The Principle Of It

And yet another totally insignificant triangular tournament gets underway and people wonder why attendance for one day internationals is dwindling.

However what is worth commenting on, from the perspective of an Indian fan, has been the return of Rahul Dravid into the one-day side.  A year ago, another player of his generation Sourav Ganguly was forced  into retirement  at a time when he was arguably playing the best Test cricket of his life (his best one day form was behind him but he was still worth his place in the side in my opinion) by the present board. Then we were told by the pundits, both at the “Home for Cricket” and on this comment-space and other fora, that the basis of the argument for Ganguly’s continuance ,which relied on recent performances and averages and things like form, was fundamentally flawed.

Simply because this was the new age (Vision 2007 or Disco 82 or Hope 86 I forget what it was called) where the paradigm of cricket had changed so much  that just batting alone was no longer going to cut it, where Ganguly’s undoubted poor fitness and sluggishness on the field were the overriding considerations in his being rendered useless to Team India. In support of this thesis not only was Ganguly removed from the ODI side (and soon also from the Test side) but also Dravid after he had scored 80 runs in nine innings.

Fine. At least there was a principle behind the whole thing whether one agreed with it or not.

Very soon we had what was being touted as the best Indian ODI team ever. Everyone was happy.

Then of course things took a slight turn into the ditch in the T20 World Cup where a chink or two was revealed especially against our opponent’s judicious use of the short ball. And immediately, Dravid was called back in.

Now let me make it very clear that I am not against Dravid being re-called. As a matter of fact I always thought that cricket was a far more complex game than the collection of “eleven extremely fit men” idea that has become popular. I also think that while cricket has changed a lot over the years, at its heart it remains inherently the same—namely that a good team is a blend of youth and experience, where you not only need adventurous dashers who score rapidly and move like greased lighting but also battle-scarred veterans who can dig deep and claw in when things don’t look so good (i.e. champions like Dravid) even though they tread sometimes with lead in their boots.

However if we go by the “principle”, which we were assured to be “above all individuals” , then Dravid’s recall is puzzling considering that Dravid’s fielding has over the years gone into decline with him dropping catches regularly of late (his drop in the World Cup match against Bangladesh being the most memorable) and by no stretch of imagination can he be said to be anything close to the “average” we have come to expect from the so-called Youngistan side.

Now one can say that desperate situations call for desperate measures and that for a while, the principle has to be put on the back-burner, like in South Africa in 2006 when the side was being pulverized and Ganguly was brought back as an emergency measure after which of course he made a triumphant comeback.

But where is the crisis this time? India did well in West Indies after the stutter at the T20 World Cup. This series is not the World Cup and the Champions Trophy after that is again not significant any more, in light of the T20 World Cups which have become the primary non-ODI World Cup events of importance in the international calendar.

One would have thought that if someone new was to be tried (since Rohit Sharma seems to have lost his way once again) keeping in mind the long term as well as the “principle” , this was the right time to blood him rather than bringing Dravid back.

That however has not happened. Which leaves me with only one conclusion: the “principle” (foisted on the public through “helpful” media channels) was not as sacrosanct as we were told to believe and was, like many things in Indian cricket and politics, adopted as a momentary convenience  in order to push a certain agenda, only to be quietly discarded later on.

71 thoughts on “The Principle Of It

  1. First again!!!! Pl acknowledge my achievement GB…

  2. Completely agree GB. I have always thought that whatever happens in Indian cricket team is just a result of few people’s convenience and wish. These people have to be selection committee members, convenience has to be a meet and wish has to be to dine together at some interesting place.

    Now what the outcome is would depend on the quality of food and mood of people with a hint of intent to distract we, the followers, again into another of such year old discussions.

  3. Agreed. The whole thing is quite senseless. Underperformance in T20 resulting in changes in the ODI squad. A meaningless tournament in Sri Lankan pitches being played supposedly as preparation for a tournament in South Africa.

    Actually, I think, the board & the selectors try more or less random stuff, and then justify it with whatever reason they think will resonate with the flavour of the day.

  4. Our selectors often mix performance in tests with that in ODIs and vice-versa. Sehwag’s erstwhile dropping from the test team is a case to point when actually his ODI form had plummetted.
    Now they’ll be confused between T20s and ODIs formats.

  5. Dravid is to cricket what Pele or Maradona to football is. Or more than that. I don’t think any athlete can achieve greater heights than Dravid. We can always depend on him, he is a true champion.

  6. Glory be ! Kishor is back. I was worried that you had died, like many of your brethren, of a broken heart after YSR’s death. Are you by any chance saving your death for VVS Laxman or Chiranjeevi?

  7. Yes, it is not a consistent principle and thus was just a convenient excuse. Nicely written.

  8. Maybe selection committee is showing the doors for this stalwart too.

  9. Agree that selection board take decision according to their judgment & convenience and many times we may not agree to their judgment.

    But things have improved a lot over the period of time(Earlier there was a region-wise quota during selection). Due to heavy media exposure and public reaction, they have become more accountable than earlier.

    I hope Dravid does well and justify selectors confidence in him.

  10. Your review sounds akin to Jay trying to get viru hitched to basanti with mousiji. Ab kya bataun mausi…

    Yes dada was a player of high determination in his last few days – but as much as I love him – we could clearly see the mental fatigue setting in, and I am not even considering his running between the wickets or fielding efforts.
    It seemed to me that every time he went out to bat he would need to gather a huge amount of courage and effort to pull it off.Which was not the case when he was in full flow early in life.Even someone as accomplished as Ponting seems to be traveling on the same path.

    They were different players when they were at their peak…and i can only imagine how difficult it must be to let-go off the game which they practically ruled earlier.

    I would be tempted to say that there is a similarity between the situations of the senior players and meaningless one-day tournaments.

    The principle of it is simple – keep churning,keep burning,keep playing…no one is going to complain unless there is a critical mass to stop these meaning less efforts.

  11. “Earlier there was a region-wise quota during selection”.

    Yes of course. Now there is not. Badrinath, Murali Vijay—we wonder where they are from. Previously during Dalmiya’s reign there was a lot of regionalism. Right. Right. It all went away after Sharad Pawar came to power after which he brought in Vengsarkar, Lalchand Rajput and invested a massive amount of money into Wankede stadium.

    Gimme a break ! There has always been regionalism/factionalism/politics in Indian team selection.

    “It seemed to me that every time he went out to bat he would need to gather a huge amount of courage and effort to pull it off.”

    If that was good enough to beat South Africa on a crumbling pitch and good enough to crack a double century then I think that was good enough. Period. The amount of Ganguly-hatred has to be seen to be believed. Even when he scores runs, he apparently has a vacant look in his eyes that gives off mental fatigue which perceptive souls like Gyanban can perceive, a mental fatigue that Dravid does not show when he drops catches left and right.

    Brilliant !

  12. An hour into post and more than 10 comments….ur really popular dude… :)..will read the post afterwards

  13. I dont know what the principle or thought process was when SG and RD were dropped earlier. However, I agreed with both decisions. There is a difference however – RD deserved to be dropped on poor form. SG deserved to be dropped because even at his best form, he was not upto the mark in terms of either his fielding (where the difference between him and RD is not high) or strike rate (especially given that he played in the powerplay overs). RD, in contrast, has been a lot more versatile in ODIs and has shown the ability to keep up with the trend of rising strike rates. Look up cricinfo statsguru and you’ll find that while both have similar strike rates over their careers, RD’s strike rate has been significantly higher than SG’s over the last few years. This despite the fact that he does not benefit from field restrictions. I think that is a fundamental difference and with RD showing signs of getting back to his best in IPL 2009, he has been brought back.

    Having said that, I do not agree with getting him back – it would have been better to try some other new players (I think Sachin, Yuvraj and Dhoni provide enough experience and maybe if Sehwag had also been available, RD would not have made it at all). But between SG and RD, if I had to pick one into the current team, it would have to be the latter.

  14. couple of typos: Champions Trophy, calendar

    As for the battle-scarred veteran who digs in deep, Raina showed him his place by knocking his team (India Cements) out of the recent Corporate Cup. This Indian odi team under Dhoni with the likes of Raina, Yuvraj, Yusuf etc has won 5 series in a row now, with 70% win record in last year. Something the earlier “Fab Four” never managed when they were in their prime, so I don’t know what is the point in bringing them back now.

  15. There’s a tournament going on???!!!

  16. GB, You still have not got over Ganguly is it?? Earlier it was the conspiracy of the Aussie Coach…like in everything else..wonder now who is responsible for this??? Get a life and move and life in general is more than Ganguly. I will not be surprised if after 10 years also you are writing cribbing and wailing about Ganguly.

  17. Arnab,

    If you’re questioning the ‘Principle of it’ then I am with you on that. But only to the extent that why are we now looking back from CB Series and New Zealand victories? I mean those were remarkable performances achieved without Dravid, so whats the big deal if we performed below par in T20 WC? In sports, you lose sometimes.
    And I dont buy the logic that Dravid has been drafted in this side to handle the short ball stuff. The more credible reason for this decision to my mind was to lessen the burden on Dhoni to play anchor’s role repeatedly at No.3 and that he can get back to his 6 hitting ways.

    And why this comparison to Ganguly’s retirement? The team has performed well after his retirement and has lived upto the promise. And as far as your point about mixture of youth and experience is concerned, a Yuvraj, or Harbhajan or Sehwag with more than 200 ODIs under them are experienced ehough(I am not even mentioning SRT).

    So to sum it up, rather than comparing why he is been given a chance and why the other was not, I am little worried because should Dravid collect a couple of low scores in this series or champions trophy, will he be dropped again?(what a humiliation!!)

    Or even worse if he scores slow 30s and 40s(and not contribute enuf to the victory of team) to keep his place, will team need to persist with him till he finally decide to call it a day?

  18. @ SSK … Seriously, even I was not aware that a tournament was going on at the moment …

    My interest in Indian Cricket has gone down considerably over the last few years. Passion is missing in the games. It is a professional job these days. Cricketers stick to the “format”. And are more interested in Hummers and advertisements than cricket!

  19. DK, please read objectively without preconceived notions. Asking someone to “get a life” isn’t very polite. Certainly not to someone who has achieved as much as GB has.
    Everyone has pet obsessions. GB is allowed some.

  20. Objectivity is not everyone’s forte I guess.Especially for a blinded emotional cricket enthusiast.

    But that notwithstanding -The likes of RD and his ilk are all sailing in the same boat.Just like everyone else, everyone has a “sell-by” date…the right time to stop.

    This in no way undermines their previous efforts.Or reduces their respect,and trivilaizes their vast contribution over the years.
    if anything it enhances our respect for their efforts for so many years under multiple difficult situations and circumstances.

    If you look at it purely objectively – If cracking a double hundred on a crumbling pitch in SA was a great effort – then be reminded that is their “job”. They get paid for it.They re not doing anyone a favour.Millions of dollars are invested on these cricketers and it’s only fair to expect a ROI, isn’t it, and not just monetarily but also from winning for the country standpoint. When playing for the country , it should be victory at any cost, even if it means questioning a senior pro – after all no one is above the game or country !

    Now circle back to your job – assuming you were a top performer – but of late you consistently missed your team goals,delivery,number whatever, would your manager think twice to keep you on board? Guess not. Every single minute you breathe would be evaluated.You would be reminded of the impending new hire at lower cost or how your counterpart is still going great guns.

    Smart people,realize that they re reaching the plateau phase of their “bell-curve” and seek to either create a new bell-curve or exit before being exited.

    What I agree is that it cannot be varying from one individual to another.
    Dada should not be singled out – if he was being questioned then so should RD or Sachin….

    IMHO dada is a smart person.He came back to prove his point.He did.
    Let us stop the debate on whether he had a couple of years left or not.

    Cricket,is a serious business in India – has to be treated like one. Practicality should outweigh emotions.

    Get real,and move on.

  21. I wonder if the demise of popularity of ODIs in India would coincide with the exit of the trio that kept us (at least me) clued in to cricket even when India wasn’t winning as many matches.

  22. Nothing related to RD or GB, but the first line of the blog:

    And yet another totally insignificant triangular tournament gets underway and people wonder why attendance for one day internationals is dwindling.

    Cant accept this one. If India manage a clean sweep, we can get to “numero uno” in ODI ranking. So we can not treat this as “totally insignificant”

  23. Your bias for Ganguly is little too pronounced for a writer/commentator of your stature 🙂
    While comparing Dravid’s case with him, few points must be considered.

    1) Dravid is far more accomplished batsman then him. Ganguly’s test credentials, just about kept him in side, even at best of times. When it comes to oversea’s performance, Dravid is ahead of even tendulkar. You may argue that we are discussing ODI’s here. But it was the ‘inability to play bouncing balls’ which caused the selectors to rethink the young india policy. So , techinque does matter.
    2) Ganguly’s fielding as well as running between the wickets was suspect, even during his best days. Dravid, might have dropped a catch or two lately, but lets not forget , we are talking about the highest catch taker in test history.Tell me if you have to put a fielder to save your life, whom will you put.
    3)Dravid is still a key member of test side. And his test career is in no immediate danger.
    4) Dravid vies for middle order places in ODI side, where there is room(or doubt).
    5) Lastly, Dravid ‘performed’ in the recent IPL. His 374 runs, at a respectable strike rate , were better than most of the young (or old) indians.

  24. I think it is high time for BCCI to correct another mistake. They should bring VVS Laxman also into ODI team. Laxman can handle short pitched deliveries very well and he can be very useful in the middle overs where he can find gaps with ease with his wristy batting. It is Indian cricket’s misfortune that we are not seeing a genius like VVS Laxman in action regularly. He should be brought back immediately.

  25. Laxman is the unsung hero of Indian cricket. I always feel he never got the recognition he deserved.

    Now he is playing for Lancashire in County cricket and he is in terrific form.
    But he might never get a chance in ODIs anymore. In tests he will continue to play.

  26. There is a slight point that you are missing, that is the IPL performance from Test Players like Kallis and Dravid. That had its share in Dravid’s callback. Moreover, Dravid kept playing the home tournaments (I dunno much about his performances there). Probably, there is a certain amount of haste in Selection committee’s decision. Still, Dravid was victim of Vengsarkar’s grudge and probably favourable Srikkanth helped his cause. Or its just a respectable chance to retire.

  27. ah i wish i could be like shashwat gupta and get orgasmic after being the first to comment on GB’s blog … what simplification of life ..

  28. Nice writeup by GB. Its a good way to vent at a principle or the lack of one in selecting or dropping cricket players. But there is nothing much we can do about it, unless there is a public outcry about perceived double standards – which won’t happen in India because many Indians don’t care about anything beyond the tip of their noses.

    Anyway, Rahul Dravid is a good addition to the team. So I hope he does well.

    I too am glad Kishor is back. Phew!!!

    Why aren’t there good cricket players from AP these days? Everybody’s busy working in IT companies or mourning for politicians, yeah? 😉

  29. Dear Bengal Voice, I am not worried about lack of good players from AP, but what worries me more is the disappearing tradition of wristy stroke play that is the trademark of Hyderabad. I can’t find anybody now who can play wristy strokes like ML Jayasimha, Azhar, and Laxman. May be emergence of stupid hard hitters like Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan is the main reason.

    Regarding IT in AP, no yaar, it is not a good picture. All the IT engineers are looking for alternative careers like auto, pan dukaan, pavement hawking, etc.

  30. And the pathetic Aussie boot licker is back in the Indian team… I would like to see him struggle and drudge along… ODIs just got a whole lot slower again…

  31. @Kishor: I take take strong offense w.r.t pele and maradona… have you even seem their games??

  32. Hi Joyjit:

    Pele or Maradona or any other so called hyped footballer plays for just 1 hour in each game and then takes a break at 30 minutes. Compare that with Rahul Dravid. He performs continuously for 8 hours each day on the pitch, scoring centuries, building innings, fielding, thinking, and doing lot many other things. And he does it for 5 continuous days in tests. Now tell me who is the better athlete? Also, I have not yet seen any other cricketer who has a better thinking brain than Dravid. We Indians better come out of the infatuation of foreign players and recognize our own geniuses.

  33. well said kishor.. taaliyaan.. 🙂 forearms have replaced wrists in today’s cricket.

  34. you might want to read and react to this weird little article from your best of friends:

  35. @ Kishor
    I dont think you have played either football or cricket. Next you would say since chess can be played for 3 hrs and football so chess is more tiring. Or Bolt runs only for 10 sec so he is nothing compared to Rahul Dravid. Possibilities are endless for you my dear friend.

  36. Kishor Rocks. Period.

  37. History will remember the injustice to Ganguly. The pity is that when you try to provide any logic in support of Ganguly, you are told that it’s a bong thing. But when you say something in support of Dravid or Laxman, then it’s not a problem, even if you are South Indian. I found this hypocritical. GB, why do you think ppl hate bengalis so much? And by the way, great to have Kishor back. But there is a chance this one is an imposter. His words don’t have the unintended wit and sting like old times…

  38. GB,
    The principle is more about fitness rather than fielding or dropping catches. Infact Dravid is one of the fittest and most adaptable cricketers around ( a reason why VVS doesn’t make the cut ), so any comparison to Ganguly doesnot hold water. Ganguly even in his most prime has come across as sluggish on the field. Moreover,I do not understand why a comparison should be made to Ganguly at this point of time. He has moved on so why cant we too!

    Dravid is in the team because a talent powerhouse like Sharma makes the same mistakes again and again.The youngster needs atleast a year off to take on the highest level of the game. Talking about blooding youngsters, you cant sacrifice the team for the same, moreover you need someone to blood them. The side really needs a wall to bat around in SA and currently no one fits the bill better, lets hope he is a success.

    I also think the whole point of bringing him back is to give a legend an exit on his own terms. I really hope it doesn’t happen soon as I am one guy who feels the charm of the ODIs left it when Dravid left the field, it has been only slam bang ever since with the “eleven extremely fit men”.

    @Kishor – great comments there , but really not fair to compare legends across the games.

    @Rohan – when you talk of Badrinath being included in the team due to factionalism, plz be informed that Sharma was preferred ahead of Badrinath when Srikkant was the chairman on many occasions, due to raw talent even though the latter was a senior with better stats and a more accomplished batsman. I guess you wanted him to give Akash Chopra another chance instead of Vijay. I would say, it is now that factionalism eased out.

  39. Kishor-impersonator September 10, 2009 — 10:17 am

    Best possible Indian team is the selector are fair :
    1) Captain – Rahul Dravid
    2) Robin Uthappa
    3) S. Badrinath
    4) Murali Vijay
    5) VV Special Luxman
    6) MSK Prasad garu or Dinesh Karthick
    7) Murali Karthick
    8) Anil Kumble – he should be brought back
    9) Bharat Arun
    10) Laxmi Balaji
    11) Ishant Sharma
    12) Sachin for his experience
    Manager- fake IPL player

  40. The above comment of south indian team composition is not posted by me. GB, please help me to deal with this imposter.

  41. Friend Kishor you can use a google/blogspot id and write stuff here. That cannot be impersonated. And stop complaining!!!

  42. Well,

    I don’t think anyone can really disagree with Dravid and Ganguly being dropped from the ODI side 2yrs ago. They were not fit for the format anymore, and the runs in ODIs had dried up or were coming too slow to be of any use. They deserved to be dropped from ODIs. I do believe Ganguly too could have been retained for tests like Dravid, but He Retired.

    The current decision to bring back dravid is controversial, but not too bad. Dravid is in good nick as we saw in Tests and the IPL, and we are little long on youth and short on experience. Whenever Tendulkar is not around, the Indian ODI team seems to read the situation incorrectly or approach the game wrong. With Sehwag too missing, I think Dravid can contribute now.

    I don’t think the decision is as quirky as you paint it, if you stop thinking about rules and start thinking about team balance. Looks like you are clouding your judgement with your anger about treatment given to Dada, maybe?

    Whether the ploy of bringing back Dravid will work is a completely different issue.

  43. Hi GB,
    While I couldn’t agree more on the theory that principles change with time; I still support Rahul Dravid.

    1. Firstly, he always had a better fitness level than Ganguly and many others.
    2. His low-profile attitude might not have earned him lots of friends but definitely have NOT earned him enemies. Ganguly, on the other hand was never short of enemies.
    3. IPL season 2 saw Dravid playing considerably well. Whereas, Ganguly could not do much.
    4. Public pressure and luck factor worked in favour of Dravid this time.
    5. Dhoni’s theory and conviction have mellowed down after Team India’s bad performance; selectors could now push RD.


  44. don’t entirely agree GB.
    this seems like a veiled criticism of Dravid. I know you say that you are not against his recall, but large portions of the article seem to disagree with that statement you make.
    oh well, i guess we’re all allowed our biases.
    i can never be fully objective about either Dravid or Ganguly (i am a huge fan of them both), so while i did think Ganguly retired when he was playing beautifully, i cannot contain my joy that Dravid is back. The two feelings happily co-exist with each other.
    and i don’t recall any strong articles supporting the axing of both of them from the ODI squads before the CB series on cricinfo.
    True, during the turbulent chappell times, they went after Ganguly (perhaps unfairly), but this time whatever voices were there supporting the selection of a young team, were much more measured and not shrill.
    And if, after watching the Indians flounder against the short ball, you still don’t think it is crisis time, then i’m frankly quite stunned. raina and yusuf may well develop into good/great batsmen, but they aren’t there yet by a long shot. i would say dravid deserves his place on merit alone, due to his most recent limited-overs competition form.
    and winning against the west indies today is like winning against the sri lanka of pre-1995 – it doesn’t mean much, and it certainly doesn’t mean the team was ‘doing well’ after the T20 world cup, as you said.
    if we were indeed doing well, we should have pulverized the West Indies in every match, blanked them 3-0 (one match was rained out) and not 2-1. in any case, winning 2-1 can again not be called doing well.

  45. Saurabh,

    Let us agree to disagree.

    1. There was a lot of things written when Ganguly was called back in 2006 into the ODI side after a long exile. It was called “political”, a “step backward” and laughed at “Hah against pace, they are bringing back Ganguly !” I know since I was blogging then and following comments here and in Orkut.

    2. There was no veiled criticism of Dravid. I honestly think that SG-Dravid are better batsmen (mind you just batsman) than someone like Yousuf Pathan or Ravindra Jadeja. Again people are making a mistake between T20 and ODIs here. India’s problems were in T20s and not in ODIs.

    3.The crisis in South Africa 2006 was very different than what we saw in the T20 WC. First of all they were different forms of the game—in 2006 Indian batsmen like Dinesh Mongia and Suresh Raina were blown away just trying to defend whereas in T20 the demise came from trying to play shots to short balls. There is a big difference there. Maybe the rankings are not as big as they are made out to be but the fact that India is within striking distance of No 1 spot shows very clearly that India has had a very good run in ODIs in the past (Lets give Dhoni and Youngistan credit where it is due). Which means there really isnt any need for knee-jerk reactions.

  46. GB i still don’t understand why you say India’s problems were in T20’s and not in ODI’s. The problem we are discussing here are not some strategy problems. It is the technique where we are failing. Not being able to play short ball has got nothing to do with format of the game.

    This said, recalling Dravid is still a no solution. It may give middle order that technical edge required but what after this series or next series or one after that? Dravid will again be kicked one day for some reason (and for a random vibe) and we will again be back to the square. Rather the only solution i see is exposing the same guys to the short ball and let them gain experience. Further have Dravid train them. Or was it for this reason that Dravid was included? To unofficially coach the Youngistan?

  47. @Amit

    “Further have Dravid train them. Or was it for this reason that Dravid was included? To unofficially coach the Youngistan?”

    If that is the objective – why not have him travel with the team as a batting coach ? Why waste a batsman’s slot? You have yourself agreed that recalling Dravid is still no solution. So – doesn’t this point to GB’s original premise that the so-called “principles” of team selection are only an excuse to push a certain agenda?

  48. Dear Gr8bong,

    It is a funny decision but he is being recalled two years back so I do not think that there was a certain agenda or a plan. The board(jokers as they are) supported a ‘younger team concept’ and they are just doing a repair job now.

    Maybe Dravid’s form in the IPL made him count.

  49. Well Arnab-da, as you said, let us agree to disagree 🙂

    can’t resist getting in another two cents worth though:

    1. I’m not denying that there would definitely have been voices against recalling Ganguly in 2006, and I’m sure in your position as one of the prominent bloggers you would have heard them. What i was saying was, I felt there was a qualitative difference in the way the voices were raised in 2005 and in 2006. it was more vituperative in 05, whereas in 06 – although it wasn’t always clean, i did get the feeling that what were being discussed were cricket points and not political ones.

    2. where i disagree with you on this is that India’s problems were highlighted in the T20s – it doesnt mean they wont have the same problem in ODIs. It might be that they would manage it better in ODIs, but once a chink is exposed, a skillful bowler will ruthlessly exploit it.

    3. agree that India has had a very good run so far, but I think that was also partly due to benign pitches. Also Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gambhir contributed hugely to the run. and as i’ve said above, it seemed as if bowlers the world over have detected a genuine weakness in a lot of the younger batsmen. hence the need to get back someone like dravid, and hence my reluctance to term his recall knee-jerk.

    thanks for letting me indulge myself on your space though! 🙂

  50. Principles of selection are not black and white and can change according to
    Input from the captain, what he wants, the team balance, the vision all count.
    People have a vision, make a plan, execute it,
    get feedback and then remake the plan with new vision or data in hand.
    Thats good leadership and life.
    The only person who does not change his stance is, George W Bush.
    The young team won everything thrown at them. except the T20.
    They realized certain batters were exposed in the T20.
    The selectors revert back to Dravid, which might be a good thing.
    Yes, cricket is more complex than 11 fit men, and thats why they recall Dravid.

    Is this a post or is this cribbing?

    Well, you cant blame the young team, for they have the results at least till now and you were quiet when they were performing.

    Now they are not performing, and the selectors are willing to make changes and change their stance, i don’s see any reason to complain.

    Summary of your post.

    Dada was dropped, the team performed, Dada retired, and I am pretty sour about it, still.

    I would love to see the Greatbong to take apart Greatbong for this post.
    Imagine Ram Gopal Verma would have posted this 😉

  51. GB – I had a great laugh:). On the first comment and your acknowledgement. Awesome……

  52. GB,
    Maybe this is Dravid’s farewell tour granted to him by the selectors? Yes, something similar to the one Ganguly got too.

  53. lagta hai bengali man ko kafi thesh pahunchi thee:)
    nice post btw.

  54. ur views on tharoor and krishna’s 5 star lifestyle..

  55. An eyesore for you

    Please note the bottom right corner.
    Game to file a PIL?

  56. Sumit,

    Thank you. I am aroused. Or something like it.

  57. whoa, quick reply . In your previous post, some people accused you of not paying attention to the comments section. I wonder if i could meet them now.
    I forgot to credit the blog I found the link on. I found it on
    A nice blog you might take interest in. Just discovered it. Pay a visit if you have time.

  58. @GB,
    aroused..LOL…You are damn funny!!!

  59. Greatbong has a thing for Mithunda, it is well known. Sumit, thanks for giving credit! Here’s the link to ‘Mithun Erotica’.

  60. It was so pathetic watching Dravid labour out for his 14 runs yesterday… God, Dravid has become the most uninteresting thing to watch while seeing cricket. Even more uninteresting than the ad breaks…

  61. @Vinayak,
    My pleasure . Equally pleasing is your blog with all the memories of yore. I am not old enough to be found dipping in the sea of nostalgia, but it is still too good.

  62. Bongs never seem to get the fact that Ganguly is nowhere close to the league of Dravid and Tendulkar who are far superior batsmen. Even at his supposed peak, Ganguly would often tie down Tendulkar selfishly keeping him away from strike. He was a fine one day player in his pomp but did precious little since the 2003 world cup. Even in his over-hyped comeback, I can’t remember a single stand out one day innings from him – he unashamedly played for his place and didn’t care whether we won or lost. He did do better in Tests – but the fact remains that there isn’t a single great test performance from Ganguly’s willow – atleast not in the league of Laxman’s 281 at Kolkata, Dravid’s 305 runs at Adelaide and twin half centuries at Sabina Park in West Indies, and Tendulkar’s 136 in Chennai and 103* recently against England.
    Ganguly’s legacy is his brash and daring persona – he was a good captain – perhaps the best we’ve ever had but as a batsman he is no great. He has a decent record – perhaps more in the league of a Stephen Fleming or Aravinda De Silva. Nowhere near a Dravid, Tendulkar or Hayden.

  63. Dravid’s fielding should not be compared to Ganguly’s. Only Salil Ankola deserves the credit to fall in the same bracket as Ganguly. Case in point: Dravid’s excellent slip catch in the game against NZ.
    Having said that, I totally second your opinion that Ganguly should not have been dropped from the ODI squad. He was second to none when it came to robust ODI batting. Dravid’s recall, in my opinion, is Gary Kirsten’s master mind. It is an indicator for the Sharmas and Rainas not to take their place in side for granted.

  64. Dravid is a great test batsman…he is hopeless in ODIs..Kishor surely has some say in the selection committee…

    VVS is the very best ever, please dont ask him to play ODI rubbish..the Rolls Royce should only play tests ..a fitting canvas for his artistry

    Read Sehwags interview in Cricinfo to see what Ganguly actually meant to the team

  65. I think this stat should clearly explain why Rahul Dravid was picked before the champion’s trophy. Check the averages column.

    Batsmen against the top eight teams in ODIs in South Africa Batsman

    ODIs Runs Avg S.R 100s/50s

    Rahul Dravid 17 737 56.69 67.42 0/ 9
    Ricky Ponting 22 1031 54.26 94.06 4/ 4
    Jacques Kallis 113 4080 46.89 74.33 6/ 28
    JP Duminy 13 398 44.22 81.72 0/ 2
    Michael Hussey 10 338 42.25 93.62 0/ 3
    AB de Villiers 34 1159 41.39 85.22 0/ 9
    Graeme Smith 56 2079 39.98 83.72 3/ 16
    H.Gibbs 87 2739 34.23 82.97 9/ 9
    S. Jayasuriya 29 899 32.10 81.72 2/ 5
    Mohd Yousuf 18 509 31.81 77.12 1/ 2
    S. Tendulkar 26 822 31.61 73.92 1/ 4
    K. Sangakkara 17 404 28.85 68.94 0/ 2
    M. Boucher 101 1522 27.67 82.58 0/ 5
    M. Clarke 10 243 27.00 71.68 0/ 3
    B. McCullum 12 237 26.33 69.50 0/ 1
    P. Collingwood 10 181 25.85 78.35 0/ 1
    Younis Khan 13 336 25.84 67.74 0/ 2
    Yuvraj Singh 10 180 22.50 81.08 0/ 1
    Shahid Afridi 13 206 17.16 120.46 0/ 1
    M. Jayawardene 20 280 14.73 61.81 0/ 1

  66. GB is NOT Cribbing September 23, 2009 — 11:35 am

    Lots of view on GB writeup, ‘get over SG’. I think we all are. but instances like these just make you remember of injustice of politics and regionalism in the near past. Reviews mention SG not a great batsman and not good in the field. No Match winning innings. always shown fatigue.
    Cut the crap. Yes he was always sluggish.but does every player comes with his own +ve and -ve. Go back to the news on RD also you would find a lot of -ve. Still why compare with RD. every one is unique and are masters in there own way. both are equally important and needed. In the last decade of indian cricket, we were lucky enough to get these 3 (ST,RD,SG) great players together. If in a decade RD was there without ST or SG we would have worshiped him more than ST.

    But the problem lies, whenever SG has done anything, he was demised. his triumphs were let past bye. He had been put under the glass all the time by media and pundits. Is it because he is a bong. Rather the only bong in decades to be in cricket limelight on sheer performance and moreover leading the country. For the rest of the country yeh hazam nahi hua. why SG had to prove everytime. RD comes back to odi it is ok, when SG made a comeback it horrendous. That the thorn that disturbs. The thorn of politics and regionalism.
    I think that is the problem with GB and not RD back. There are hardly any one in the likes of RD and SG. I would like to see RD do justice to the selection.

  67. INDIAN team booted out of the CT; but that was expected the moment they included the spineless bootlicker in the team… I hope better sense prevails now!

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