Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Somebody close the door on that joker

After all the hoo-ha, all the cave-ins and compromises, it is amusing to see Kiran More take the high moral ground. When he was pressurised to pick Sourav Ganguly in the test side, first for the series against Sri Lanka and then, after much hand wringing on all sides , for the Pakistan tour, More took it all in his stride. One suspects the job was too important for him, and that all the pressurising, however difficult, was just an occupational hazard. Indeed it has been in the case, for as long as one can remember, in the annals of Indian cricket. The only surprise is all this happened when our cricketing institutions were acquiring a semblance of civility, even if transparency continues to elude them. Monsieur More has just followed precedent, no matter how visionary he is or claims to be in his team selection. Getting back to the issue, should the door be closed on Ganguly? It seems that is exactly what the selectors wanted to do when they first dropped him. Considering he's not getting younger, it may not be entirely unjustified, but what if he has an extraordinary domestic season? Unless there are deeper reasons (attitude to fitness or discipline for example), there is no cricketing reason why the door should be closed (on any proven performer). With all his weaknesses, real and perceived, against fast bowling, Ganguly still managed to be extremely successful, especially in one-day cricket. So should he not be treated as a player that India can call upon and utilise the services of in the next world cup? After all, it is the team that matters, doesn't it? On the other hand, I'm all for closing the door on Ajit Agarkar :) I'm only half-joking, he did perform very well in the one-dayers against Sri Lanka and South Africa. - NK


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