be dropped now?

    If you ask me, No. Definitely not. I would say that SG deserved to be dropped when he was—-because it was not the numbers but the way he appeared at the crease that was alarming. Of course that did not take away from the fact that he was still a very good batsman (just like Dravid is still a great batsman) and a competitor beyond compare which is why he deserved a fair chance to get back, a chance which More and Greg were not prepared to give him.

    Yes that’s why they should have pie on their face. Cause they humiliated, wrote him off and tried their best to see that he never makes it back, no matter how he performs.

    @Tarzan: Hmm.

    @Dibyo: Hmm.

    @Tracerbullet: Your point being?

    @Sourdough Pretzel: And another amen.

    @NewGuy: You assume that I rejoice in SG’s success just because he is a fellow Bong. Well why arent you rejoicing in his success–isnt his Indianness good enough? (Note how you say: “and you can cherish it” as if its something you cannot)

    As to the rest of your comment..as they say. It all starts with the man in the mirror.

    @Bongopondit: I never lost faith in his ability to come back. I however never thought he would get the chance.

    @Krishanu: 🙂

    @Buro: Hmm.

    @DeboLin: No need for expletives directed at a fellow blogger. Please.

    @Satyaki: Again no expletive directed at a fellow blogger.

  47. Yeah, seems like the bad boy from Calcutta, the same one who had swung out his shirt while mouthing obscenities that had made the white MCC members go red on a Sunny summer day has matured into a Bhadralok. Mind you, I enjoy both these periods in his career.

  48. @ Kishor…
    awesome stuff…. you should start your own blog… where you can point out at leisure that Ganguly is unlucky for the team coz whenever he’s scored a century in this series we haven’t won… also please dont let people comment on your blog unless they start their comments with ‘Heil Hirwani’ :d

  49. @debolin: If u read my comment, I have stated that going by present form, Dravid should be dropped, just as Dada was dropped then.

    @tracerbullet: Yup, gud captaincy by Kumble. Specially the declaration in 2nd test was very bold and sporty. Clearly shows the aggressive spirit of Kumble.

  50. gb: “do you think Dravid should be dropped now? If you ask me, No. Definitely not.”

    I am not so sure about that. Once Tendulkar is fit, Dravid certainly won’t have a place in the middle order based on recent form. At best, he can open with Jaffer, but even that depends on the warm-up match before first Test. After all, Gambhir is the incumbent for opening position and Dravid will have to outperform him to take that job. Anything else, like asking Yuvraj/Laxman to open or even dropping Laxman (as they are wont to do) would be totally ridiculous.

  51. @GreatGujju

    “And i think his commitment to score for the team Vs. himself is still debatable.”

    Whoa! Now for some fresh statistics. SC Ganguly 63 of 77 balls. R Dravid 35 of 89 balls. All these at a stage when needs to score quick runs. Can GG shed some light on what pray is RD’s commitment to the team’s cause with such an innings?

  52. @GB:

    I am not raising any doubts about SG’s committment prior to his dropping. Proabably he is the best captain material indian cricket has seen.

    However, since SG’s return i have felt that he is more occupied to cling to his spot by scoring runs at slow pace (specially one-days) at the expense of overall team’s performance. Such attitude has been more prevalent among indian team members which is merely a reflection of insecurity. So the immediate goal is to crawl and painfully manage to go past 20-30 runs so one can enter in a league of “respectful scores” and seeing this you can’t help but feel his little regard for contributing towards team’s success. So the idea is to not play according to the situtation but stick to the crease, outdo the fellow team member not the bowler,remain among top in the losing side and you are good to go for next six months.
    It’s not only SG, i would say SRT had also been accused of doing such in the past.

  53. @rahulghosh:

    Going by the form in the current test and RD’s myeterious slump in form, no doubt SG is doing better than RD. My comment regarding SG is based on his cumultavie performance since his return- ie absolute performance not relative to RD.
    As far RD is concerned, i too stongly feel that he is awefully out of touch and India would be better off playing yuvi replacing RD in australia as when SRT returns there gonna be a competition to fit into the middle order.

  54. Helllooo- It feels great to see Sourav score a double! Would be grt to see him score a century in both innings! As for 2005 episode,i agree that Sourav wasnt performing for a long time/few series.But he was my favrte captain nonetheless!

    I’m a bigger fan of Dravid and Im sure he will come good in Australia. It wasnt right to drop him after one bad series or was it half?(Australia)- if the reasons where something other than his mental state.

    And as for the comparison of Dravid and Ganguly as ODI batsmen-You just need to look at thier career stats, both have over 10,000 runs, one is a opener and the other a middle order bat; although Dravids strike rate is held against him, thier strike rates are not very different either!!!

    Dravid’s career strike rate of 71.22 against Ganguly’s 73.7 in ODIs! If it was a comparison to Tendulkat, then its perhaps a class below coz he strikes at well over 85 per 100 balls. All in all, theres little to chose between Dravid and Ganguly as ODI batsman, although I feel Ganguly accelerates better and more at will. And as far as Test cricket goes, Dravid is defntly a class/notch above, beyond doubt!

  55. @ Greatgujju
    “However, since SG’s return i have felt that he is more occupied to cling to his spot by scoring runs at slow pace (specially one-days) at the expense of overall team’s performance”

    There are two ways of looking at the same phenomenon –

    1. Saala, he is just sticking to his wicket, he is not able to score, is a little low on confidence … “thinks only for himself, nothing for the team”.

    2. Is not in prime form, but will put price on wicket, and eventually confidence and form will be rediscovered. Will then up the rate of scoring (evidence : current test, 2nd innings, 50 from 57 balls). Also termed as “gritty determination”.

    Its a matter of perception, my friend.

  56. Why is “playing for yourself” a bad thing anyways ? If you play for yourself and score runs, the team benefits, doesn’t it ?

    Bhagwaan woh hota hain jo humesha doosron ke liye sochta hain.
    Shaitaan woh hota hain jo humesha apne liye sochta hain.
    Insaan woh hota hain jo apne liye AUR doosron ke liye sochta hain.

    (Ok, I did not make that up, it was there in my Class 8 Hindi textbook and was the most meaningful quote I ever came across)

  57. There is just one reason why Saurav will do well in Australia.

    Because no one expects him to.

    I suspect they will regret underestimating him.

    Yet again.

    This coming as someone who never liked Ganguly as a batsman – I still think he’s no pleasure to watch – but by God he’s shown spirit both when he was captain and now as a batsman by just refusing to bow down or roll over and play dead.

    Now all I want to see is the Wall to go back to his solid ways. The two of them are building up the second innings of the last test in contrasting fashion as we speak, perfect.

  58. The moment i read the stuff from Sambit Bal on Cricinfo, i turned to your blog to see what you had to say. I knew it would come in a day or two. And here it is! Well said. After so much agony, dada deserves all the apologies that come his way.

    Way to go Dada!

  59. GB,

    Thanks for the sensible response. Very hard to find people with sensible responses these days.

    /*Yes that’s why they should have pie on their face. Cause they humiliated, wrote him off and tried their best to see that he never makes it back, no matter how he performs */

    yes! i completely agree. I did say (with many typos) that many wrongs have been committed against Saurav. Regardless of age if he did well in Ranji trophy, he should be back. Inspite of the disagreements I have had with saurav, I have come to realize that I have grown up seeing him on cricket field and with saurav the bond is more emotional. So I would have been dissapointed and sad if he didnt make a come back. I guess even ganguly in an interview said that he was only dissapointed with the way it happened.

    Regarding your stats on Rahul Vs Saurav. I think the items being compared are apples Vs oranges. Logically for it to be apples Vs apples; I would compare saurav’s last 11 games before he was dropped in 05 and Rahul’s last 11 games that includes his current bad form. Since you mentioned the forwarded mail, I would also compare sachin’s form during the 03-05 period that saurav went thro a lean patch and got dropped (i thought fwded mail was not correct on data).

    So if I apply the following filter

    Filter Criteria: After Saurav’s 143 in Brisbane and Before his 101 against Zim. Excluded any/all games against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

    When comparing dip in form of Rahul Vs Saurav, I compared the dip in average during poor-form to the player’s overall career average. This was done to keep things fair. As just comparing raw poor-form average would be unfair to Saurav (because dravid’s poor form average is better than saurav’s career average) and would bring in good Vs great dinstinction. Having said all this Rahul’s form is alarmingly bad.

    1. Saurav’s dip in form in 2005 was a 15 point dip from his career average. Dip from his career average of 41 to 26.

    2. Rahul’s dip was a 14 point dip from career average of 56 to poor-form average of 42 (but still higher than 40 which I would consider as the danger line flag signalling onset of dropping a player).

    3. Sachin actually had a 53 average during 03-05 when Saurav was going through a lean patch. He had 3 big not outs (241*, 61* and a 194*) that contributed to a 53 average but the # of runs he scored was twice as much as Saurav in the same period.

    4. To answer your question, Dravid is a candidate for dropping if his poor form continues in Aus and home series against RSA. He is not there yet but could get there.

    5. When I have time i’ll compare Taylor’s poor-form scores with Ganguly’s and pos them.

    Let me know if you disagree with the stats or the filters applied.

    Saurav Ganguly:
    Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St

    Saurav 11 421 77 26.31 0 3 2 1/14 58.00 0 5 0

    Sachin 13 968 241* 53.77 2 5 8 2/36 54.87 0 7 0

    Rahul Dravid’s Last 11 matches

    Rahul 11 766 146 42.55 1 5 – – – – 14 0

    Innings by Innings breakdown of Saurav:

    ——————————————————————————–
    Runs W/R Ct St I * R Match

    – DNB 0 0 1 * W 2nd Test v Aus in Aus 2003/04 at Adelaide [1673]
    2 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    12 – – – 4 *
    37 – – – 1 * L 3rd Test v Aus in Aus 2003/04 at Melbourne [1678]
    – DNB 0 0 2 *
    73 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 4 *
    16 – – – 1 * D 4th Test v Aus in Aus 2003/04 at Sydney [1680]
    – 0/0 1 0 2 *
    DNB – – – 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 4 *
    – 0/9 0 0 1 * W 3rd Test v Pak in Pak 2003/04 at Rawalpindi [1697]
    77 – – – 2 *
    – 0/18 1 0 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 1 * L 1st Test v Aus in Ind 2004/05 at Bangalore [1713]
    45 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    5 – – – 4 *
    – DNB 0 0 1 * D 2nd Test v Aus in Ind 2004/05 at Chennai [1714]
    9 – – – 2 *
    – 0/2 0 0 3 *
    DNB – – – 4 *
    – 1/45 0 0 1 * D 1st Test v SA in Ind 2004/05 at Kanpur [1722]
    57 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    – 1/14 0 0 1 * W 2nd Test v SA in Ind 2004/05 at Kolkata [1724]
    40 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    DNB – – – 4 *
    – 0/3 0 0 1 * D 1st Test v Pak in Ind 2004/05 at Mohali [1738]
    21 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    DNB – – – 4 *
    12 – – – 1 * W 2nd Test v Pak in Ind 2004/05 at Kolkata [1741]
    – 0/12 1 0 2 *
    12 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 1 0 4 *
    – 0/13 1 0 1 * L 3rd Test v Pak in Ind 2004/05 at Bangalore [1743]
    1 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    2 – – – 4 *

    Innings by Innings break down of Sachin

    Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St

    unfiltered 142 11289 248* 55.06 37 47 42 3/10 51.95 0 93 0
    filtered 13 968 241* 53.77 2 5 8 2/36 54.87 0 7 0

    ——————————————————————————–
    Runs W/R Ct St I * R Match

    – 0/3 0 0 1 W 2nd Test v Aus in Aus 2003/04 at Adelaide [1673]
    1 – – – 2
    – 2/36 0 0 3
    37 – – – 4
    0 – – – 1 L 3rd Test v Aus in Aus 2003/04 at Melbourne [1678]
    – 1/57 2 0 2
    44 – – – 3
    – DNB 0 0 4
    241* – – – 1 D 4th Test v Aus in Aus 2003/04 at Sydney [1680]
    – DNB 0 0 2
    60* – – – 3
    – 0/36 1 0 4
    194* – – – 1 W 1st Test v Pak in Pak 2003/04 at Multan [1693]
    – 2/36 1 0 2
    – 0/23 0 0 3
    2 – – – 1 L 2nd Test v Pak in Pak 2003/04 at Lahore [1695]
    – 1/38 0 0 2
    8 – – – 3
    – DNB 0 0 4
    – DNB 0 0 1 W 3rd Test v Pak in Pak 2003/04 at Rawalpindi [1697]
    1 – – – 2
    – 1/1 0 0 3
    – 0/29 0 0 1 L 3rd Test v Aus in Ind 2004/05 at Nagpur [1718]
    8 – – – 2
    – 0/12 0 0 3
    2 – – – 4
    5 – – – 1 W 4th Test v Aus in Ind 2004/05 at Mumbai [1720]
    – DNB 0 0 2
    55 – – – 3
    – DNB 1 0 4
    – 0/36 0 0 1 D 1st Test v SA in Ind 2004/05 at Kanpur [1722]
    3 – – – 2
    – 0/18 0 0 3
    – 0/8 0 0 1 W 2nd Test v SA in Ind 2004/05 at Kolkata [1724]
    20 – – – 2
    – DNB 0 0 3
    32* – – – 4
    – DNB 0 0 1 D 1st Test v Pak in Ind 2004/05 at Mohali [1738]
    94 – – – 2
    – 0/30 0 0 3
    DNB – – – 4
    52 – – – 1 W 2nd Test v Pak in Ind 2004/05 at Kolkata [1741]
    – DNB 2 0 2
    52 – – – 3
    – DNB 0 0 4
    – 0/14 0 0 1 L 3rd Test v Pak in Ind 2004/05 at Bangalore [1743]
    41 – – – 2
    – 1/62 0 0 3
    16 – – – 4

  60. @Hawkeye:

    “because dravid’s poor form average is better than saurav’s career average”

    This is what Statguru says of Dravid in his last 10 innings:

    10 573 129 33.70 1 3 – – – – 11 0

    Yes 33.7

    And this 33.7 is lower than SG’s career average? I wonder why the 11 suddenly came here (since 10 is a more accepted number)—-is it because including 11, RD becomes 42.5? :-). I was forced to give 11 as 11 was the number of Tests that SG played in the last 5 series before being dropped (I wish I knew how to get Statsguru to just give me the last 10 innings average of SG before he was dropped.)

    I also do wonder why Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not considered—do runs against them not count? [Do remember that India did lose to Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe once upon a time—albeit a much better Zimbabwe].

    “during 03-05 when Saurav was going through a lean patch.”

    SG was going through a lean patch as early as in 2003? I didnt know that. Let’s see what Statsguru says.(Seasonwise stats)

    2003–2004: 54.9 (SRT) 60.75(SG)
    2004–2005: 55.3 (SRT) 30.25(SG)
    2005–2006: 27.9 (SRT) 38.85(SG)

    60.75 is not a lean patch–is it?

    Yes as you see there is a startling drop in average of SG in 04–05. But compared to SRT in 05-06 (when SG was dropped) he doesnt come out too bad– does he with SG having a 11-point advantage over SRT?

    Now lets look at Rahul Dravid. Season-wise stats since 2006/2007 when he started failing.

    2006–2007: 20.83 (just 3 tests in South Africa)
    2007: 39.75 [This is not above SG’s career average]
    2007-2008: 43.33 [This is above SG’s career average and includes just first 2 Tests of this series]

    Again, I would never say Dravid should be dropped. Figures never tell the full story—the main problem with SG is that when he was dropped , he never looked like he would survive, scratching around for runs in a manner that was painful to look at. He definitely deserved to be out of the XI. Dravid on the other hand does not look so precarious, even now.

    Why I think Greg and More were despicable was because they were not even prepared to give him a chance to come back and because they tried to malign SG through their plants in the press. Not because they dropped SG.

    And yes I agree. Very difficult to have a reasoned debate on emotional issues. :-). Which is why I thank you too.

  61. GB,

    I quote my filter criteria from my previous comment 🙂

    Filter Criteria: After Saurav’s 143 in Brisbane and Before his 101 against Zim. Excluded any/all games against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

    I didn’t come up with 11 games. There were 11 matches according to the filter criteria. The dates I put was 2003-dec-08 to 2005 sept 1. There were 11 matches according to the filter criteria. Sachin played 13 games in this period (in fact if you make it 9 matches his average takes a retty big hit. but you have to stop at some number). Since 11 turned out to be the total games in comparison for Saurav, I just chose the last 11 games for Dravid. I did not know that his 11th test match was so vital to his average :-). I proomise it was not deliberate.

    In anycase for Dravid 33’ish average in the last 10 games is still bad. Thats almost 23 points below his career average. This is certainly makes a strong case for him getting dropped in the near future if he doesnt improve. Either after Aus series if he doesnt improve. Or after RSA home series.

    My point his regardless of who it is; sachin or dravid or ganguly 10 -15 continuous games of poor form is enough to set alarm bells ringing.

  62. /* (I wish I knew how to get Statsguru to just give me the last 10 innings average of SG before he was dropped.) */

    I can help here. Just go to advance filter and do a datewise filter. I asked to exclude all matches in Ban and exclude matches played in Zim. If you change the dates to start from dec – 15 – 2003 to sep 1 2005 then you will get saurav’s last 10 innings.

    i agree with numbers not telling the full picture. but it helps us stay anchored and sort of do a sanity check.

    I dont have a good answer to ‘why not zim/ban’. Its a subjective thing. I don’t respect their opposition that much in a test scenario.

  63. To answer your question on Mark taylor. The following lists his most wretched run of poor form. Guess how many games he went on poor form 🙂

    10.

    As a captain in these 10 games he Won 6 and Lost-4. No draws

    Taylor was in poor form for 14 months and ganguly for 19 months.

    His career average was similar to Saurav. His poor form average was 18.22. This is 10 points lower than Saurav’s when he was dropped. Both run of poor forms don’t involve games against Zim/Ban.

    Filter criteria: After he scored 96 and before he scored 117 in birmingham. Dec 30, 1995 – March 26 1997.

    Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St

    unfiltered 104 7525 334* 43.49 19 40 1 1/11 26.00 0 157 0
    filtered 10 328 43 18.22 0 0 – – – – 15 0

    ——————————————————————————–
    Runs W/R Ct St I * R Match

    21 – – – 1 * W 3rd Test v SL in Aus 1995/96 at Adelaide [1324]
    – DNB 1 0 2 *
    10 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 2 0 4 *
    27 – – – 1 * L Only Test v Ind in Ind 1996/97 at Delhi [1335]
    – DNB 0 0 2 *
    37 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 4 *
    43 – – – 1 * W 1st Test v WI in Aus 1996/97 at Brisbane [1340]
    – DNB 0 0 2 *
    36 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 1 0 4 *
    27 – – – 1 * W 2nd Test v WI in Aus 1996/97 at Sydney [1343]
    – DNB 0 0 2 *
    16 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 2 0 4 *
    7 – – – 1 * L 3rd Test v WI in Aus 1996/97 at Melbourne [1346]
    – DNB 1 0 2 *
    10 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 4 *
    – DNB 1 0 1 * W 4th Test v WI in Aus 1996/97 at Adelaide [1352]
    11 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 3 0 3 *
    2 – – – 1 * L 5th Test v WI in Aus 1996/97 at Perth [1353]
    – DNB 1 0 2 *
    1 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 4 *
    – DNB 1 0 1 * W 1st Test v SA in SA 1996/97 at Johannesburg [1356]
    16 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 0 0 3 *
    – DNB 0 0 1 * W 2nd Test v SA in SA 1996/97 at Port Elizabeth [1360]
    8 – – – 2 *
    – DNB 1 0 3 *
    13 – – – 4 *
    38 – – – 1 * L 3rd Test v SA in SA 1996/97 at Centurion [1362]
    – DNB 0 0 2 *
    5 – – – 3 *
    – DNB 1 0 4 *

  64. Hi GB,

    after long time posting here. And wow what a post! I seriously do not understand why the ganguly agenda became a matter of regional name calling and abuse! I do know a lot of tamil people who admire dada very much! and the support dada got at bangalore is a proof of that. But some people do have a negative approach towardss him. even today ppl ask him to prove a lot! after scoring more than 16000 runs in both forms of cricket what more one has to prove!!

    But dada is proving nevertheless…He is proving all those lunatics wrong again and again and again!!

    Hail Dada!

  65. Hawkeye,

    The problem is we talk about dropping dravid or ganguly or laxman to easily. And the same never applies to sachin. I agree even during his most lean phase he never got to a point where actually someone can discuss dropping him, but we the fans take it as if droppin sachin is something impossible!

    Dravid has been dropped before too i guess a couple of times, ganguly once and laxman numerouos times.
    But then with batsmen like Yuvi sitting outside the test team, this tells us how good our team is at this moment. its a team where RD needs to struggle for existence…probably he woudln’t have to do hte same if he was an australian!!

    Ye india ka cricket hai beedu!! 🙂

  66. ancient mariner,

    while sachin is more popular, ganguly has got tremendous support in the tamil heartland. this guy (http://insideram.wordpress.com) will physically harm me if I quote stats against ganguly 🙂

    I have been a sachin fan in the pre-ganguly captaincy era. nowdays i criticise him on and off for below par performances.

    /* I agree even during his most lean phase he never got to a point where actually someone can discuss dropping him, but we the fans take it as if droppin sachin is something impossible! */

    no. people have always discussed dropping him since his 99 test against pakistan in chennai. but most of the times (not all) his lean patch is a perceived one. statistics usually back him no matter how you cut and chop it. its the subjective’ness people bring in that make a case for dropping him. in a subjective vein, twice in his career i have thought that dropping him (statistically un-merited as it may be) might not be a bad idea.

  67. After the master has shown the way, the sidekick follows suit.

    Immense joy comes. Or, as words can be misconstrued, lets revise that to immense joy arrives. Heh.

  68. @Hawkeye
    nice to see some of the sensible posts you have been making.. i
    couldn’t agree more on the issues covering SG, ST and RD.However i would like add some’: Since the trio (SG, ST and RD) emerged as
    superstars of indian cricket in late 90’s they are somehow interlocked as far as selection process goes irrespective of their performance.
    One can not be dropped without evoking mass hysteria from fans to
    chop other two’s heads. For example, they can not drop ST based on
    performance just because somewhere along the line they kept SG/RD in the team during their lean phases and vice versa. In other words, one’s failure becomes boon for the other twos and stats for fans to trumpet their heros.

    Hence you can not sensible talk about one’s absolute performance as it always gets into comparison with others. Even if you read comments here on SG, it invariably draws ST/RD into equations. Over the years BCCI have realised this so it usually ends up doing balancing act by keeping all the three in the team except the time during the SG/GC stand-off which peaked so much that somebody had to give in.

  69. Nice post. You got it right, the dignified grace is the sweetest part of the disengaged revenge. The show of determination and perserverence has been truly exemplary and will be the stuff of legends. We are lucky to bear witness to the birth of such a sublime cricket lore.

  70. @GreatGujju:

    Taking cove under someone else’s argument now? So far yu were only questioning Sourav’s commitment to Indian cricket. When thhat was exposed as a craven, cowardly, biased, stupid, moronic claim to make, you now are trying to use someone else’s stats to try and bolster your hitherto demolished argument? You really are a pathetic excuse for a Gujju!

    If it isn’t not clear to you yet, Hawkeye’s position is that everyone is crap – Sachin, Dravid, Sourav – of course Sourav being the crappiest player of all – he being Sourav and not Dravid.

    Your original comment just has an totally random, unsubstantiated allegation against Ganguly. And when we protested, you took the sanctimonious route by latching on to someone else’s argument and tried to pass yourself off as a champion of performance over reputation!!!

    What a hypocritical [edited out by GB] you are, man! It’s actually entertaining to see to clutching at straws te try and discredit Ganguly. Fortunately Ganguly has dealt with bigger idiots then you – with his bat.

    😀

  71. @ Arnab:
    I had at least used two masked characters when I referred to Panicker as a ba****d.
    I accept that it was a wrong thing to do on my part and you were absolutely right to have filtered it out.

    However, the same word has been used by at least one more commenter I can see and that too for addressing another commenter. And, this one doesn’t even have masked characters.

    Hopefully it won’t elude your notice. 🙂

  72. I only wish you had posted this after Australia.You may have jinxed him for Oz now. You know, I know the feeling. You know that Gregie and Morone were wrong in what they did to Sourav. But you really needed a smashing performance from Sourav to write this rebuttal. He did superbly in SA and England but you didnt write this then – I remember exhorting you to write this article then but you desisted – you had to wait until this unquestionably superb performance to shove it up on the Erstwhile self-appointed Saviour of Indian Cricket.
    Almost makes me think that you didnt want to jinx him by writing this then.
    Only makes me think, if only you had waited until the Aussie tour, and assuming he does well there, it would be fait accompli. Now, maybe, you have jinxed him…just wait, if Sourav fails in Aussie, Gregie would be back to “I told you so..” 🙂

  73. Find out Ganguly’s blood group and start collecting blood NOW. We need lots of it to save him in Oz. He will haemorrhage badly from the bruises he’ll get from Lee & co!

  74. Actually, man of the serious should have gone to V.V.S. Laxman because he saved India from collapse in the first test and that is the main reason for India’s win. Otherwise, India would have lost that test match. After that win, Indian batsman were not playing under stress and scored freely on batting featherbeds. But as usual, South Indians are always neglected irresptective of their brilliant and real genius preformances.

  75. @ Whoever says Ganguly was dropped because of pathetic performance during that point of time.

    He was dropped after scoring a century and winning the first Test series outside the subcontinent in a zillion years. Don’t believe me? Get your cricket history right then! Period.

    My last posts in my blog ended with the ICC World Cup. I need to start again. Not only on cricket and Ganguly, but my usual observations on issues. One of which shall surely be a commentary on those who suffer from ‘regional inferiority complex’ arising out of evolutionary deficiencies within different Indian races owing to food and geographical attributes.

  76. @Kishore – Dunno about Dada’s blood group, but yours must be something like B or A a lot of Rhesus monkey brain cells I see there in you.

  77. @Shan:

    ahaaa…so you are back…i didn’t think your indulgence in enjoying orgasmic pleasure by fantasizing SG’s “bat” would end this early.

    {BTW i still stick by the comment i made if you had read my other responses properly you would know and regarding hawkeye’s comment, you myopic idiot, i was just adding my general observation of the indian team’selection process which had nothing to do with my earlier comments.

    Look at your conspiracy theory and unsubstantial assumptions in your earlier comments rather than preaching others:
    ***********************************************************************

    “In the current lot, I don’t think anyone can match his mental strength. Not Laxman, not Kumble, and certanly not (captaincy)-quitter Dravid”

    “In fact their moving to Bangalore probably owed a lot to the potential advantages accrued to them by being in close proximity to the Coach (who had adopted the city as his home) and Captain (whose home town it was)”

    “took Dravid’s balls with him to Rajasthan. With his guru gone, captaincy became a burden Dravid could not bear alone”
    ***********************************************************************

    can’t elevate the SG without bringing/humiliating RD down, can you? come out of hero-worshipping douche bag!!

    – but wait why would you even understand this, you were “busy” in the fantasy world}

    Anyway Shan, i am not going to respond to you any further (’cause you won’t stop abuse and i can’t stoop down to your level which you are making me now)

    If you want to (i know you will) continue, come up with better expletives than “pathetic excuse for a Gujju”, “hypocritical bastard ” and “idiots”

  78. @GreatGujju:

    I had prefaced my Cricinfo comments very clearly by calling it “my theory”. So your comment, as usual, lacks logic.

    My comments on Dravid are actually borne out by facts evident to all the the time, be it his lack of support for a beleagured ex-captain who had saved his skin earlier, or his craven subordination to Chappell.

    But you? You accused Sourav of selfishness without any basis whatsoever, that too after he just won us a series against Pakistan! If that doesn’t smack of stupidity or deliberate viciousness, what does?

    If you can’t see the difference, my first comment directed towards you seems more and more apt.

  79. GB,

    I agree Ganguly is a champion, a fantastic player and the manner of his resurrection without equal.

    But I really do not see the need for you to belittle Laxman, Dravid and Kumble’s abilities to prove your point. Dravid and Kumble have won more matches for India than Ganguly has even in his dreams. And for all of Ganguly’s offside glory Laxman’s willow is the more beautiful sight on a cricket pitch.

    The manner of Ganguly’s sacking from the team was not called for but I dont think that the decision itself was flawed. All the soul searching he did when he was out has helped him score 1000 runs in a calendar year for the first time. I doubt if he would have done that had he continued.

    Lets just cherish Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Kumble’s presence on a cricket pitch while we can because it wont be for too long.

    J

  80. @Shan

    be it his lack of support for a beleagured ex-captain who had saved his skin earlier, or his craven subordination to Chappell.You accused Sourav of selfishness without any basis whatsoever..
    —————————————————
    As you guessed Im a Dravid fan! And I guess this a case of pot callng the kettle black!! You are accusing Dravid of lots of things with same lack of basis, arent you? Craven insubordination to Chappel? How would you know it? Isnt that like Ganguly being baselessly accused of sabotaging a few of his team mates career!

    My point is unless you are insider, you wouldnt know most of these things – other than a few apparent ones – and these ones takes a really knowledgeable cricket lover to observe and acknowledge! Ricky pointing recently said captainship/Leadership is mostly about something which goes inside the dressing room and most people outside wouldnt know exactly the kind of leader you are! And aggression is not just good ol Sreesanths antics.Its about performance like Dravid says. Anil Kumble could be the gentlest of souls but then he is regarded as one of the most aggressive/competitive contemporaries by most – Pls note- by his peers, be it from Australia, Engalnd or any other test playing country. Same goes to Dravid. Ganguly is aggressive/emotionally charged as a cricketer but not coz he dared to fling his shirt at Lords.Its more about the way he plays his cricket- a keen observer of the game would agree, its also about his ability to galavanise a team.

    And to say Dravid didnt have the balls is a little too far fetched. He perhaps didnt have it in him to be in him to lead in the Indian context – given the complexities and the politics.

  81. @Jeeban Ram:

    But I really do not see the need for you to belittle Laxman, Dravid and Kumble’s abilities to prove your point.

    Am curious. Where have I done the above? I havent even mentioned Laxman and Kumble anywhere. Kindly do bother to go through what I have written before making accusations.

    @Beaupeep: Went into moderation. Restored.

  82. Pingback: Friday afternoon silliness: taking on a new role « Recurring Decimals…..

  83. Guys! The best compliment for a cricketer would be the respect that comes from his peers, the players he’s played with and more importantly against- how they rate him as a player and how they loathe to see him in the opposing line-up. Guess we being the audiencewill always have our preferences/prejudices.

    All four in question here- have been great players- Kumble perhaps has won more matches for India on his own but then he will always be questioned on his overseas record whic although isnt bad doesnt compare favorably with his record in India. Sachin perhaps is the greatest of his generation but his ability to deliver when needed most will be questioned.Before people jump on me- this is purely based on his standing.Hes considered the best and he should have won more matches for india than he has done. Gangulys technique on the short ball and bouncing pitches will be his question mark. And Dravids strike rate in ODIs is never going to satisfy people! 🙂 Thats the way it is!!

  84. Dear Greatbong/Kishore:

    Oh Mr. Kishore: I have news for you:

    RAVI SHASTRI IS NOT A MAHARAHSHTRIAN

    SHIVRAJ PATIL IS NOT A MAHRASHTRIAN

    RAVI SHASHTRI IS NOT A MAHARASHTRIAN

    SHIVRAJ PATIL IS NOT A MAHARASHTRIAN

    SHIVRAJ PATIL IS NOT A Mahrashtrian

    RAVI SHASHTRI IS NOT A MAHRASHTRRIAN

    So you may stop seeing a Mahrashtrian angle in him or suggesting with him around as a Marathi or him being Marathi, things will go bad without doubt. HE IS NOT A MARATHI. Even greatbong fell into that same trap that thinking that because he knows Marathi he is a Maharashtrian. Just as all people who know English are not Englishmen, all those who know Marathi are not Maharashtrians.

    Get that into your heads once and for all before abusing, ridiculing and insulting Maharashtrians.(N.B. Greatbong-not meant for you). I saw somewhere else too that you had blamed RShastri for being Marathi and said with Marathis around he got in and would mess up the place-read the following:

    Ravi Shastri is a KANNADIGA (i.e KARNATAKA)
    Ravi Shastri is a KANNADIGA (i.e. KARNATAKA)
    Ravi Shastri is a KANNADIGA (i.e KARNATAKA)
    Shivraj Patil is a KANNADIGA (Ditto)

    FYI, Ravi Shastri is a Shastri from KA, Shastri is always a Ksnnadiga name NEVER a Mahrashtrian name. If you knew this basic fact, Shastri would never have seemed like a Maharashtrian-the surname itself is such a giveaway. Greatbong too, I hope you will never make the mistake of thinking Shastri is a Maharashtrian. It’s such a simple thing-and you guys got it wrong.

    Hope this clarifies matters,
    Best
    Sawai Kishore

  85. How low can a man dip -Sourav Ganguly
    True he is a great…but then he should keep thisgs like the below said to himself.

    Sourav Ganguly, the Man of the Series in India’s recent series against Pakistan, has attributed his tremendous success to batting at No.4. Ganguly, mostly a No.5 or 6 batsman, walked in at No.4 in three of the six innings, notching up scores of 46, 239 and 91 from that position, and felt he could have had more hundreds in his career had he batted higher throughout.

    “I got to bat at No. 4 in this series and it helped me,” he told CNN-IBN, an Indian news channel, after enjoying his most successful three-match series in close to a decade. “I have batted lower down the order for a lot of time and Rahul [Dravid] used to bat at No. 3 and Sachin [Tendulkar] came at four. As a result, I had to bat at five or sometimes six and I missed quite a few hundreds because we did not have wicketkeeper-batsmen like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik earlier. These guys support people batting at five or six. But me and [VVS] Laxman suffered in terms of getting hundreds,” he added.

    Ganguly began his Test career at No. 3 but managed only 16 more chances in that position. He has batted at No. 4 in 18 innings but the majority of his career has been from Nos. 5 (84) and 6 (39). He managed a hundred from No. 5 in the second Test of the recent series, a memorable one in front of his home crowd in Kolkata, and was sent in at No. 4 in the second innings to speed up the scoring-rate. An injury to Tendulkar meant he walked in at No. 4 in the final Test too, one where he cracked his career-best score.

    © Cricinfo

  86. Hi..the last post was based on the title

    “Sourav Ganguly: “I had to bat at five or sometimes six and I missed quite a few hundreds” © AFP”

  87. The Chappello era is well and truly gone, and all the Chappellistas have nothing but shit smeared on their faces. Well done to Ganguly – I always knew he had it in him and didn’t deserve to be dropped, and that other agendas were at play.

    The only idiot left now is Pawar, and his days must be numbered.

  88. I can’t help emulate Nirupa Roy and shed a tear and say, Dada’s ever-so-genuine smile and him sincerely hugging Yuvraj after he completed his Test century, tugged at our heartstrings like there was no tomorrow. Sniff! We love Dada!!!
    Cricinfo eat crap. Same for Chappal. *&*%^&$%^$*()

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