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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Good Enough England win the Ashes

"When we are bad, we are very bad but when we are good, we are good enough".
England captain Andrew Strauss aptly summed up in the post-match interview at the Oval how England won the Ashes despite Australia scoring more centuries and taking more wickets in the series. Twice his team was good enough to win the match, once they were good enough to hold on to a draw and in the fourth test when they were bad, they were really bad!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rahul Dravid makes an ODI comeback

When Rahul Dravid's name was announced in the list of probables a couple of months back for the Champions Trophy, it almost made it certain that he would make it to the final squad. Were the selectors not to be serious about considering him for the final India Team they wouldn't have bothered to take this risk - or as some critics may say, take this backward step. Now that Dravid has indeed been selected for both the ODI squads - the Champions Trophy as well as the Champions Trophy, I would like to congratulate the selectors for making a wise decision.
For many years now, India's selectors have made too much of a fuss over the age of a cricketer, and the selectors always seem to have been worried about getting the team right for the next World Cup rather than for the immediate requirement, as if all the cricket that is played in the four years between two World Cups doesn't matter, and they are all practise matches leading up to the championship. I can understand a few new guys being blooded six to seven months before the World Cup and that too if it appears that the team is facing a certain weakness in or more departments. But dropping players who should be sure selections to make way for risky newcomers doesn't make any sense. Over time, some players drop form, get injured or need rest for some or the other reason and new players automatically make it - organically. Those who show promise will continue to be fielded and some of them will eventually become regulars. The not so good will fade out. This is a natural process, and unless there is an emergency requirement, I don't see much reason or merit in forcing something. Rarely has this strategy paid dividends in this past. Let's hope that Dravid's inclusion will set a right precedent for the selectors of the future. That the selections to represent India will be on the basis of merit and merit alone. If someone is 40, and still good, great!