The end of the road for Ganguly

The axe has finally fallen. After being removed from captaincy and being rested, Ganguly was pushed out of the one day team and made part of only the test team. And the selectors have decided to go for youth in selecting the squad for tests against England and dropped Ganguly.

I feel bad for Ganguly. For no apparent fault of his – everyone goes through a rough patch in form – ask Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, heck, Yuvraj – he was played around with as a political pawn. His godfather (Dalmiya) has basically caused his downfall. After the Pawar camp got control of the BCCI they made it a point to hit back at Dalmiya and what better way to do that than to dethrone the Prince of Kolkatta!

It is sickening. I mean, I don’t mind the current squad, but Ganguly did not deserve this treatment. I have been a Ganguly critic for a lot of the stuff he has done, mostly for his ‘favoritism’, but he did perform when needed. Instead of giving him the long run that he gave ‘his guys’ (Nehra, Zaheer, Bajji, Viru, etc.), he was embarrassingly thrown out of the captaincy, the odi team and now the test team.

Anyway, I won’t rant more. I have made my point – Ganguly’s dropping was incorrect, and it does not show any class. If the selectors wanted to throw him out, they should have asked him to step down and retire from international cricket. Or something other than dropping him. He could easily walk into this team.

As for the squad itself, why was Gambhir dropped again? What has Jaffer done to replace Gambhir? Or is the plan to continue opening with Dravid? I hope not.
Also, why continue with Harbajan?? It is ok to give other spinners a chance! Yes, he and Kumble have worked wonders on Indian pitches, but so has Ganguly. Drat, I had promised not go flip back to Ganguly, but I can’t help it! Anyway, there are other spinners who could and should be blooded, instead of continuing with Bajji, who clearly needs a boost in confidence and brain power.

Bottomline though, India as a team should pummel the Poms!

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22 thoughts on “The end of the road for Ganguly

  1. 1.gambhir is dropped Jaffer is in.2.It is never over until it is over.3.Would Ganguly be dropped had he score 140 insted of 30’s and 40’s.4.Harbhajan a class act.Pitches in Pakistan were appaling.finger spiners not given there due regard.Bhajji atleast for now seems of the boil :(Me too was thinking to post on similar lines.

  2. I dont remember Ganguly making wonders other than Brisbane and Hedingley. He is a pathetic test batsman who can not play short balls. I have been asking for his head for more than 3 years now.But definitely he is a wonderful ODI batsman. The right thing would have been to keep him in ODI squad and chuck him out of test squad. I thinks he is way better than Kaif who does nothing but fielding. That is no reason to keep him in side.-Ketan

  3. RPM says:

    @tarun:Gambhir should not have been dropped either, for almost the same reasons – he needs a longer ‘term’ to produce some form. I may be too old-fashioned in that regard, but I think a few matches don’t do much for a player, especially if they are on the bubble. Sure, Ganguly would not have been dropped if he had scored > 100. But still. Would dropping Sehwag be considered ‘ok’? Harbajan *was* a class act. Harbajan is a class act when he is in form. It has been a LONG time since he has been in form. He needs to be kept in mind, but not in the squad and certainly not in the XI, based on the current form. And as you said, he would not have been dropped if he had taken a 4-fer or a 5-fer. Nope, he did not.

  4. RPM says:

    @ketan: The media has essentially forced Ganguly out of the team. The constant microscopic analysis of his batting has created an avalanche and the selectors did not need any more motivation to dump him and they did. On paper, as a ‘normal’ player, he should not have been dropped. But he is ‘special’. So he is dropped.And that sucks!

  5. I wonder,Imagine Harbhajan having a ball with the ball against England, who don’t play spin well,will he be given the due credit of taking wickets against England.I dont think so we may just say “He took wickets cause England don’t play spin at all.”I hope he makes a decent comeback.

  6. RPM says:

    @tarun: I will be the first one to say that if he does get a bundle of wickets, it is because (apparently) England cannot play spin.This is a golden chance he is getting. If he flops in the first test for injury or otherwise, I think it is time to start calling for his axing.

  7. Ganguly suffered because he got entangled badly, into the politics of Indian cricket. But NOT innocently. If he had remained a mere puppet but not played a part, there could have been an issue to still consider him on merit. But he started playing politics of his own. With his tirade against Greg Chappell. And his attempts to create groups within the team (not when he was leading the team, but around the same time when his place was in danger – tried to get guys like Yuvi and Bhajji to come out in open support of him). That kind of politics is not required in the dressing room. I presume that once great friends, Dravid and he, would have fallen apart on this issue. Which result oriented captain would like a player in the dressing room, with a suspect agenda of his own? Some wrong choices of that kind have done him in. Which is not to say that politics does not exist. I am sure it does, and I am sure More and co. have a big role to play in his departure. As regards Jaffer, he has been in terrific form in domestic criket and needs to get a look in. Gambhir is certainly not gone, but this is the pressure on him. Perform – or face competition for the spot. Like you see in the pace bowler spots. Where are Nehra, Balaji and even Zaheer Khan today? Perform, or the likes of R P Singh, Sreesanth, VRV Singh and Munaf Patel, will grab your place..! Bhajji will be under pressure too. He has a big PR backup, so he sticks around, but one more series failure and you will see some changes there. Chawla is being blooded to serve as a backup for Kumble. Sounds exciting. Would be great if he manages to get a look-in, in the course of the series.

  8. RPM says:

    @SPM: I understand that Ganguly tried to take on the politician-administrators. And I agree, I think he failed there. As they say, when you are nearing your end, you will start losing your brains and will try anything to keep yourself from being eliminated. He started scrambling for help from within the team and tried to create a group against the new coach and stuff. Anyway, this dirt needs to get out of the way before WC 2007. As for the pressure, I think quick changes are not productive to the team. It creates unnecessary pressure on the players to perform with no margin for error. That creates some sort of instability and it is not good for the team. For example, now there is tremendous pressure on Jaffer as well as Gambhir. Jaffer needs to play in the first innings or the second, or else there will be a call for Gambhir to get back into the team. Nehra, Balaji and Zaheer are all on the horizon. Nehra was injured during the Pakistan tour. Balaji has been injured almost for a year now. Zaheer was in the one day team but he is not seen to be ‘fit’ for a 5-day game I guess. But they are not out of sight and out of mind yet.

  9. I think if youngsters are given a basic sense of comfort that they will be given a fair number of chances and thereafter, if they are dropped, they will still remain on the horizon, that is just about right. I think Gambhir was given a fair number of chances, and I think Jaffer needs to be given a few too. I don’t think Gambhir is gone and neither should the communication be to Jaffer, that _this is it_ – perform or perish. No, he will be given, at least this England tour to prove himself. And that way, we are creating genuine _options_ for the opener’s position. If Sehwag goest out of form or is injured, we have two experienced openers in place to take on the job, then.As regards likes of Balaji and Nehra, inspite of being on the horizon, they will find it extremely challenging to get back into the team, with so many youngsters doing a good job now..

  10. Objectively speaking, Ganguly only failed in the series when Pakistan visited India last year. He is a much better ODI batsman than a test batsman. He passed handsomely where genius Sachin failed – the captaincy. This is no way to treat your most successful captain. Neither that nor 15000 int cricket runs were scored by Dalmiya.

  11. RPM says:

    @SPM: Now you are talking idealistic stuff. Who is the person who goes and gives those comforting words to the youngsters? Dravid? Chappell? Remember, they don’t select the team. The selectors select the team. How many times have selectors actually talked to the players they pick or drop? That ain’t gonna happen unless the selectors become salaried employees and therefore become accountable. If they are asked to provide some statistics based on which they make their decisions, it will make it a lost easier for everyone. That is not happening today and the whims of the selectors unfortunately end up ruining careers.

  12. RPM says:

    @Hiren: I am not sure if we should even be talking about ODI vs Tests for Ganguly. He has not done anything spectacular in recent past, nor has he flopped tremendously (at least relative to the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj, etc.) in the recent past. In either form of the game. So the point is, why drop him and not let Yuvraj sit out till Ganguly is ground to dust?

  13. One can always disagree with the selectors. But as far as I can see, at least in the recent past, and at the very top level, there are few things that you would claim to have been shocking.. including Ganguly’s dropping. There can always be few spots that can go either way, but its not like someone in top form is shown the door, or someone completely undeserving is brought in, from the blue. So I will not blame the selectors so much. The Ganguly episode is also partly form, and partly political, which is a special case, considering the Dalmiya-Pawar love affair. On the other hand, I am sure that at a lower level, there may be many careers getting destroyed due to partisan selection. What we saw in Iqbal was not a figment of someone’s imagination, I would reckon. Disagreement with your selctors is not unique to India or South Asia. I was shocked to see Damien Martyn getting dropped sometime back. I think he is awesome talent. Likewise Kasprowich was in the best form, but they kept putting him behind McGrath, Lee and Gillespie..!

  14. RPM says:

    @SPM: I am not blaming the selectors for dropping someone. Remember, the point I was trying to make it people get dropped left and right without being given enough chances to prove their worth. And you said that the youngsters would be told that they are still in contention and such. The question is who does this part?

  15. The selectors probably do it. Or the captain does it – by confirming that he is going to back them up for further chances, and he does have a say in selection, irrepective of the votes that he has. He attends selection meetings and he certainly puts his views and he can insist on some of these things. And I am sure the committee listens to his views..! We all know that Saurav used to back his young chaps, and Dravid should be doing the same too.. why not?!

  16. RPM says:

    This was what I read about Ganguly on a tour last year or the year before that. I don’t think things have changed that dramatically. Not yet.

  17. Can’t imagine guys like Chappell and Dravid stand up to such dictatorship from selectors. Need to have a hunch about people and whatever indications one can sense about these chaps – you can be sure that they play a role in shaping the team’s future, especially leading upto WC 2007.BTW, we have a England A team virtually now, what with injuries and ‘personal reasons’ taking away so many of the guys!! I say, 3-4 days test matches will be the order of the day.. you know who will win, of course!

  18. RPM says:

    @SPM: The victories won’t be as satisfying, because the Pommies are going to whine about how they were not ‘full strength’.

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