" Cricket Etcetera was voted as the Best Cricket Blog by Google during the World Cup 2007 "

Saturday, March 10, 2007

If I were Rahul Dravid...

If I were Rahul Dravid, I would be a very unhappy man today. You may think that we shot out the West Indies for a mere 85 runs, and then raced to victory losing just a solitary wicket – that should be a reason to celebrate, be happy. Instead, why the hell am I sulking? Actually, I have good reason to.

Yesterday’s match against the West Indies was a warm-up match. Just that and no more. You don’t earn any points for winning it, definitely no bonus points for winning it that easily. If you really want to, you may factor in the psychological advantage nonsense bit for whatever it is worth. However, after what transpired on the cricket field there is reason to sulk – and more than one.

I fought with the entire selection committee to get Veeru included in the team for the World Cup, not because I am fond of him – rather because I believe in his abilities, I know and you know that Sachin is not the Sachin that was. Nor is Saurav. On the top of the innings, Sehwag remains the only one who has the potential to break the back of the opponents, sometimes race away with the match on his own – yes, Uthappa has shown the sparks, but this is the biggest stage in cricket – and I would have preferred someone who has played a couple of hundred matches to someone who has played a couple of great innings. But look, what he has done now. With a total of 19 runs from two warm-up matches, how do I make a case for him now? Even I am beginning to doubt the idea now – continuing with Veeru may be almost insane now. To include Veeru in the team, either of Uthappa or Karthick has to make way – and these are the two guys who scored 100% of the runs yesterday, that too without getting dismissed.

My other bet was Irfan – the only genuine allrounder in the team. Did you watch him bowl yesterday? In spite of the fact that he got Brian Lara and two more top batsmen, he was all over the place. Just too many wides and no balls. On the other hand, Munaf was brilliant. He looked in complete control and his line and length was close to perfect. With Zaheer, Agarkar and Kumble, the other 3 bowlers on display all bowling well, how do I even think of including Pathan. The problem is that Irfan’s inclusion provides the team with a lot of flexibility – both the batting and bowling line-ups look longer and stronger. As a captain, his inclusion allows me that much more freedom in deciding on the rest of team. Alas!

Those twin disasters yesterday, I think overshadow the victory. I’d have happily traded off a good performance from Sehwag and Pathan for a loss – though, not the kind which we handed Lara’s men. That indeed would be a psychological disaster!


Homer said...

Its too late now anyways - all of these considerations should have happened at or before the team selection.

Now Rahul is saddled with the team he wanted - he can sink or swim with it

Amit Bajaj said...

am feeling a little sad for the guy..i was in complete agreement over him on both sehwag and pathan...Just that Sehwag has not resonded accordingly..anyways, if not Sehwag whom would have the selectors picked? Raina!!

Homer said...

maybe Raina would actually have been a better pick :)
But seriously, for all the talk ( and there has been plenty of that) by captain and coach, a look at the squad gives me a feeling of inadequacy- like it was cobbled up together more for brand recognition than actual cricketing form and skill.

Now the ball is in Rahuls court - it will be interesting to see how me manages to leverage his options given that Pathan and Sehwag are misfiring in their primary roles.

It will also be interesting to see the team selection and who gets dropped to accommodate whom.

Given all the contradictions within this team, and the different power centers, I wouldn't be too surprised if this team implodes when the pressure is really high ( the Super 8s).

The only real hope ( in my mind at least) is for that little fella from Bandra doing what he did in the last World Cup and the bowlers to bail us out!!

Amit Bajaj said...

i can see a lot of merit in your "falling for the brand" comment. Probably Rahul has..even i have. But then i have a post graduate diploma in brand management but Dravid might be ill-equipped!!

Anonymous said...

Hi amit

Care to add me to your blogroll.