The Best Indian ODI Batting Lineup ?

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Sachin Tendulkar says that the current team is definitely the best batting lineup he has ever been part of (and boy has he been part of several).

Though it very well might be an off-the-cuff remark made by Sachin Tendulkar without serious deliberation, something that is only to be expected after a glorious display of raw batting prowess from himself and the team, it is the kind of statement that starts off a generational battle between the old-timers and the young guns and leads to much impassioned activity on bulletin boards and Orkut communities.

As a not-very-objective sentimental old-timer myself, my first reaction was one of “Really?”Surely a batting line-up that had the Sachin of old, Sourav, Dravid, Azharuddin, Jadeja sounds much more formidable than the one of today. The Sachin of today, with still the ability to bring a ODI 150 out of his bag, is not a spot on the Sachin of yore. Sehwag it may be argued is the new Sachin but there still will always be a difference in class and reliability. Which leaves Gambhir, Yuvraj, Raina on one side and Dravid, Sourav and Azhar on the other and a person-by-person comparison between the two, in terms of achievement and reputation, is a rather damning win in favor of the oldies.

But is a numerical comparison between records and reputations fair considering that the new players are in the process of defining their legacies and so should not be even expected to compete in this respect with the legends before them? It also merits consideration that while as individuals the records of the oldies may be staggering, India’s win-rate was never as high during their era as their personal records, mind boggling as they are, would suggest. Hence they were in a sense lesser together than the sum of their parts.

But the win-rate and ICC rank is a deceptive metric when it comes to comparing batting power across generations simply because the team of the late 90s and early 2000s had a much weaker bowling attack than what the present team does. So while today’s team overall is definitely stronger, the same cannot be said so unequivocally about the batting lineup.

Youngistan has two big advantages. One is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. India has never had the good fortune of having such an excellent wicketkeeper batsman, having been saddled with a line of wimpy glovemen of the likes of  Mongia and Saba Karim whose contribution to the batting was insignificant. Dravid being made a keeper was an ugly though necessary hack and severely compromised the effectiveness of the team while fielding. And the extra batsmen who played as a result were not a patch on Dhoni in terms of the capability to wield the willow.

The second advantage that today’s team has is even more significant and possibly the only place where it stands head and shoulders above the old. It is in terms of physical fitness and the consequent improvement it has brought about in running between the wickets. The new Indian team is more effective in the middle overs, score more runs in singles and doubles and have less number of dot balls. So they are more likely to consistently score runs faster and yet at lesser risk than the old guys. This is an enormous plus point.

But then you can steal singles only if you are classy enough to survive at the crease in the first place, a tough thing to do against the best opposition on the worst of pitches. In 2006, on the fast tracks of South Africa, Chappell’s Vision Team came unhinged as the batting techniques of Gen Next were exposed leading to such a crisis that the discarded Ganguly had to be recalled. In 2009, many of the personnel are still the same and while Gambhir,  Raina and Dhoni are vastly improved from their 2006 incarnations the question still remains—do they have the essential skills to weather the highest quality of bowling, the single-most important characteristic that defines a strong batting side?

The fairest assessment of that would be that the jury is still out. The new Indian team are fortunate to be not playing against a Wasim-Waqar, a McGrath-Warne, a Donald-Pollock, a Ambrose-Walsh and whether they would have emerged with honor like their predecessors or been reduced to a state of paralysis is a question that cannot now be answered. In their defense, they did meet a roadblock in the form of the freakishly talented Mendis, initially capitulated but then managed to gain some degree of control over him. However it would be correct to say they have yet to be consistently tested by the very best and it is once that happens with time and once each of them have built their own legacies, that we will be closer to a more definite conclusion.

Till then let the fans battle on.

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135 thoughts on “The Best Indian ODI Batting Lineup ?

  1. Agree with you on a whole lot of points. I still think this line-up as marginally *better* than the old Dada-Sachin-Azhar-Jadeja lot, because almost every player is capable of both roles – grinding out the middle overs as well as exploding and finishing off the match. The best bit has been the middle overs, where they run like hares and keep the run rate ticking damn fast.

    A lot of credit to MSD. He has perfected the floating batting order it seems, with the hitter-for-hitter / rotator-for-rotator substitution. Everyone has played at 3 – Gambhir, Raina, Yuvraj and MSD himself. Add to that he has a kickass average now (the third highest ever after Bevan and the rapidly declining Hussey). Seems we can chase down anything.

    Of course the true test will be on the faster pitches, but we *did* win in Australia, twice in two finals. Thanks in no small amount to Sachin, but the team stuck around him. Not something he always got in his younger days. The man himself refuses to age, today’s shot making was audacious at its least.

    We will face the Steyn-Morkel-Ntini combo sooner or later, as also the up and coming Johnson-Siddle-whoever else that Australia is cementing. But till then I think this lot has shown us what they can do.

    Can’t wait for more! But first, lets slay the test ghost in Kiwiland…

  2. The present Indian team is more like the Hansie Cronje’s team, which didnt have any superstars (Pollock and Donald – the exceptions), yet they performed exceptionally well. The best part is everyone is contributing to the success of the team as a whole unlike the mid 90’s one man army. The way Gambhir is playing at present it wouldn’t take a long time for him to be considered a legend. I feel he is already a legend in T20 [:)].

    Jadeja can never came close to be called a Legend!!! (Its incredible you are calling the people who sold their countries as legends.). Agree that he was the pioneer of India’s power hitting. He was no way near Afridi or Jayasuriya in his hey days. (I might be prejudiced because he is one of the two people in Cricket I hate)

    I would like to thank MSD & Co for rejuvenating the spirit of cricket once again (had literally stopped watching cricket after 2000).

    Would love a post on Azhar’s Congress ticket.

  3. You are absolutely right about bowling. We have a better bowling attack and face a weak bowling attack. One other point is the strike rate. Sehwag, Yuvi,MSD, pathans can be explosive in terms of strike rate whereas you cannot expect that from azhar, dada and dravid. In those days, (for most part) Sachin had to take care of that aspect. Probably this has to do with the T20 version of the game simultaneously being played. There is no way players get enough time to settle down, stabilize and build up an innings. The story in the longer version however could be very different.

  4. Jadeja as part of the ‘greatest’ batting lineup?

    also with Azhar, it’s difficult to view him objectively as a batsman after what he’s done.

    as regards sachin’s quote, after making the said statement, he said he thinks so because this team has hitters that can all clear the boundary at will. and in terms of explosive power, yuvi dhoni and raina wud pip ganguly, dravid and azhar.

    that said, i think this team requires a dravid type of character who can hold one end up and score consistently at a 70-75 strike rate – especially on pitches that are not belters.

    as you said, the true test will come then.

  5. Arnab,
    Ha! When I read those comments by Sachin this morning, I was hoping you would find the time to write something about it!
    Don’t you think that as great a person and a cricketer that Sachin is, sometimes he doesn’t take a step back and think before responding to a reporter’s question? I remember him making a statement during the last IPL… something about how his team members needed to be more intelligent. I do not remember the exact words. And, the words themselves were not out of place but Sachin needs to remember that he is ‘Sachin’ and his words are not going to be taken lightly – they are taken as some kind of a certification by the rest of the world… heck, blogs are written about anything he says, and quite rightly so. People will gloat or agonize over what he says. I think a person like Sachin should have a press secretary like the presidents and premiers of leading nations, to vet what he says.
    I am very happy with the way this Indian team is playing and the attitude they have wielded lately. However, I have this nagging feeling at the back of my mind… I think every time this team wins, the collective head of the team swells a bit too much for my liking. I think that was the reason behind their losses in the two T20 matches. And, nobody in the team, nobody in the media gave two hoots about it. Yuvraj Singh was asked after the first T20 loss in NZ, if he thought it was a setback. And his alleged response was ‘what setback?’ I found that kind of response particularly unintelligent.
    I think this Indian cricket team is extremely talented and capable of becoming the best team in the world; but ‘talented’ does not equate to ‘the best’ by any stretch of imagination. This batting line up is great but even when you mention that in the middle overs this team is capable of churning more singles and doubles than dot balls, would you say I am wrong in my observations that in many of those occasions, Dhoni was in the middle and sort of set the tone? I feel, this current team has one major advantage and that is Dhoni (I am not saying this because of his batting prowess but because of his leadership, which with a team full of talents, is more important… and he has been carrying that mantle very well). I think he is the glue. Rest of the talent, including Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Raina, Yusuf, is a conglomeration of raw talent and arrogance; barring the over the hill but still gold, Sachin (and in tests, Dravid and VVS); which can and have made many grave mistakes in recent past.
    I wish them well and hope they stay on top but what scares me a bit is: Is this ‘high’ sustainable? I hope yesterday’s chase by Ryder, McCullum and Mills (huh?) scared this Indian team some and not gave them more confidence just because they won again! That, in my mind, would be out of place.

  6. My two cents:- This is what I think Sachin meant when he said this was the best batting line up in his time. Individually the numbers don’t stack up as yet, most of them are pretty young in their careers. But as a line up, not as individual batsmen they are the best ever. In Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Yusuf Pathan we have 5 genuine game breakers who can on their day be genuine match winner. We have Gambhir, Sachin, Dhoni and Raina who can change their games when the situation demands. I would hold my judgement on Raina who is still suspect to Short balls. But purely in terms of hitting powers, fearless counter attacks this is probably the the most feared batting line up in India’s history. There is no repire here. I think confidence plays a huge role and captain Dhoni here must be given credit.

    I think compared to this team most opponents would prefer a Ganguly or Azhar or Dravid. As good as they were, as good as they looked, they were not game breakers. Again I wouldn’t accuse Ganguly or Azhar of pulverising quality attacks on bouncing , seamy pitches. I think both of them, as mush as I love them, were scorers of mediocre attacks or good attacks on flat conditions. There were occasional moments of glory but thats about it.

  7. A batting line-up which had both Jadeja and Azharuddin could only have been a bookie’s delight. I think Greatbong says it best when he admits to being a not-very-objective sentimental old-timer. No matter what the record books say, those two are a disgrace to Indian cricket and should not be mentioned in any honorable discussion of the sport.

  8. What’s really wrong with that?
    You say win rate can be deceptive…but ultimately it is the winning that matters…which is much more important than even batting techniques…so I can say batting skills can be deceptive…they never won the matches…

    India never won matches so regularly before…no matter who the opposition was…nowadays we talk of whitewash etc…in the 90’s I’m sure you remember that there was tournament in India with Bangladesh & Kenya…even that was not a whitewash, India lost one to Kenya…same with the Zimbabwe serieses where India managed to lose at least one match…

    & I don’t really think Azhar & Jadeja were better than Yuvraj or Sehwag…
    Azhar though immensely skilled, never seemed to be playing for the team…and both of them ended up in the match fixing soup…

    & finally in fact one man i.e MSD alone can make this line up better than the older ones…wicket keeper batsman with an avg of 50 who is also a captain with an uncanny ability to win tosses…when did we we have something like this before?

  9. Avishek,
    I do not think Arnab was including Jadeja and Azharuddin’s names as bookies in the discussion but sheerly as the nature of cricketers that they surely would have been solely remembered as, if they chose not to indulge in such trade.
    It hurts, no? They were such fine cricketers, but because of their disgraceful deeds, even talking about their other (and desirable) talent opens wounds.

  10. >No matter what the record books say, those two are a disgrace to Indian >cricket and should not be mentioned in any honorable discussion of the >sport.

    Aah the sentiments against Azhar and Jadeja. … Now if you would care to go through the Qayyum report, you would see the assessments of Akram and many others in the Pakistan side are even more dire than those on Jadeja and Azhar. And Warne and Mark Waugh gave weather information to bookies ! Yeah right !!!! However that does not disqualify any of them from being mentioned in any honorable discussion of the sport. And oh yes Gibbs plays even today. Dont see any such hatred towards him !

    Now I wonder who are being not-so-objective.

    And yes Saurabh, purely as a player I dont think Jadeja was too far behind in his destructive capability (he once had a series of 5-6 ODIs where he was not dismissed) as many of the ODI specialists of today.

  11. As long as this Indian team keeps winning and playing well I don’t care about batting line ups. One of the reasons why past Indian teams never did well collectively was because of the over emphasis on batting. Sure batting is important but bowling, fielding is equally important which previous Indian teams never paid attention to. As a complete unit where batting/bowling/fielding/atheleticism go together, this team is definitely much better than previous ones. Also, Ajantha Mendis was tackled far better by the younger lot than the oldies. Dravid, Sachin, Sourav and VVS were clueless in the tests against Lanka when it came to Mendis while Sehwag and Gambhir played him confidently and with ease and again in the ODI’s Raina, Yuvi, Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni etc played him without much trouble both in August and the last tour in Jan/Feb.

  12. But Arnab,
    Just because some people have not been convicted/condemned doesn’t get somebody else off the hook, who have already been convicted, does it? So, though I understand why it can be a matter of heartburn, why should anybody have to look at Quayyum report (or, whatever else) in his own time to do any sort of comparison? The two guys mentioned are still a disgrace to Indian cricket, no?
    🙂

  13. Sachin is probably correct. I agree with you that, on class and career achievements, Sachin, Saurav, Dravid, Azhar, Jadeja is stronger, if all of them are playing at their best. But during 99-00 when Dravid and Ganguly blossomed, Azhar averaged 27 and was an embarrassment.

    As a lineup, only real competition will come from 2003. However, the balance was not quite right. Apart from the ugly Dravid hack, was Dinesh Mongiya really needed as the seventh batsman, with Dravid and Kaif already in the team? Also the capitulations against Australia do not help their cause.

    In addition to improved fitness and running between the wickets, batsmen in the current team appear more multi-dimensional than lineups of the past, equally at home with long grinds and short bursts.

  14. arnab-da,

    i remember that series well – happened in 1998 against australia and zimbabwe. (he got dismissed in the finals, and created a record for the highest average ever achieved in a series).
    however, one outstanding series does not an outstanding player make.
    jadeja had his moments of course, but on a consistent basis, i wouldn’t have him alongside yuvraj or dhoni.
    on a sentimental basis he’d probably make it purely for the thrill of Bangalore ’96!

  15. Dream team –

    Ganguly (99), Sachin (97), Sehwag (09 ), Azhar (1985), Yuvraj (09 ), Jadeja (98-99), Dhoni (09 ), Kapil (83), Zaheer Khan (03-04), Srinath (98), Shiva (85)

  16. @Saurabh,

    Yuvraj’s ODI average = 37.57

    Jadeja’s ODI average = 37.47

    “jadeja had his moments of course, but on a consistent basis, i wouldn’t have him alongside yuvraj or dhoni.”

    If average be taken as a rough measure of consistency, not much difference right?

    @Debashish,

    Dont get your point. If it is not disgraceful to mention the name of Akram or Warne then why should it be disgraceful to mention Azhar? Remember Akram was indicted and Warne confessed to have taken money. So did Gibbs. How are they ANY different than Azhar? Only thing was the Indian board was more pro-active than anyone else. And oh Jadeja’s ban I believe was legally overturned.

  17. that’s quite a revealing stat!

    got me thinking though, and here’s another revealing stat:

    yuvraj’s odi strike rate: 88.89

    jadeja’s odi strike rate: 69.80 (lower than dravid, kallis, ganguly)

    why does jadeja – supposedly one of the explosive finishers in the game – have such a low strike rate?

    i think it could be that a lot of the runs he scored were sometimes futile – i.e. he came in at 5 or 6 and india had already lost a clutch of wickets, so he just took his time and played a long innings, because all hope of winning the match was lost anyway. (the world cup 99 match against australia comes to mind)

    this would have boosted his average, while lowering his strike rate.
    and it would also contribute to a perception of inconsistency – since the runs scored are meaningless and forgotten soon

  18. how dare he could make such statement about a team which doesnt have Sourav Doda Ganguly. my dear fellow bengalis, lets call for a nation wide strike in kolkotta to protest this.

  19. This of course is your blog, but I feel a bit disappointed to see you wasting your time on (writing about)cricket. 🙂

    The points you have made are excellent.

  20. Arnab,
    Since you are having trouble understanding my point, let me spell it out for you…

    (a) I do not have any problem with you mentioning Azhar/Jadeja – the player(s)… it should have been amply sufficient from my previous comment to Avishek; but then everybody has his ‘down’ days 🙂 I DO NOT think it is disgaceful of you to mention Azhar or Jadeja. As cricketers, they were of a fine specimen.

    (b) I do not give a rat’s ass what the other countries and their dysfunctional systems are/were doing about their rogue players. Also, please do not tell me about BCCI being pro-active!!! That makes me puke. No, that was not meant as an offense to you; rather, that should merely show my lack of trust in their proactiveness or their sense of right and wrong.
    I have enormous respect for the current Indian team and I think this team deserves better than to be compared with an Azhar or a Jadeja; though at the same time I feel it is so unfortunate that I can’t measure this team against these two because they were such fine crickters and yet… they disqualified themselves out of their own treachery (and yes, just because of their own convictions, fates of others not withstanding).
    I do not give a s*** about what coulda/shoulda happenned to Akram or Warne or Gibbs. I do not care if some cricketers from other countries have been indicted or penalized or barred or have been more fortunate to escape such fates in the past eons for crimes or infractions. If they have not been convicted they DO NOT have the same status as those who have been. I am sorry! That’s how my mind works. If that is not acceptable to you then, hey, you can at the least try to live with low lifes like me for a while, eh?

  21. he he, GB You’re definitely being a contrarian to get attention.

    You comparing Jadeja to Yuvraaj?

    And Azhar? yes, he was poetry in motion when he batted but consistency and class are two different things.

    You yourself mention fitness is an advantage with this team. What stopped the Azhars and Sauravs from being fit?

    And Dravid is not even a ODI player. He’s the wall – the wall who doesn’t move.

    Winnability is and should be the only criteria in deciding which team or batting lineup is better. Not a sorry excuse of class, averages or legacies.

  22. I think the batting line up we sent for the last world cup was the pretty good; it had the Big3s,Sehwag, Yuvraj and other hitters. But the perfromance was ruined due to many factors ( I thing Guru Greg being a major one).

    WIth the current batting lineup, good thing is that even the tail-enders like Harbhajan & Zaheer can hit. Remember thelast T-20 win we had due to Pathan brothers. So there is a lot of cushion & back-up in this line up as compared to previous one. But yes, excellencey against tough attacks has to be tested and need to see whether this cushion is able to withstand that level and adds any value.

    Am an old timer too; but on seeing Jadeja being compared to Yuvraj is on the same lines that you instinctively felt when Sachin claimed the present line-up to be the best. Jadeja being a better batsman than Yuvraj just doesn’t sound right.
    Even the cricket experts who matter(not the likes of Arun)were never as eloquent about Jadeha as they are abotu Yuvraj. Here again , of course the media is more vocal nowadays, but STILL :).

    Going by statistics too, even though the averages are same , there is a huge difference in strike rate (even taking into account that these days 300 is a par score). Also, even though this shouldn’t count, Yuvraj is a handy bowler too.

  23. I just hope and wish that this streak of the current Indian team continues till 2011 world cup. I hope MSD and co have not peaked at the wrong time.

  24. Best ODI line-up, I’m not sure. But, the current one is definitely the most explosive Indian ODI line-up.
    And regarding, Jadeja vs. Yuvraj. Its a no-contest. Yuvi wins hands-down. Just check how consistent he has been over the last four years or so.

  25. Hasn’t batting got easier over the years- with power plays and free hits and flat batting tracks. The no. of 300 scores has risen- Remember the bangalore qtr final against Pakistan (incidentally that was exactly 12 yrs ago to this day)- Shastri while commenting said that 250 would be a good score- would give a psychological advantage. Today a good score on an avg batting pitch would be closer to 300.

    I believe that explosive batting leaves a stronger impression on our minds, and creates an impression of a batsman being better than what he might be really worth – e.g. Kaluvitharna from the 96 WC- everyone remembers him, but his avg that WC was a mere 20 something.

  26. Well GB, you are right to certain extent that Indian Team is lucky that they are not facing some of the legendary bowlers, but we cannot take away the credit from them for reinventing themselves. It’s the new attitude that has been doing wonders for Indians. In the 90s Indians had the tendency to crumble after losing their first two or three wickets. One obvious reason behind this was they way our batters were running after their personal milestones. In 1997 Indipendence Cup, Dravid scored a century, but India lost the match against Pakistan. There are many incidents in the past, where Indian Batters deliberatly played overconsciously to score their centuries. See, our young brigade of cricketers is completely different. Compare our New Sehwag who goes after bowlers even if he is 2 runs away from a century with Ajay Jadega or Saurav Ganguly of the 20s.

    It’s the attitude that has been making all the difference. Batting Prowess does matter, but it would certainy count as Glory, if your country Wins.

  27. The earlier Indian team, with all its superstars, was disunited. They wouldn’t rotate the strike and every player was branded as per his abilities. Dravid was ‘The Wall’. I hope we can get out of the mode of celebrating this phrase as a proof of admiration.
    Talent-wise, Sachin with Dravid and Ganguly was a better team. However, they lacked togetherness.

    All this despite the frivolous bowling we see today.

    And there’s really no need to compare the Sachin of old and the ‘new Sachin’. Clearly, today’s Sachin doesn’t play like his early self. But the early Sachin also didn’t play like today’s Sachin. The lofted off-drive has greater balance with the bat and the legs. The shots are rhythmic and while attacking he is reading the ball even earlier than before. I guess cricket-lovers (players) would revel in this.

  28. It is never a good idea to compare cricketers of different generations as there are two many variables that go into judging the players. Just to summarise a few pluses and minuses on both sides.
    In favor of the earlier lineup of Sachin, Sourav, Azhar,Jadeja, Dravid –
    1. Pitches outside subcntinent bacj then were much livelier than the present ones. Even Australia and Newzealand have flatter wickets now.
    2. The competition was much ore intense- Australia, South Africa, Pkistan, Srilanka-each of them were at the peak of their game.Even West Indies was a lot better in early 90s with Lara,Hooper, Richie Richardson, Ambrose , Walsh etc still playing. Zimbabwe had their best lineup in world cricket in that period.Only England were still nondescript in onedayers.Currently, Aussies arent what they used to be, Sri Lanka has a crisis in terms of younger talents and same goes for Pakistan, West Indies have been struggling big time, Zimbabwe & Kenya do not play at all and neither do they have the resources, Bangladesh still very much a minnow
    3.Powerplays were introduced but in a more limited fashion. Field restrictions were more generous to the bowling side back then.
    4. Boundaries were not pulled in and made shorter as it is done now in almost every limited over game
    5.Indians didnt have the luxury of a wicketkeeper batsman as they do now. We had this advantage only for a brief while when Dravid filled in as w/k batsman but we all knew it was a stop gap arrangement
    6.Indian bowling was not as potent and varied as it is now. Hence the batsmen could never be sure of a safe total batting first or be prepared to chase a mammoth score while chasing
    7. We had a very long tail starting from no.7. Hence the top 5-6 batsman always had to bat under pressure.

    The long term success of a cricket team doesnt come about overnight. The fact that the older generation started the process of taking Indian cricket in the right direction has culminated in the emergence of a confident young team that could bloom under proper coaching and tutoring. We do have a superior team now, but its because we had a great team that made way for it to emerge.

  29. I do not care if Shane Warne / Gibbs / Akram were guilty or not. They did not sell out India’s fans. Azhar and Jadeja did. To remember the countless hours I spent on matches that these idiots had already decided to loose is just heart breaking.

    As to the debate on whether this batting line up is the best ever , you have a point. Longevity is an important factor for “best” consideration. But then again , this is coming from a man who has been in that dressing room for around 20 years now and has seen things from a distance that we mortals can merely hope for. His word must count for something , off the cuff remark or otherwise.

  30. one more thing nobody is talking about that this teams plays a street smart cricket. few points to prove that are

    – Dhoni pointed out, he needs a street smart bowler who, once ball gets older, can ball with varying degree of pace and length etc
    – He himself plays street smart cricket. his choice of batting/fielding when won the toss.. his bowling changes etc clearly shows that.

    – I also noticed whenever in crunch situation this team takes a break (for so called strategy discussions), this break oppositions concentration as well. remember slow over issues against Australia. and in last one day game just after big discussion/break they took last 2 wickets to win the game which was slipping away from India. (I remember the table tennis match scene from a Amol Palekar/Asrani movie where AP takes breaks to distract concentration of Asrani as taught by Ashok Kumar). I am not sure though that we should call it a street smartness or some sort of cheating but this for sure works.

    wrt batting averages of new gen, scoring in middle overs etc – overall scoring of all teams has improved now a days. in 90s.. score of 230-240/50 was considered decent enough to win the match and now scores of 300/50 are common and being chased effectively.

  31. The best batting line-up/team that Sachin has ever been a part of would be the one to which it doesn’t matter if Sachin misses a game. And I think therein lies the answer.

  32. Does Dhoni, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Bhaji, Gambhir etc inspire yougsters to take up cricket and emulate them ?
    (Few of the above are in the team for now long time)
    I am sure Azhar, Sachin, Sourav, Dravid, Jadeja inspired hundreds of youngsters

  33. But the youngsters are yet to play any significant amount of test cricket yet. I mean besides Gambhir and Sehwag. Yuvraj will be tested in this series hopefully.

    I would be curious to see how the likes of Sharma, Raina and Pujara would do in test cricket.

  34. ah, such emotions that a blog about cricket can arouse!
    great going fellow countrymen!

    who is trade 2011 world cup for a clean efficient government in may elections?
    2011 world cup- first round exit! Think about it =)

  35. @greatbong

    “If average be taken as a rough measure of consistency, not much difference right?”

    this is not correct. a rough measure of consistency is rather average and the standard deviation, not just the average. high average with high standard deviation indicate some very low scores and couple of biggies here and there. where as moderately high average and low std dev implies consistency…

    cheers

    sounak

  36. cricket is a colonial hangover.

    let us praise vishwanath anand.
    yes kishor, let’s.

    he, at least comes from the right part of the country.
    but sigh, so did azhar.

  37. GB,
    Agree to you completely, was particularly glad (unlike the others) about you mentioning Azhar and Jadeja. I personally felt that Indian cricket would have peaked much before 2003 had Jadeja ,who was projected as the future captain, held his balls together and stayed away from controversy.

    the current team is definitely the most powerful team but certainly not the best, because here is a batch of hitters who can adapt well. You cannot compare them with ppl who held together Indian cricket for a decade that too at a time when Akrams Waqars and the Donalds ruled the pitch. not to forget, the highest scores at those times were 320 and 260-280 were averages, unlike the 300s or 400s of today. Whether the current heros play consistently for 10 years is yet to be seen.

  38. between 1989-1996, India won 25 of 133 matches in which sachin played when he scored less than or equal to 25 – 19%
    between 1997-1999 16 out of 95 when he scored less than 25 – 17%
    between 2000-2004, 23 out of 113 when he scored less than 25 – 23%
    between 2005-till date, 19 out of 83 when he scored less than 15 – 23%
    when we consider last two years, 10 out of 23%
    under dhoni, india won 8 out of 30 mathes involving sachin when sachin scored less than 25 – 27%

    Although a people will still argue that these stats are confusing/inappropriate/insufficient/anti-ganguly but Sachin is surely feeling less burden now.
    For people favouring Jadeja and Azhar, while Azhar was surely a great batsman – Jadeja’s record doesnt have enough credit. He scores at a SR of 69 odd and was found wanting against Ws from Pak, Donald, Walsh & Ambrose – he averages 27 against these guys vs his career average of 37 odd….

  39. One thing about the new breed is that they arent as intimidated by opposition. They have the killer attitude (most of them except munaf patel) and as someone who has been watching cricket from 91 world cup on , i know for one that infamous batting collapses from winning positions are becoming rarer.

  40. I believe it’s too early to compare likes of Gambhir and raina to say dravid or ganguly. Nobody in their right mind during late 90s thought dravid was going to be a good ODI batsman. For all we know, he could have ended up as another manjrekar. He was really unable to pierce the fields, hit big or even rotate strike for that matter. If not for GRV, Dravid’s career was almost over 98. To his credit he turned and made his performance count. But really, having watched all those matches myself, I don’t believe any of those players apart from SRT decimated an opposition on their own(Think desert storm in 98). Right now, we have atleast 4-5 players who can do it(VS,GG,YS, MSD) apart from SRT. They may have provided occasional joys like jadega turning it on for waqar in 96, ganguly in 99 vs srilanka etc. The current team is more likely to do that more often. Aside from that, I always felt that the teams of 90s thrived mostly on the subcontinent pitches rarely doing well in the other parts of world. But then m memory could be tricking me. About the quality of bowling, well, they have played against the best bowling of their times likes of murali, mendis, lee etc. It’s not their fault that wasim(waqar was never effective against india), donald, ambrose etc are no longer playing. Having said that, I do believe that because of the tons of money and attention they are getting, the current generation is likely to lose focus and thereby get into slump easily.

  41. Azhar, despite being a crook , was a class player. Definitely one of the all time ODI greats. Yes, he was susceptible to good pace bowling, but had his great days even against pace in ODI’s.

    Jadeja – Ahh.. a different case altogether. Except for that one over heroics in WC quarterfinal, he was pretty much an ordinary player. Just lot of style and hype, but no substance. There were lot of matches, where the match was almost dead and he was just ticking runs to increase his average. Please check the stats and also come up with any great performances in his career. Even if you play 100 matches, you will succeed in the odd match here or there. And on top of it, he was a crook too.

  42. I think its quite simple. Have the oldies won anything? Apart from a few memorable matches such as the Eden Gardens test and the Natwest trophy final at Lords they really didn’t take India to the top – world cup performances were largely miserable, the team struggled away from home against all opposition and never really dominated world cricket. Opposing teams knew that if they batted first and put up a decent total on the board, our batting would crumble. At no stage during their reign did anyone truly believe India was the best team in the world. For me, that sums it up. Already Dhoni’s men (and I’m largely referring to the one day/ t20 team here) have gone further than the paajis ever did – they won the t20 WC and for the first time in a long time, they beat Australia in Australia.

  43. I think he meant the most explosive batting lineup as his next sentence is “We have got almost five to six guys who can clear the ropes at will.”

    Apart from that I think this batting lineup is better than the older one you have mentioned.

    The only better aspect in the older batting lineup is the opening partnership. Tendulkar-Ganguly partnership was arguably the best ever in ODI history. Even though Tendulkar-Sehwag partnership is not as good as the older one, it is still a very good one.

    There is not much to choose between Gambhir and Dravid. Dravid would be prefarable on swinging wickets while Gambhir is better on flat wickets.

    It is a disgrace to include Azharuddin in any lineup or team. Even disregarding that, Dhoni is a better ODI batsman compared to Azhar in every aspect and of course more committed to the team.

    Yuvraj is much better than Jadeja. Even though the averages are same at the moment, Yuvraj’s average should improve and he has much better stike rate. Yuvraj is a better striker and more flexible as well.

    Raina, Pathan/Sharma are a class apart from Robin Singh,Mongia/Saba Karim/MSK Prasad.

    This batting lineup is not the same as the one which fared disastrously in SA. Gambhir,Yuvraj and Sehwag (partly) were missing in SA. Dhoni and Raina have improved as well. I do not think the older one would have performed any better either. Azhar,Jadeja and Robin Singh do not have sterling records overseas. This lineup is yet to be tested on swinging wickets but I think it would cope well.

    The older batting order did face better bowling attacks but their record against such attacks was not great either.

    This lineup is more flexible, smarter and mentally stronger. The older one’s batting order and approach was set in stone.

    The older batting lineup you have mentioned is not even the second best, let alone the best. The 2003 World Cup batting lineup was better than the one you have mentioned.

  44. I think most commentators who are dissing Azhar the cricketer (as opposed to Azhar the sportsman) started watching cricket in the late 90s or even later, and have seen Azhar’s game only in grainy YouTube videos.
    To be so dismissive of a batsman of his caliber is either a complete ignorace of his class and style as a batsman, or just juvenile righteous indignation without ever having lived through the days when cricket lovers used to be awed by the fluidity of his strokeplay.
    They probably think his batting skills were also the result of his deals with bookies.

  45. I agree with Subho. Many people turn up their nose at the mention of azhar. While I still hate him when I think of the times India would have lost because Azhar had sold them out. But in terms of sheer batting skill, he was awesome!!! Although one must say that he has only himself to blame for the fact that people remember him not for what he was best at.

  46. I did expect that comment to create a controversy. It is very difficult to compare anything across generations. However, to say this is the best Indian batting lineup ever, in my opinion, is a little far fetched.
    Statistics can be misleading, but I would like to have a trend regarding avg ODI scores over the last 15 years to prove my point.
    Secondly, bowling averages and economy rates of bowlers across the world during the last 15 years can also be compared.
    Even towards the mid 90s, a batsman having avg of around 35 in ODIs was considered to be of the highest league, good bowlers would have economy rates around 4 p.o. or less….and competitive totals in ODI would be somewhere around 235-245.
    Just to bring another angle to the debate, Cricket then was much more a competition between bat and ball..rather than being a wrestling match between two sides packed with power hitters, bowlers becoming insignificant, flat tracks, and small boundaries and sides struggling to defend scores well in excess of 350.
    In all this showmanship, I personally think that the intelligence of the spectators has been questioned. We like to watch the ball leaving the ground, but we would rather watch a batsman coping with some hostile bowling, surviving it to score a well made 70 odd rather than slogging from the first ball he faces. That is what made cricket watchable to me. Maybe, just maybe, a reminder is required to say that the best cricket matches were the ones which a high level of competition between bat and ball.

  47. And VVS does not feature in any of your lists?

    This team is fitter than the teams lead by Azhar, yes. But it is also fitter than the teams lead by Sourav.

    Great batting line-ups are part of winning teams. U can look back at the glorious days of West Indies and the winning run of Australia. Though India had great batsmen even then, they hardly succeeded as much as they do today. And how can you cannot ignore the bowlers’s contribution.

    This team does not only have the best batting line up, it is a much better team overall.

    Of course, in the long run this is a part of the way the team has evolved. I hope it gets better and better.

  48. @Savita DUDU Bhabhi

    The last time you made sense was when pakistan was a peaceful nation …
    stop calling Sourav DODA Ganguly … its high time you learn some proper bengali words .. else I could teach you some not so very tasteful ones …

  49. Finally a post on cricket! 🙂

    keeping all factors aside what matters at the end of the day is whether the team is winning or not.You dont get the feeling that if sachin gets out we will crumble to a low score or loose our way while chasing (which so so common in the previous eras barring a few games like the natwest final in 2002) and how dismal was India’s record in Finals of competitions during Ganguly’s Captaincy and how many ODI series did they win overseas.In the middle overs they used to play very defensively. Inspite of the fact that most of them had more centuries,better averages,more runs than others in their era they used to loose matches as individual records were of paramount importance rather than team goals,one could say that those were the days of low scoring matches better attacks and so on but see how many matches the other teams have won without the glory of individuals blossoming.Sachin was talking of the batting line up as a whole and not comparing individuals (yuvi vs jadeja and so on ).The present line up atleast gives hope that they will win and will not loose from a winning situation (which was missed o so dearly during other eras) esp during chases.Many a time the present line up has also failed due to over confidence or less experience but they learn fast (mendis in asia cup and in jan-feb 09, India in aus 2008, and after loosing 2 t20’s how the team has bounced back)
    and I for one feel that the team hasnt peaked yet and the best is about to come..so watch out SA and Aus 🙂

  50. Sachin is probably right. ODI is a funny game. Many great batsmen were not good ODI players. Take the Australia ODI team of 1999 and that of 2003-2007. The former had players like M and S Waugh, Bevan etc but the latter was a really explosive lineup. So I think that even though earlier Indian teams had better batters, this team is a more effective batting unit.

    But as you said, such comparisons are futile. Jesse Ryder could not have lasted more than 5 overs against Akram or Younis with that footwork, or the lack of it. But having said that, many a technically accomplished player could not have flayed a 70 ball 100 like Jesse Ryder did in the last ODI. ODIs have evolved so much, especially after 2020, that current ODI stars have become better ODI batters after the 2020 experience. Yuvraj Singh is a case in point. The presence of Dhoni has also helped considerably. So in a an era where bowling standards are a bit low, powerplays are in effect, where better bats abound and grounds are getting smaller and smaller, a hard hitting combination of Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj and Dhoni are likely chase down something which Jadeja, Azhar and Dravid could not. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Yusuf Pathan is a better batter than Jadeja, or Yuvraj is better than M. Azhar though.

  51. “The fairest assessment of that would be that the jury is still out. The new Indian team are fortunate to be not playing against a Wasim-Waqar, a McGrath-Warne, a Donald-Pollock, a Ambrose-Walsh and whether they would have emerged with honor like their predecessors or been reduced to a state of paralysis is a question that cannot now be answered…”

    The first sentence in the para. is one that I wholeheartedly agree with. When it comes to class and skill, we need to give the current team, a little more time to match up to their predecessors.

    As to the next lines, I’m not sure if the predecessors have emerged with a lot of honour while facing any of those “hunters”. Far too many times, we have been steamrolled to submission by those names – Donald Pollock flattened us at Durban, McGrath must have licked his lips seeing the Indians@Australia when he was there, even the likes of Franklyn Rose smashed us at Jamaica; So, in that regard, the current team faces a resurrection task, and they would be thankful that they don’t have such fearful opponents…

  52. Trying to remember how Dada used to play the short pitch ball on to the ribs as compared to how the so called ‘lesser mortals’ Raina or Yuvraj plays it!
    1) I am not saying that Dada and some of the earlier players didn’t had techniques and shots(in their books) which current players have. Hooks, Pulls and Sweeps are not so Royal for the prince (bowlers used to test his ability to play such shots
    2) I am not saying that earlier players were very predictable/orthodox. As Azhar with his wrists could put a ball way outside the off stumps to the boundary between mid-on and covers (a shot he would have played even when India required 100 runs to win with 5 wickets in hand) and next ball got out caught because of thick edge.
    3) I am not saying that those old player never tried to improvise as the only way to score quickly is to create a room for himself or dance down the wicket and leave everything to GOD of Timing! Middling a good length ball(even let it be of McGrath) with excellent timing and follow through can result sixer remained undiscovered in last 15 years of Indian cricket.
    But yes I am saying that they were “The Best batting lineup”!
    For creating records and be a GOD you need time and opportunity ONLY (that most of the GODs of yore had)! But qualities like Improvement, Technique, Enthusiasm, Mental attitude (which has potential to spun off many Sachins and Dadas and not GODs) are something which can be spot by Master like Sachin who must have seen hundreds of batsman in his career! Finally thanks for being out of the cricket ground 😛

  53. And yes I am NOT talking about the Team as whole and their stats. The point of contradiction(AND YOUR POST) is keeping in view Individual talent, comparing it with yesteryears and now. So keeping up to it and no Emotional Attyachaar!
    JURY IS STILL ON!!

  54. You know what, being an old-timer myself, I really really really hate to say this but this is what I feel about this whole incident.

    I believe Sachin probably didn’t even realize that this statement of him will create such a stir, and, I’m cent percent sure his intention was not to undermine the efforts of people like Ganguly, Dravid, VVS, Azhar, Jadeja etc.

    To quote him fully : “I would definitely say this is the best Indian batting line-up. We got almost five or six guys who can clear the ropes at will. If you have a good four or five overs in a row, we could end up scoring 50-plus runs. At the back of our minds, we know that with such an explosive line-up no target is impossible.”

    Please note, he has specifically mentioned the ability of the current players to “clear the ropes at will”.
    The previous batting greats have been stalwarts in their own rights but collectively they have very seldom displayed such blitzkrieg while batting. Especially we have seen on many ocassions that after Sachin/Ganguly providing a solid start the middle and lower order have just ruined it by failing miserably.

    There may not be too many HUGE STARs in the present batting lineup, but like Hansie Cronje’s South Africa team, it is collectively performing brilliantly on all wickets against all attacks consistently.
    We have the correct players at the correct positions.

    And, also, we shouldn’t forget that in these so-called ‘small’ grounds, our famed batting lineup consisting of the fab four collapsed like a house of cards in 2002-2003.
    Things are different this time.

    Obviously the cumulative effort of the ‘greats’ was lacking in something. The present team may not comprise of so many ‘greats’ but they are producing good results.

    It’s not about who the better batsmen are/were….it’s about the performance of the overall batting line-up – may not be elegant or classy or spectacular, but definitely much more effective.
    There may not be Sourav’s silken cover drives, Azhar’s swift flicks and glances, Jadeja’s one-handed sixers but there is raw power coupled with energy and youthful arrogance and aggression. And that’s what does the trick these days more often than not.

    I hate to say this but I really think Sachin’s remarks are justified.

  55. Come on Dada, you would also admit that this team thinks only about winning and it has the players to do so.as far as compaering ganguly, dravid, jadeja and azhar with present generation only ganguly has the capibility to turn the match on its head. pls note i am talking about capibility and not about technice

  56. We cannot compare the current batting lineup with the old one simply because they play a differnt game altogether. As the competitiveness increases, so does the runs scored per innings. Let’s say we transported the current team via a time machine to the days of Azhar and Jadeja. This team would badly thrash any team in the world of that time, including Steve Waugh’s Australia, Cronje’s SA, Ranatunga’s Sri Lanka and yes, Azhar’s or Ganguly’s India too. Even if we compare the batting only, no team in those times set or chased such high targets. However, that fact does not make them worse batting line-ups. The game has changed tremendously over the years and so have the teams. The proper comparison would be comparing each team with its contemporary best team in the world and see where it stands.

    Just for curiosity’s sake, what was the batting line-up of Gavaskar’s team of ’85 like? I am not trying to compare – just trying to find out a fact as I was too young to follow cricket at the time. ICC chose that team as the best Indian team, but I would like to know from some fans who saw that team play. Can someone throw some light?

  57. The major difference is in finishing the matches. The team under azhar used to choke under pressure while chasing (also while defending).

    Jadeja was a highly overrated player who used to play in lost causes( except couple of innings). The batting lineup always had couple of fringe players( Kanitkar, Badani, Kambli etc).

    I have seen India losing matches from positions of strength.

    The team under Dhoni has started well, they have to play consistently well for atleast 2 years before branding them as great.

    -Achiles

  58. @ anirban
    True. The game has changed significantly over the years. Wickets have changed, strategies have been tested and improved. Fitness levels ahve changed.

    While there could be comparison in terms of talent (a very subjective parameter), there is certainly no doubt the the team from today would beat the Nabi out of Kapil’s team or Azhar’s team or Ganguly’s team, if they were to play in a hypothetical match with both teams in their prime.
    In terms of talent, Tendulkar stands apart as a genius of the game, but the rest are good players fo their time and technique.

  59. Jadeja! yep he was awesome. Got wasted in that stupid controversy (I think he got pulled to cover up someone else)

    I still consider the catch he took running backwards on long-on in 1992 WC as the best ever by any Indian till date. Also he on many occasions “turned around” the matches a la Bevan. Not to mention that awesome onslaught of Waqar Younis in B’lore 1996. That cameo was the ultimate difference between teams, not withstanding the fact that Sidhu got an undeserved MOM for that game.

    As regards to current line up. I’d say they are better in the sense that they have more chutzpah than their predecessors… the body language and over all confidence i feel is higher….
    Talent wise, not sure…though.

  60. I played at such a bad time …
    People used to laugh at me when I dived …
    They were rajas and princes in the field …
    They were gaaju ganesans …

    Who cares about averages, who cares about class, who cares about who is better, who cares about watchability, who cares about being gentleman …

    These kids play with their hearts out, don’t give up, don’t take shit, they are their to win and they are winning …

  61. Just for curiosity’s sake, what was the batting line-up of Gavaskar’s team of ‘85 like

    85 B&H was primarily won by bowling and excellent fielding.

    The lineup was – Shastri, Srikanth, Azhar, Vengsarkar, Gavaskar, Amarnath, Kapil, Binny, Madan Lal (Chetan Sharma), Sadanand Viswanath, Shivaramakrishnan.

    Top 3 had a wonderful series and Kapil/Vengsarkar shared a memorable partnership in the semifinal against New Zealand. Gavaskar and Amarnath did very little with the bat. But Gavaskar’s slip catching and Amarnath’s medium pace came very handy. All the matches were low-scoring with relatively easy targets. India bowled out all their opponents except in the final against Pakistan where they got 9 out of 10 (I think). Shiva, Azhar and Sadanand were the revelations. Unfortunately, Shiva and Viswanath lost their way leading to a series of mediocre wicketkeeper-batsmen, Shastri’s prolonged career and spinning atrocities – Sharma (Ajay, Gopal), Ayub, Hirwani, Chauhan.

  62. For achange I agree mostly with GB thoughts. I believe the old timers, read, Azhar and co had more class. The present lot is defintiely performing better as a sum,and there are various reasons to it, but, purely as a batting unit – Saurav, Dravid, Azhar, Jadeja had a lot more class amongst them.

    Azhar versus any of the present lot is a no-contest for me. He belonged to a higher class, and if purely hitting power was the criterioa like a few poin tout – he could decimate any attack albeit when he wanted – read plundering South Africa to a 70 odd ball test hundred with Donald leading the attack. Or may be scoring the then fastest ODI Hundred of 63 Balls.

    And, Jadeja is more debatable. He surely was a talent gone waste, also an astute, street -smart captain gone waste perhaps! If not better, I would rate him at par with some of the current ODI batters. On his strike rate, he was mostly a later order bat who debuted in ’92 when 200 was a par score. But when needed, he could really up the ante and was a great Number 6.

  63. For a change I agree mostly with GB thoughts. I believe the old timers, read, Azhar and co had more class. The present lot is defintiely performing better as a sum,and there are various reasons to it, but, purely as a batting unit – Saurav, Dravid, Azhar, Jadeja had a lot more class amongst them.

    Azhar versus any of the present lot is a no-contest for me. He belonged to a higher class, and if purely hitting power was the criteria like a few point out – he could decimate any attack, albeit when he wanted – read plundering South Africa to a 70 odd ball test hundred with Donald leading the attack. Or may be scoring the then fastest ODI Hundred of 63 Balls.

    And, Jadeja is more debatable. He surely was a talent gone waste, also an astute, street -smart captain gone waste perhaps! If not better, I would rate him at par with some of the current ODI batters. On his strike rate, he was mostly a later order bat who debuted in ‘92 when 200 was a par score. But when needed, he could really up the ante and was a great Number 6.

  64. And comparing Dravid and Saurav to the present lot is scrilige. Raina, Dhoni and co are in the first leg of thier careers and I have long way to go. I really wonder if thier style of batting would last long and in unfavorable circumstances agaisnt hostile attacks. 200 was a good score on NZ’ semaing bowler friendly pitches till our last tour. But this time around the pitches are for everybody to see, add to it ,the short boundaries and its a run feast.

  65. You 2 cent ganguly and bong trash

    It was Sachin first, now it is John Wright.

    As Ganguly steps out we have the best batting lineup ever. Quit imagining things and wake up to friggin reality ****tards. Except you 2 cent losers everyone knows and thinks this is the best lineup ever.

    DIE!

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx?sectionName=&id=cf9695d5-7dc1-49a5-b87d-0ca9475cc7a5Thekiwichallenge_Special&Headline=This Indian team has unmatched firepower

  66. Indians generally have a habit of making very general statements based on the results of a couple of series. The current Indian batting lineup is definitely performing well in pitches where there is hardly any swing or bounce, the grounds are small or the opposition bowling is not upto the mark. Add to the fact that Australia is not maintaining the same standards as they have DEFINED in cricket in the last decade. However, Sehwag’s average is around 36 and he is yet to score a single one day century against SA and Australia. A player like Sachin has played well in very hostile conditions like Perth (the current Perth pitch is much more batsman friendly than it used to be). It will take at least three to four years more, based on the performance of the Indian team all over the world in different types of pitches (not the ones seen in the recent Pak-SL or Eng-WI series) to make a statement regarding whether they are the best ODI batting lineup India has seen in the last 15 years or not.

  67. Arnab da, read the blog post and all the comments too. I think it’s really childish of people to get emotional over such things. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. you have presented your points in a superb manner and I think this debate would really take full effect 5-6 years down the line.

    Till then, you sure have stirred the hornet’s nest!!!

  68. “..And Warne and Mark Waugh gave weather information to bookies ! Yeah right !!!! However that does not disqualify any of them from being mentioned in any honorable discussion of the sport. And oh yes Gibbs plays even today. Dont see any such hatred towards him !”

    Just because other countries don’t mind playing cheats and thieves (who incidentally cheat to make their country win, the aussies being a prime example here), does not mean we too venerate the players who abused their positions in the team for personal gains.

    What are we really saying here sir?

  69. “The new Indian team are fortunate to be not playing against a Wasim-Waqar, a McGrath-Warne, a Donald-Pollock, a Ambrose-Walsh and whether they would have emerged with honor like their predecessors or been reduced to a state of paralysis is a question that cannot now be answered.”
    LOL…ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? MIND GIVING ANY EXAMPLES WHEN EITHER DRAVID GANGULY OR AZHAR STOOD UP TO ANY OF THESE PAIRS AND WON GAMES FOR INDIA???

  70. another thing…Azhar and Dravid were seldom part of the ame ODI batting line up…. and yes..feel free to mention jadeja’s match winning efforts in there too…lol

  71. Wanted to point out to Aniket who may have been in his diapers then. Dravid and Azhar did bat together for years and had quite a few fruitful partnerships in those times.

    GB why do you keep people like Dhruv on the comment board? Is this not violation of the terms of use of this blog?

  72. Amusing Anonymous

    I agree, there might well be an EXPLICIT term of use here which should say only bong leaning 2 cent lamers who are completely blind in love with ganguly and have forgotten what the heck is reality can post here! (And the reality is – that India has the best lineup EVER and you just have to face it that SO MANY international players are saying they recognize and fear the power of Indian batting lineup – whch is so different than the past when it was always termed as a great lineup “on paper”) You have to be neck deep in sh*t and breathing in Ganguly love to ignore that. I tell you. Keep worshipping that 2 cent below average individual who lived well beyond his sell by date and plagued indian cricket, and found lamers like you as devotees too.

    Talk about being lucky!

    Go check his record removing minnows – 60% of his senseless victories have come against ZIM/Kenya/Bangladesh. Only ****tards like you revel in that.

  73. GB,
    I guess its just a matter of a no of players hitting purple patch simultaneously. The significant missing links are Sourav Azhar and Dhoni Yuvi from the 2 line ups. Which set you chose is the debate. In an era of 250 being decent score, better spinners, better bowlers is there a doubt? I would include Sourav, Aazhar, Dhoni in any all time Indian ODI lineup. Yuvi, Gambhir, Raina — not yet….
    Firepower cant be sole criteria… On firepower, during our growing up days I was at awe about Pak lineup whatif a no of them hit form together or played as a team.. Anwar, Sohail, Ejaz, Inzi, Malik…..

  74. I have to politely disagree with GB on this issue. I am roughly as old as Sachin/Saurav and have nothing but the greatest admiration for the fab four. I ate, drank and slept cricket during their most productive years, and loved and rooted for every one of them. However, I felt that although their individual brilliance frequently shone through, the collective effort was often disappointing. Consequently, the recollections of their feats primarily involved the sensation of what could have been, rather than what was actually achieved. That cannot be said of the current crop. I think MSD has admirably handled the talent to form a team that has the right mix of individual superstars and diligent teammen.

    There have been many other factors influencing the overall team performance. Newer generation of bowlers have definitely helped script more consistent and dominant victories. Fielding and running skills have drastically improved. Australia has gone the other way, leaving a more level playing field. Even taking these factors into account, I still feel that the current team has a stronger batting “team” than the fab four generation. The strength comes not from individual performances, but from the collective, mature handling of different game situations that we have witnessed so far.

    The way talents like Rohit Sharma have been struggling to retain their places shows the overall class of the current team. A young Sachin would have not faced any difficulty getting in now, but I wonder if a young Saurav or Rahul or VVS would have been able to stick their noses in this mix.

  75. LOL…U ARE HILARIOUS ANONYMOUS…..AZHAR AND DRAVID HAD MANY FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIPS….LOL….IN UR WET DREAMS MAY BE….LOL…
    MIND MENTIONING A FEW CLOWN?

  76. GB

    When Sachin says that this is the best ever batting line up he has seen, he talks sense.

    I believe, none of us [Desk jockeys] have the kind of experience which Sachin Tendulkar has, considering the fact he was/is there in the middle.

    I was born in the year India Won the world cup. I started watching cricket very early [B&H world series].

    India as team, is always good on paper. However when it came to real action on the field, we struggle. However, The new Indian Team [The team which has been playing for last 2 years, i.e Post Saurav Ganguly], Plays as a team and not for individual glory. Also, they have a never say die spirit. Nothing is impossible for them.

    If there was a chance for India to win the world cup after 1983, it is now.

    Cheers,
    clemenza

  77. @Mambalam Mani

    “The best batting line-up/team that Sachin has ever been a part of would be the one to which it doesn’t matter if Sachin misses a game. And I think therein lies the answer.”

    THIS!

  78. @ GB, everyone is entitled to his/her views. One may choose to disagree with them but can’t hurl abuses at them just because they belong to a community/region one has got some issues with.
    I remember long back, you had written a post on Ganguly (which was published on indiatimes too) in which you had specifically stated there are some people who are Ganguly-haters just because they are Bengali-haters and this set of people label us bongs as parochial by constantly making us aware and conscious of our linguistic identity by making inflammatory/infuriating comments about the “Ganguly the bong” even when he is nowhere in the picture.
    This piece of manure called Dhruv is nothing but a representative of such species.

    @ Dhruv,
    Where on earth has GB or anyone said Ganguly’s team had the best batting lineup? If GB or me or anyone doesn’t agree with what Sachin has said, it’s entirely within our rights to feel so. Why do you ave to come up with regional name-calling when there was not even the slightest of any reason/provocation?
    GB is a renowned blogger and sometimes a few people like you make some noises in the comment spaces of his blog to get his/her 15 seconds of fame and cheap publicity. Why don’t you start your own blog to express your own views rather than trying to seek attention by spreading through others’ blogs what your family and parents have inculcated in you?
    Why don’t you just F$%* off and mind your own business?

    I have a feeling that in some point or the other in your life, you have been royally screwed by a bong and haven’t quite been able to come to terms with that. Get a life, son and move on.

  79. dEbOLiN dude

    You are cute, did you know that?

    Anyway, ought to tell you – I know exactly what I’m doing and its not publicity or any other senseless crap that you think of it as. I’m one of those guys who thinks if you shake someone wild enough – he might actually wake up from deep slumber (where he is singing bhajans doing aarti singing praises and being psyched with ganguly enough to forget everything else in life) and look at the reality that surrounds him. REAL. OBJECTIVE. TRUTH! you know?

    I’ve faith in intellect of few of you, so I come here everytime I see that opportunity – to kick some ass. and hope for the best.

    And probably some guy out there is reading this – and nodding his head silently …saying – “Dhruv is right! and I have finally woken up. Ganguly is sh!t, and I was f***ed in the head all this time..”

  80. @ Dhruv:

    “And probably some guy out there is reading this – and nodding his head silently …saying – “Dhruv is right! and I have finally woken up. Ganguly is sh!t, and I was f***ed in the head all this time..”

    Pathetic, AND delusional. I am sorry for you.

    @Mambalam Mani

    “The best batting line-up/team that Sachin has ever been a part of would be the one to which it doesn’t matter if Sachin misses a game. And I think therein lies the answer.”

    That is a great point. Definitely one of the best in this entire thread.

  81. @RichAndFamous

    Spot on! I came in here for the same reason.

    GB is just totally predictable when it comes to cricket. (His cricket = Ganguly worship. Nothing more. Nothing less.)

    And I tell you, just add the sod Ganguly to the current team and you’d see how GB would go on rampage hogging blogosphere raving and ranting about THE BEST EVER LINEUP in history of cricket (not just indian! you know)

    The only sad part, though – is that if you do put in Ganguly, the team would be a fucking drab of a loser again and this point wouldnt even arise..

  82. Current players may not be that great but the gap between the best and others has improved significantly. Earlier Sachin Dada etc. had to carry load of passengers like Prabhakar, Mongia and their likes who i don’t even remember. Closest we had to steady contributors were Jadeja and Robin Singh

    But now there is a much bigger pressure for performance on everybody and it cannot be denied that there is a bigger talent pool to choose from. Gambhir could get back in team only after he dealt with his technical and mental shortcomings. This is the same reason Irfan Pathan is still struggling to get in while Agarkar was a permanent selection most of the time in the earlier team.

  83. @Dipanjan: Thanks! Does that mean Indian fielding was world class in the mid-eighties? Then what happened to us after that? 😮

    @Dhruv: I have an insane temptation to wave the red cape at you again, like a few other commenters have done before me. The sight of you charging like a mad bull and hit the wall is almost worth the trouble of typing out a long reply to you.
    Almost. Not quite.
    Besides, I do not want to turn this commentspace into a bull-fighting or monkey-dance arena.

  84. @Anirban, the smarty pants. [ Who goes rounds and rounds in his life, smarting around thinking – “well i’m way too cool you know, and i dont have to get into the real deal to prove that… im just cool by default, coz i think so.” ]

    Did you say something dude? Coz I couldnt see any point there.

    Food for thought – I think you just smart around and make no difference to this world anyway…

  85. Dhruv,
    I am a bit confused. You have been talking about these ‘2 cent bong trash Ganguly worshippers’ in this commentspace. However, the original post by Arnab mentions Ganguly only once, and I can’t say it was much of a ‘worshipping’ kind of a statement. If Arnab, was trying to worship Ganguly here, I have to say he did a rather poor job. Among the comments I didn’t find any statement, again, ‘worshipping’ Ganguly. The two things that did stand out to me were (a) You were the one single commenter who used the name ‘Ganguly’ the most (and quite a large) number of times; and not to miss the ‘2 cent bong’ part (which I find kinda amusing in today’s economy… can’t decide whether it is a good thing or bad). (b) To me, you seem to be the one who is frothing in your mouth out of an unfathomable amount of hatred for Ganguly; as opposed to, like I said, anybody worshipping him here. I do have to wonder where all this hatred comes from. Dislike, I can understand, but so much hatred? Tsk, tsk!
    Just an observation. You have all the right in the world to hate anybody.

  86. Debashish

    I must say I liked the way you have put up your observations. It is actually not entirely this post I’m bashing – but the thing that drives him to make this post. I’m a unrelenting Ganguly hater and never afraid of touching hyperbole any time there is a debate involving that guy.

    Pointless for you but I must tell you that I am an avid fan of GB, and I love his posts. but when it comes to cricket, I have figured him out well and he seems to stand for the exact cause that I hate.

    Frankly it is difficult for me to contain myself, and it is ocmpletely incomprehensible for me to put the two pieces together –

    1. All the intelligence of GB
    2. Worship for an extremely mediocre of a personality, Mr. Ganguly

    (and that worshipping, as you correctly point out does not seem all that visible in this particular post, but let me tell you I am hittin the nail right on the head when I am blasting the article for Ganguly. Everything GB has to say, write or think about Cricket goes down to one thing – Ganguly. I have spent enough time here to know that much. While GB seems to think that he is being really rational and pulls out really cool stats with his opinions on cricket, but he, for all his brilliance, is just being a moron who kicks all his rationale out of the window and reduces himself when he pulls every article that simply hinges on one thing – Ganguly is God of indian cricket and anything other than that, is just bullsh*t and should not be!)

  87. So we had Tendulkar, John Wright say – that its the best batting lineup ever.

    John Wright in his column – (as i posted the link above)-
    “After his superlative knock, Sachin said that the current batting line-up was the best he has ever played with. I would have to say that this line-up has more firepower than its predecessors, including the one that took India to the final of the 2003 World Cup.”

    Now here is Martin Crowe of New Zealand –

    http://www.mynews.in/fullstory.aspx?storyid=16499

    Crowe believes the current Indian team does not have any comparison with the other teams of the past and it was only the the West Indies’ team of 1980s.

    ”This is a freak team, you can only sit back, enjoy and savour whatever they dish out. Such teams don’t come around too often. Last time such intimidation was felt was when the West Indies team of the early 1980s were around. ”You had Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes who opened. Then you had Viv Richards, Richie Richardson and Clive Lloyd to follow. The next best team in the third spot would be the Australian side of recent times.’

    Almost every body except the rampant ppl from bongi land seem to agree about the comment, Mr. GB.

    But then, as Pakistani’s have been a real proof of (something that you have acknowledged too in the other post – in the future) some people can just live in their small worlds..- so could you [ and along with you the whole brigage which loves ganguly just coz he is a bengali! ]

    Well who gives a fu** to what the world says, yeah?

    RIGHT!

  88. Mr. Kevin Peitersen now –

    “India are taking one-day cricket to a different level,” Pietersen said. “Have you seen the way they are playing in New Zealand? Then compare that to what we did out there last year – India are on a different level.

    http://content.cricinfo.com/england/content/current/story/395055.html

    Shame nobody (outside india) held the team so high, or looked at it with such awe – when Great Ganguly’s team of 2003 was “better” GB?

    [ i know what you are thinking – “People are so ganged up against Ganguly … man where were they when his classy team was playing?” LOL ]

    Man I love this thread.

    I think as time goes on, I could isolate you, corner you against every respectable cricketer out there for this post. They all seem to agree on the opposite – except Ganguly (and Mr Kirmani – who, along with their blind fan brigade which includes you – are being two lil naive kids coz they cant see a team doing better, a captain doing better and the c**t kirmani cant see his best indian wicketkeeper of all time tag under threat from dhoni)

  89. @ Dhruv & (Rich & famous)

    Quote

    Frankly it is difficult for me to contain myself, and it is completely incomprehensible for me to put the two pieces together –
    1. All the intelligence of GB
    2. Worship for an extremely mediocre of a personality, Mr. Ganguly

    Unquote

    And I find it difficult to reconcile the below

    1. Arnab’s alleged worship ‘for an extremely mediocre of a personality, Mr. Ganguly’
    2. Not deleting your comments (on Ganguly) that clearly border on hate speech

    Food for thought, huh!

  90. @ Druv,
    Not that your opinion is the “World’s” opinion, as you say but one can’t help but wonder about the reason behind your relentless hatred towards Ganguly (read Bengalis).
    However, as I have said before, every individual is entitled to his/her own views, I don’t intend to delve deep into it.
    “Ganguly worshipping” is one thing and expressing one’s agreement/disagreement with someone else’s statements/views is another.
    It’s quite evident that what GB was trying to do through this post was the latter ant NOT the former.
    When injustice was metted out to Ganguly several times in the 2005-2006 season, not only GB ot Bengalis (as you think) but many cricket lovers across the country couldn’t just digest it. It was then that GB started writing blogs in support of Ganguly. But after he came back into the team and made his willow do all the talking and made many accomplished journos and ex-cricketers eat their own words, there was nothing left to be proven.
    It’s the same GB, Dhruv, who has made fun of Ganguly’s running between the wickets and fielding abilities (or inabilities should I say) many a times in his posts – cricket-related or otherwise.

    There is a certain amount of craze and fanaticism among Bengalis about Ganguly, like there is among Kannadigas about Dravid, among Andhra-ites about Azhar and among all Indians about Sachin.
    A person from a state which doesn’t have too many highly successful international sportspersons ended up being one of the very best ODI batsmen in the world as well as the best captain of his country (till date, and I do believe and wish Dhoni will surpass him very soon). It’s quite natural that people will be crazy about him in his home state. Go to Jharkhand once and see what people think of Dhoni there.
    It’s no crime to idolize a person and hero-worship him. Therein lies Ganguly’s legacy. He hailed from a state which didn’t have a lobby like the infamous Mumbai lobby. The only thing he was lucky about was that Jagmohan Dalmia was the supreme authority of Indian Cricket at that time. He could have picked anyone from his home-state like Ranadeb Bose, Manoj Tiwari, Laxmi Ratan Shukla etc to play for India (all of them had and still have outstanding domestic performances to speak for their abilities) as did the other Indian captains. But his pririty was ability to sustain in the international arena, not the region. Hence he continuously kept backing Veeru, Yuvi, Bhajji, Zaheer, Nehra, Agarkar, Kaif, Agarkar etc despite strong opposition from the selectors and the board. Only the last 2 couldn’t sustain for too long but they too have won India matches during their hay days. And you can see the result yourself, even after he has left the game, these are the guys who are taking the team places. Mark taylor built the unbeatable Aussie team, despite facing many odds and criticisms. Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting just inherited a great team. Ganguly’s tory has been pretty much like Mark Taylor’s.

    Some people (like you) love to hate him because they never expected a bong to have the balls to inject some sperm in Indian cricket. We weren’t the casual, laid-back, luck-driven bunch of talented cricketers any more. He transformed us into real fighters with tough balls, teaching us how to take on the champions by their horns.

    I have a cousin who was always better in studies than me. Not that I was bad. But he was better. When I landed a better job than he did in a bigger and better company which is also known to fire people in bulk every now and then, all he said to our friends and relatives was he could have walked straightaway in this company but he chose job security over money and brand name and he was pretty sure I would be laid off very soon. By God’s grace that hasn’t happened till date and he, despite trying his best three times in the past 5 years, couldn’t get into my company or any other company and has been working at the same place with a meagre salary, too small for his intelligence and track record. Bu all of a sudden he has even stopped talking to me. He keeps saying to people how much he hates me, without ever specifying a reason.
    I remember that cousin’s face when I read your posts.

  91. Ravi

    I agree to that, if it was anyone lesser than GB – I would have seen my comments deleted within a few minutes..

    dEbOLiN

    Boy I see less of you, but more of Ganguly Opium in action here…

    The TWO things you mentioned, (other than a whole lot of deluded senseless crap that I’m sorry fails to evoke any response from me)

    1. ONE OF THE BEST ODI PLAYER OF CRICKET

    From Cricinfo :

    Mr. Saurav ChaDDidas Ganguly’s record :

    v Australia 35 matches @ 23.45
    v England 26 matches @ 39.00
    v New Zealand 32 matches @ 35.96
    v Pakistan 53 fucking matches @ 35.14

    So a total of 146 matches at an average that every third grade batsman who has a international career obtains by almost a default (else he gets kicked into oblivion)

    But gets a little better …

    v Sri Lanka 44 matches @ 40.36
    v West Indies 27 matches @ 47.58
    v South Africa 29 matches @ 50.50

    And West Indies has been a pretty lame of a team probably for a good chunk of those 27, against Sri Lanka he probably did play well… and even South Africa he has been phenomenal. I didnt care to check if some matches might have been fixed for those… but they well might have been!)

    Then the useless crap below (which I know warms your heart, and fills your soul with a sense of such pride, joy and optimism, that heck – you could live your life on just this!)

    v Zimbabwe 36 matches @ 42.71
    v Kenya 11 matches @ 73.50
    v Bangladesh 10 matches @ 57.37
    v Bermuda 1 match @ 89.00
    v ICC World XI 1 match 22.00
    v Ireland 1 match 73*
    v Namibia 1 match 112*
    v U.A.E. 1 match 56.00
    v Netherlands 1 match 8.00

    Now for the BEST CAPTAIN OF INDIA EVER!! (Which Dhoni is YET to surpass in your opinion?)

    Cricinfo :

    45 wins out of 111 against Aus, NZ, SL, WI, Pak, SAF, ENG

    that is a fucking 40.5 % win ratio

    But hold on – theres 31 wins out of 36 against KENYA, NAMIBIA, NETHERLANDS BANGLADESH, ZIMBABWE which is a phenomenal 85 %

    So, to summarise – Shame on you and your intellect.

    Please forgive me if I ignore any comment of yours from now on, I know you take a lot of effort in writing stuff here. The only thing is, you always manage to come out worthless.

  92. @ Dhruv,
    I appreciate your efforts to have compiled so much statistics, in desparation to prove your point.

    Give me the one example each of the below :

    1. An Indian captain (of pre-Ganguly era) who had had similar or better success rate overseas, sgainst top test teams.

    2. A better Indian ODI batsman than him (except Sachin because he is GOD) among his predecessors and contemporaries in terms of single-handedly winning matches and also, stats.

    3. Another Indian captain (from his predecessors) who didn’t indulge into provincialism or lobbying and had as much hard-nosed objectivity (like GB used to say) as he did.

    4. Another Indian captain (again from his predecessors) who had as much aggression and killer instinct as was in him.

    There is one more thing I would like to specify here, even the GOD has had phenomenal success against the minnows.
    Why not capitalize on the chance of piling on heaps of runs when one is playing against below-par opposition? Only idiots will let such chances go.

    You may choose to ignore my reply.

    PS : Sorry I don’t have the patience to compile and copy-paste stats and I think it’s completely unnecessary because Ganguly’s achievements and contributions don’t need any certificate from anybody. They speak for themselves. You too know that but just don’t want to accept that. Nothing wrong though.

    By the way, for your information, I completely agree with Sachin’s statement (as I have already said in my first comment to GB’s post) and am not a blind follower of Ganguly. I actually used to really hate him in his initial days. I agree he has had a lot of shortcomings (who hasn’t?) but there are certain things which he literally ‘introduced’ in Indian cricket culture. He is a pioneer in more than one way. Doesn’t matter if a handful of guys like you agree or not.

  93. India has always produced good talent and technically sound batsmen and spinners. Offlate, domestic tournaments and good performances in under-19 level international games, have had a big effect on the attitude of younger players. I feel that young cricketers in India, now a days get better exposure to international standards in tournaments like IPL.
    That helps to improve their attitude and fitness to a point where they are ready to take on, and dominate teams like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, right from the beginning.

  94. sorry for the missing adjective in my earlier post

    [GB adds: Hariprasad, expletives delivered to a fellow commenter, even in rhyme, is not acceptable. Thank you.]

  95. Well, Sehwag’s average is around 36 without a single ODI century against Aus and SA. Guess he’s a mediocre B-grade player too.

  96. oh by the way the best batting line up ever fell like a pack of cards in bowler-friendly conditions in NZ today….i hate being so negative… but lets see till where this winning run goes!!!

  97. oh by the way the best batting line up ever fell like a pack of cards in bowler-friendly conditions in NZ today….i hate being so negative… but lets see till where this winning run goes!!!

  98. dude …what if your hatered of ganguly actually stems from some deep seated anti bengali prejudice..come to your senses and stop using abusive language against a whole ethnicity..[edited]

  99. Haha where is Dhruv now? Hiding under the table? The day the ball swung about a bit Youngistan heroes like Dumbir, Dhobi, Rona, Yousuck and Bobraj soiled their diapers. The very day. That’s all it takes for the wheels to come off on supposedly the GREATEST Indian ODI lineup ever.

  100. Anonymous

    Welcome back. I thought you were gone forever the last time I blasted you here. But then all it takes for monkeys like you to keep monkeying around is one single favour. For you – the mountain of results Indian team had never achieved before – pales infront of one off day for a dead rubber match!

    It shouldn’t for a person with average intellect – but you’re a monkey. So I rest my case

    @dhruv is a…
    Dont imagine things looking for reasons of why I say what I say. You’l be overwhelmed, you’ve too small a brain to process that.

    So I’l make it simple for you – just look at this post after your’s – some anonymous – a probable bong, a serious ganguly lover – who goes on to the extent of showing all his hatred towards rest of India and the Indian team just coz Ganguly is not a part of it.

    I dont hate any ethnicity but this EXACT thing drives me crazy when you guys take it way over the top, and are ready to be a fu**** traitor for one fellow. You’re ready to be anti India.

    And it’s something common with Talibans, Pakistanis, Communists that comes very easily for bongs in this respect – you’re ready to live in your lil hideouts and give a finger to world and to common knowledge.

    And contrary to something sensible that dEbOLiN pointed out earlier – this thing is true more for bongs than others ..for example nobody goes crazy like that for azhar in hyderabad, nobody goes crazy like that for dravid in bangalore, etc etc.. (jharkhand case is a little different, they’re from bihar so you let them do what they want to.)

  101. dude the only reason in your perception that “bongs go crazy” is probarbly cos fu..ed up sh..heads like u go out of the way to target SG

    I ahve no special love for dada any more than any other indian player..but i do find this constant targetting of dada annoying

    Calling the community of Subhas Chandra Bose and millions of others unfaithful to india is precisely what to expect from bania north indian female baby killers like yourself..

    the sikhs ( one of the most patriotic indians) face exactly the same treatment from small minded banias like u.. i am a delhi boy thru and thru so i know your like well enough..

    in true delhi parlace..apni aukaat me rahe do paise ke tucche..

    BTW that snide comment about biharis stinks as well …just shows your mentality

  102. GB

    Pataudi goes one step ahead –

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/FullcoverageStoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=efcfc4b2-522d-4455-bc14-1c76f6bb5bb7Thekiwichallenge_Special&Headline=Dhoni's team is capable of winning Test series in NZ: Pataudi

    “The team led by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the best team in the history of Indian cricket and is capable of winning the test series in New Zealand,” Pataudi who is popularly known as “Tiger Pataudi” told reporters here yesterday.

  103. Well, the fact that you are reading Hindustan Times is a good indicator of your intellect. It’s clear that you’ve not been brought up in a way which allows you to think for yourself and use your own judgment – I feel sorry for you. Cheers.

  104. NewZealanders : Mark Richardson & John Reid

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/cricket/news/article.cfm?c_id=29&objectid=10561806&pnum=0

    All three agree this Indian line-up compares favourably with any team that has toured here before.

    Mark Richardson said two batting line-ups stood out in his mind: the 1987 West Indians with Viv Richards as their centrepiece and the 2005 Australians.

    “But right now, I’d say this team, India, is just as strong. I’d find it really hard to separate them. In fact, I’d probably have to give India the edge because they have simply have no weak link.”

    Anindya Mazumdar

    If you dont know the difference between news and opinion – then I suggest you tie a heavy rock around ur waist and jump into a lake.

    The same news appeared in several newspapers and websites, search on google news – that’d give you a reason to do it too.

  105. Dhruv,

    Sirjee, a friendly suggestion. You’re wasting your time in the wrong forum. How about some good ol’ fashioned fun in the heartland, huh?
    Y’know, turn up the bhangra pop, get a liter or two of buffalo milk and help out your family to weed out those pesky female foetuses? [edited]

  106. @GB,
    A humble request.
    Why don’t you just ban commenter’s like Dhruv?
    It’s not just about Ganguly-bashing. In fact it’s not bashing either. It’s out and out regional name calling bordering on the lines of hate-speech. Do we really need such people to spoil the sanctity of the comment space of your blog?

    Now even I feel angry of myself that I kept arguing with him and wasted so much time trying to make him understand exactly where he was wrong.

  107. O come on dEbOLiN

    You had fun! Dont you kid yourself.

    @ the friendly troll..

    Idhar hee hoon bey.. but to pick up a fight u need to show some worth

    Now how demeaning is it – that you have your daggers out – and all the other party does is .. just ignore you and pushes u on the side, and walks away?

    And pal, you’re being no different in taking a shot at me the way you are trying to… assuming me to be a north indian punjab da puttarr and showing your own detest out here.

    And if you have it in you (which I know you dont, but I’m just saying it for others who might, like dEbOLiN) – you should be able to see that I’m only targetting a part and not the whole region.

    GB, I know you read this stuff and I can understand the mad rush, and pretty agricultural approach that I take for some issues – makes it a little difficult for you to partake in a discussion. (Actually, its not been and it never is a discussion the way I do it – because I know it better than the most here – still some lame duds dont seem to see that and come here to fight as if its a debate!)

    So just telling you that you could as well ban me, and I would totally understand!

  108. And I do respect quite a lot of bongs .. (and its not me, they command respect from everyone without an iota of a doubt!)

    But I do hate those smart buggers who’ve gone completely blind in their bong-love for Ganguly – blind enough to go to any length for him..

    The only thing is there’s quite a lot of them like that, and they think they’re loving Ganguly – which is sadly not true, coz they’re loving the cocky bengali in him. His performance has been pretty mediocre for a large chunk of his career, and captainship record is just as pathetic as anyone else’s as I mentioned above.

    But he just got lucky with all his arrogance (oh I’m a prince I wont take drinks for someone? and oh I’m lord snooty as quoted Flintoff and others) and because India was so spineless at that time – this arrogance just fetched him that iconic status of building something of a team.

    He was just a third grade individual and personality as he has always shown with his statements (oh I’m so good I should be in the team, current team has jokers, oh this team is not all that great the real test is in NZ, oh the 1983 team was the best not this one, public spat with chappel.. and what not!)

    Nowhere in the history has such a third grade individual been regarded so highly. And nowhere does anyone get rewarded for arrogance ever, but then this b*stard was lucky.

    And found perfect lamers to be his devotees..

  109. Seems to me the borderline hysteria, paranoia and obsession with Ganguly doesn’t lie with his ‘devotees’ on this forum, but rather in your head.

  110. Dhruv
    You know what dude. You’re a real asshole. Well I shouldn’t say so. Calling you an asshole is an insult for the asshole.

  111. Hey Dhruv,
    Why do you respect ‘quite a lot of bongs’? Before respecting somebody, do you actually check it out if he is a bong or a punju or something else? Just curious. If not, how do you remember afterwards that it was quite a lot of bongs that you respected that day? 🙂
    Just pulling your chain, man! But it does seem to me that you have a lot of hatred towards bongs, which you are taking out at Ganguly because it is much easier to target a single individual rather than a community full of faceless people. It is not worth it, son! Don’t waste strong emotions towards individuals (and, especially an entire community) who cannot possibly affect you personally, if you really think carefully.
    You have been calling all sorts of people all sorts of names. You called Arnab a moron, you called a number of people trash, you implied that a number of people in this forum are really stupid etc. Do you seriously believe all that you said about those people? You don’t really know any one of them, remember? And now some people are calling you an asshole, because, obviously they are pissed. Why would you want such a thing to happen in this forum where most of us come on a daily basis, quite eager to see what new has been posted (and you admitted yourself that you admire Arnabs posts, at least those which are not about cricket and Ganguly)? Will it be too much to ask not to go out of the way to bring bad taste in everyone’s mouth?

  112. He he. I am amused really. A buffon calling the most successful India captain a third grade individual and then using him a straw man to target a community. But sorry Dhruv. Its like shouting from rooftops about the British raj at this day and age. 2005 is long gone. Cricinfo wont hire you now. 🙂

  113. Debashish

    Sir, you’re way too understanding, mild and balanced! (BTW one can be a moron in a few things and can be ultra intelligent in others!)

    For all others who have, and I’m sure will continue posting worthless one or two liners, hurling abuses at me – a BIG thank you – you are the reason why I was here.

    And rest assured – if you post something worthwhile I’d even respond!

  114. Hey Guys,

    Please don’t compare Kishor and Dhruv. Kishor with his dry -mostly one line – comments telling you that southies are the best looks like one of the most put on acts of a man who is more intelligent than he sounds.

    Dhruv is stark raving mad. He is completely in a different league. He may have been different in other posts but here he’s frothing at an imaginary pro-ganguly post.

    In fact at one point he actually said “It is actually not entirely this post I’m bashing – but the thing that drives him to make this post…” and at another point “…when it comes to cricket, I have figured him out well and he seems to stand for the exact cause that I hate”

    Let me explain: Paranoid schizophrenics often can ‘read’ what’s on other peoples’ minds. The way Dhruv takes on multiple comments tearing everyone up shows up that psycopathic rage which has surfaced.

    One more clincher: He says “GB, I know you read this stuff and I can understand the mad rush, and pretty agricultural approach that I take for some issues – makes it a little difficult for you to partake in a discussion….So just telling you that you could as well ban me, and I would totally understand!”

    Again, let me explain: Many schizophrenics are actually aware that they are going back and forth into insanity. This is called the ‘twilight’. Apparently it is a frightening experience for a guy who still has some insight left to know that his sanity is about to be lost fully. Many of these guys cry out for help, in whatever way they can. The appeal to GB to ban him looks like one desperate cry for help.

    The diagnosis is clear: he is tipping over. Since no one knows his whereabouts we can only sympathise with this process. Please don’t call him names. And above all, Please don’t bring Kishor into this!

    PS: Unlike GB I’m not capcable of sarcasm at all. This comment is serious and not at all meant to insult Dhruv….

  115. ROFLMFAO!

    labourer

    Now that is ingenuity at its best man! I have to BOW at you!!

    I wonder where you were when I was going full throttle here [sadly the steam has died down now 😦 ] – but would definitely have been more fun if I was talking to you instead of people like anon, troll and some other losers..

    Nevermind, now that you have set the stage – guys, its true – I’m probably tipping over.

    But again, wait – what really happens when you tip over? (if over 15% probably your waiter is happy?)

    No, cant be like that. I’m intrigued, do you mind labouring it to the next level pal?

  116. This may not exactly be the right forum to pose this query, but I was wondering whether any of the cricket loving readers here at RTDM (who reside in the US) either subscribe to or have otherwise viewed the channel “Cricket Plus” offered by Direct TV. I just moved to a new apartment and while looking at the Cable TV options available came across what seems to be the only channel offering significant cricket content in the US. Any info on this (such as whether they carry live broadcasts, quality of broadcast, etc.) would be much appreciated – that is if anyone is still reading the comments section since Dhruv has hijacked it 🙂

  117. @Debashish- Cricket Plus is new and I personally know nothing about it. It seems to be showing all the international matches, but you might want to check whether they are showing IPL. I personally watch all matches thru illegal streams, the feeds being either through CBN Criket, Direct TV or Sky Sports. CBN seems to be a good network without any ads at all, but the telecast quality doesnt seem to be as good as Sky. There are many resources for these- OOXtv, some hidden blogs, etc. But I think Direct Tv was the only option to watch cricket on TV like Willow was the only “legal” option to watch it live streaming. I would say that since Cricket Plus is a subsidiary of Direct Tv, the telecast quality would be the same- which is quite good and mostly commercial free. So if the cost is not outrageously high like Willow, you should subscribe to it. Then you will have the pleasure of watching cricket without the hassle of looking for links in shady forums, and on a big 61 inch plasma rather than a 17 inch laptop. Also check if they have online streaming options. Then you can watch IPL from office like GB did last year. 🙂 But one advantage of cable is that you can always DVR such a match or matches like Australia SA, which are played at such unearthly hours.

  118. @yourfan2: Thanks – I was expecting you might reply : )
    Direct TV with an addon package of 9 Indian channels (including Cricket Plus) is not too expensive, and not really different in price from other cable/satellite options – so I’ll probably get it. I know there exist illegal streams on the web, but I don’t really have the inclination to be on the hunt for them – indeed, I’d rather have the comfort of just turning on my TV and tuning in to the Cricket channel. Even if they fall short of the ideal (live telecast of all games), it’s probably still not a bad channel to have..

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