My heart totally goes out to Ganguly.
This is no way to send off the most successful captain. His 40 and 39 weren’t great knocks, but they were pretty adequate given the batting position assigned to him, that requires him to drop anchor. He was only doing the job of a middle order batsman: To hang in there protecting the lower order from the bowlers and giving the batsman in form the charge.
I’m not exactly a Ganguly fan, though I did make a case for him earlier when he was sacked for inconsistency, saying that sport is played through emotions. It’s best enjoyed when you see players ruled by their heart having a blast. I hate to see an emotional side like India turn into a cold-hearted winning machine because a machine does not have a heart. It’s programmed. Sport aint about winning, it’s about character.
The sort of character Ganguly displayed when he removed his shirt … that was like him taking Flintoff’s pants off. The sort of character Venkatesh Prasad showed by striking timber after being hit for a six, showing the batsman the way back to the pavilion. The sort of character Courtney Walsh presented, without running the runner-out-of-his-crease out. The sort of character Dhoni demonstrated in his record innings of 183, blasting his way to the second highest score by an Indian… or Sehwag’s rule-breaking triple hundred or Lara’s batting flamboyance.
None of these unforgettable moments in sport were instances of classic science and applied formula. They were all feats of sportsmen playing their heart out.
The new team India is moving away from what has been the quintessential element of sport: Instinct.
The focus is on developing a standardised winning machine and importance of human and personal relationships seem to be taking a backseat.
People don’t seem to matter anymore. Nor does talent. It’s become like the military, where you train the soldier for war, standardise him, strip him of his individuality and make him wear the uniform that the coach wants him to. Incidentally, Chappell was raised in a military family.
Today, the team is a unit under command and players are kept on a leash. Players merely take orders from the boss/bosses. And cricket is becoming like a routine nine-to-five job with deadlines and targets. Players become soldiers on a mission to win.
So Pathan, with all due credit to his batting abilities, becomes the suicide bomber sent out right at the top order, Ganguly becomes an all-rounder, Dhoni is sent in at all possible slots, Yuvraj has a sword hanging over his head and Gambhir has coach Chappell’s hand over his.
The idea is flexibility, we hear. There lies the contradiction in the approach. Flexibility only makes for unpredictability, not for scientific strategising.
Though it might work for you initially, it’s just a matter of time before the opposition knows you’re gonna send a bowler in at No.3 or give Dhoni the ball at the bowler’s end. The shock value would ultimately wear out.
Also, let’s not forget that we’re just playing at home under favourable conditions. Flexibility here does not prove anything and on the contrary might prove to be misleading. Send in a pinch hitter at No.3 in South Africa or Australia and it might have disastrous results.
You cannot design a winning machine and a batting order that’s based on the same principle as lottery. Preparing your team for surprises is one thing and letting a player settle and specialise in a specific slot that suits his individual style is another. If you really wanted to play scientifically with a specialist for each position (as the selectors now pretend as they ask for a specialist opener), then you don’t mess around with the batting order under the pretext of flexibility.
The team management is doing well hiding behind the ‘Flexibility’ strategy, aided well with some promising batting by Pathan, Yuvraj and Dhoni but didn’t these guys always perform well, even when Ganguly was captain? Scrape the surface and you can see a team ruled by the whims and fancies of a megalomaniac coach.
A man who has the audacity to show the finger to the people of a country he’s come to serve (Can you imagine this happening in any other part of the world and the foreign national not losing his job?). A man with a grudge against the former captain. A man who knows to manipulate the clowns crowned as selectors — the failed cricketers who have their own scores to settle with the captain, their own agendas to push.
I don’t want to see Ganguly as captain again, now that Dravid is comfortably settled in the job and doing a pretty neat job of it but the least Indian cricket can offer its most successful captain is a decent exit. But there is a need to handle people with more sensitivity and understanding. Where is the happy Indian huddle?
Dravid is surely maturing into a fine captain, but I hate the coldness in his words when he says it’s a happy problem to choose between Yuvraj and Ganguly. Surely, that’s not how a captain backs his players. Pathan, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Dravid himself were all players Ganguly backed and stood behind: rock solid. True he has had problems with VVS Laxman but then again, Laxman hasn’t been the most consistent of batsmen either. (You can test that statement and compare his performance with Sourav’s own here.)
‘Divide and Rule’ has been one of the oldest strategies employed by the white man. Pity, we are falling for it all over again.
There’s something that’s pure and virginal about sport that is turning into a manufactured assembly-line ritual with military discipline. Now, it has become serious work.
All work and no play.
At this juncture, I find most apt, the words with which fictional sports agent Jerry Maguire signs off his mission statement — what his mentor Dicky Fox once told him: “The secret to this job is personal relationships.”
I had sent in an e-mail nd IM to ur yahoo ads. Would extremely appreciate a response from you.
Suddie..well, you’ve raised an issue now. And raised it well(that was smart writing). But not fully correct. Where is the happy Indian huddle, you ask. Do u know why it was started by Ganguly? To instil team spirit, to boost the boys, to make them participate..but above all this, to win. Dictionary says “sport is competing against another” … and winning, aint it? Just temme this: why do we all get SO upset when India loses? Maybe they showed “instinct” but they lost the damn match — that’s why, rite.
Having said that, I completely agree with you that this is no way to send off Dada.
‘Divide and Rule’ has been one of the oldest strategies employed by the white man. Pity, we are falling for it all over again.
Suderman, are you going to fall into the obvious trap and blame and Chappell for all this? Or are you going step gingerly around it? Haven’t read the complete post, but this line screamed at me…will go read now…
Suderman: Yes you are.. But why have you chosen to gloss over what the white man claims? I am not justifying Chappell here. While I will say that Chappell has been injudicious with his actions, I won’t absolve Gangs completely. Some of his actions in Zimbabwe and even now (like the fact that he seems to have decided to skip the ONLY match that he can play between now and the Pakistan tour selection meeting) are pretty childish. And I am not surprised that no one from the team, the likes of Sachin and Dravid, are silent now. I have read, quoted in various sources, that Gangs and Dravid had a big fallout after Gangs pulled out from the Nagpur test and though Wright engineered a patch up, i think that has still been simmering. Vaise, I don’t think Dravid is a backstabber. He seems to be too much of a straight talker to be categorized that. As for the parliment dicussions and the kolkata protesters, like Peter Roebuck has said in an esteemed newspaper that I read everyday, we jump up and down like immature kids when we could sit and throw our strength behind Gangs’s replacement, i.e. Yuvraj. We did not do this when Robin Singh was shown the door, in the same manner and we know he was a much better fielder when he was atleast a couple of years older than the Gangs of today. So why now? We did not do it when Chopra was dropped, under similar circumstances, when he had done everything that was asked. Chopra’s record was not the best ever, but it was not the most abysmal either. In a way, his 30s and the 40s came with Sehwag blazing at the other end. In other words, I would put him the “adequate” category, the same that you have placed Gangs in.
As for flexibility, I agree with Dravid and Chappell when they say that its not experimental. They did not send Agarkar out to open. They sent Pathan, who, IMHO has been the best 6 down or under batsman to have played for India in the past decade. I saw this in him when Australia was in India last year, when he, Patel and Kaif seemed to be the only ones with a spine to boast of. But again, I have to agree when you say that we are playing in the subcontinent. Totally agree that overseas might be a different ball game. But I am very very confident that the likes of Pathan will not be found lacking.
The problem that I see in your post is that you seem to accuse Chappell of the same crime that Gangs has been accused of, i.e. dividing the dressing room. I don’t know who’s the villian, but I certainly won’t go the way of painting Chappell as the stereotypical white baddie out to loot the country. That’s a thing of the past, best left confined to the likes of movies like Mr.India!
[Sorry for the long comment. Felt I had to reply. For the first time, I thought today that you are not making sense to me. No offense, that’s what I feel]
mail me at madeinmadras [at] gmail.
didnt get any mail in yahoo probably cuz my id is not dot com but dot co dot in.
oops, ive never read the dictionary… my fault. 😛
im honoured and touched that in spite of deeming it “not correct” with your vast expertise and knowledge, you find my writing smart.
anyways, the point is not about whether we get upset or not, the point is about sport being all about the fight and the competition… the game itself and not merely the end-result. its like the chasing goals in life as a journey and or as the destination analogy. cuz we know its destination death. death, defeat will happen… its the quintessential trait of mortality.
if you wanna psychoanalyse reactions to defeat, think why do we feel less upset when we lose honourably or when we lose to a team that played better?
besides, we feel much more happier when the team makes a comeback and rise from the ashes… because there is no glory without struggle, no sweet without the sour… we need the defeats to remind us we are human and learn to accept it as part of life, as part of sport.
let the better team win, lets keep the game where it should be: at the wicket. and not like this: off the field.
and since you are so fond of the dictionary, i heard (cuz I obviously have not read it, right?) that the definition of the word sport does not talk about it being all about a result. it’s about activity involving physical exertion and skill in which a team or individual competes against another, it also happens to be a mass noun that once meant entertainment and fun. it also is used informally to describe a person who behaves in a good or specified way in response to teasing, defeat or a similarly trying situation, it also means wear or display and happens to mean: play in a lively, energetic way…
But what do I know? 😛
no problem at all, dude!
u dont make sense to me either… 🙂
doesnt make sense to reply cuz ive sort replied to all that u’ve typed in the post itself.
I agree ganguly merited a decent exit although i feel he doesnt merit a place in the side. He shldnt have on the first place be picked for the tests, picking and dropping shows Indian Cricket can never rise above politics and we will never be world beaters. Sad story for the most passionate fans any country can get.
Regarding greg showing the finger, It is decent but what the kolkata public did that was sickening, they deserved it!
I actually meant greg showing the figure as indecent, it is not even a typo but donno what i was thinking when i was typing the comment! But i still feel whatever he did was nothing wrong!
the post wasnt really as much about ganguly’s exit or whether he deserved a place as much as it was about sport becoming mechanical.
as for your belief, we don’t always have to agree, do we?
Well wasnt ur crux the ganguly issue ‘cos he was uncermoniously dumped! Regarding the emotional and mechanical stuff i dont quite agree! And regarding belief’s yea we need not agree!
Move over… Ganguly fans. We don’t want a guy who can perform only when his position in the team is critical.
sequel to ganguly’s expulsion–dravid fell ill.:)
sharad has shown jagmohan paruppu-miya who a mumbaikar is.the induction of wasim jaffer is what is considered politics.sharad may disapprove of this but such things happen in politics.rightly said–arasiyal-la idhellam sagajamappa.
Im reminded of a scene from the same film where Dicky Fox says
Dicky Fox: If this
[points to heart]
Dicky Fox: is empty, this
[points to head]
Dicky Fox: doesn’t matter.
My support to Ganguly
did u say “We”… i didnt know selectors read this blog… anyway, what i want to ask u guys doing the job is: why didya pick him in the first place then, jokers?
dravid is a nice guy. i dont have anythign against him… he’s been the most consistent performer and probably deserves the captaincy. i just dont like the tone with which he talks these days… very cold.
and u’re absolutely rite about the politics… but then ganguly has gained from such politics in the past too when dalmiya was around. zone politics and indian cricket have co-existed for a long time now… which is also why they get an outsider of a coach, so that he does not have any bias towards any specific zone…
exactly what I mean. thanks!
“We did not do this when Robin Singh was shown the door, in the same manner and we know he was a much better fielder when he was atleast a couple of years older than the Gangs of today. So why now?”
my heart went out to robin singh as well… and a lot of people did raise that issue too but unfortunately for robin, he made too late an entry into the team to win over people like ganguly has. and u serious abt comparing ganguly with chopra? chopra who?
anyways, like i told prasanna, we dont have to always agree.
cheers man! 🙂
in tht case we should have non-indian selectors.
we raise a hue and cry over the expulsion of one player.what would it be like,in australia,where a daring batsman like michael clarke gets axed?
glad u dont find the solution to be: non indian players! 🙂
anyway, the point aint abt mere expulsion here.
Well Suder maan! All of at BCCI follow this thread, you voice the public opinion (yea rite) I took my position in the BCCI only a month back. If I had been there 10 years back, I wouldnt have picked Ganguly.
and thank god for that!
ganguly needs to take up anger management seriously!! actually his fans need to too!
i;ve been following ur blog for quite sometime now. just tot i’ll drop in wid a msg. i’m a chennai based rap artist. in fact the only active one in our singara chennai. if u belive in freedom of speech, pl check out my blog http://navinvarma.blogspot.com n lemme know wat u think of it. would sure be helpful if i had an “expert” critic’ opinion
are you trying to say that a red carpet golden handshake send off would have been better for ganguly than the new indian way of get the f’ out ?
Best solution take both of them out : Chapell and Ganguly and then Select a new coach and see if he wants Ganguly back (probably not Suderman) cos his heart goes out for Ganguly. Proabably not anti too cos his head says no more Ganguly…actually even before Ganguly was out in the first place there was this silent cry by the Indian cricket fans and fanatics that why is Ganguly still captain or in the team…what the heck is he doing…where is his form?(before the Zimbabwe incident) Those are all the emotions of an angry fan ( their blood boils when they used to see the Captain of India getting out so easily) but well yes Ganguly was given second chance and he was foolish enough to take it…pride goes for a fall here…now he is out again…there is this divide on people who want ganguly back and people who don’t…I am very much impressed by anti’s comment than your post on Ganguly…well actually you did not have a blog when Robin Singh was taken out….As much as you try to defend Ganguly with pity its not going to help him I guess…I think Ganguly’s life is the recent hot news everywhere in India…paavam da avan…why rip him apart more…there are gonna be more comments against him…there are websites which started against the Indain captain…He will also have a new record now…the most searched Indian Captain in the internet. You news hungry people…how can one guys sad story become your entertainment?…Well who are we to judge? When cricket starts to be associated with movies only then the audience wants an ending which they like….Just because it is telecasted in screens it does not become a movie. Its still a game…and yes politics has always consumed players like him… Let the best team win…let the best player play…let the underdogs perform…but you put your microscope down and cool down your hero worship and be ready for happy or sad endings…thats cricket for a fan…clapping in the ground…I am sure someone is gonna make a Gladiator type movie with Ganguly later…
The bcci doesnt believe in god. We only believe in dravid and ur movie reviews 😛
cricket is sport.
chess on the other hand is a game.
sport is about show of emotion.
thats the difference im talking about.
yeah… that wudda been cool.
ena sola try panrae? can u pliss repeat ur comment in simple words?
cuz i read it 3 times.. very garbled it is but for the portion where u said u were impressed by anti…
first, i dont understand why was Ganguly “foolish enuf” to take the second chance? second, are u saying his performance in that chance merited (!) a sacking?? did u even watch the match?
and u must be kidding urself if you thot i care about how many people abuse ganguly and how many begin support him. cuz my friend, this aint a support ganguly campaign.
this is about the game losing its sanctity and the importance of personal relationships… when a player gets dropped or picked for reasons apart from performance, it is a cause of worry.
no wonder why they are called a buncha jokers! he he!
Did I forget to add, we dont take your comments seriously after what you did to shonali and the iit girl and numorous other poor things…
That was a really well-written article.I agree with you(although bot being a Ganguly fan) that One of the sport’s greatest captains deserved a decent exit. First thing choosing him for test matches when he has been cleary better in ODI’s made no sense and once selected, at least they should have allowed him to play all the three tests. Chappel’s comments of Ganguly not settling in the dressing room is a lame excuse! Even if it IS true, its quite natural for someone who’s jus neen stripped off an honourable position to take some time to settle down to mundane life.. Wat say Suderman? Konjam over-a react pannitteno??? 😀
I’ll take it that you are kidding. May be ganguly needs time to settle down after being stripped off an honourable position.
But then I guess u are under the influence of ganguly partially stripping a couple of years back in the stadium after winning a match.
being a big DADA fan ….i was really unhappy the way the selectors handled the situation …….
but i believe there is still
something left in the prince …
who was one called by the now indian captian DRAVID ” on the off side there is first GOD and then GANGULY “
u’re trying hard for a comeback now. so just chill. 🙂
absolutely… like anti pointed out, robin singh was shown the way in the same way…
whether there is something left or not is a call we can take by giving a person a fair chance.. say a coupla tours. and going by the last two innings he played under tremendous pressure he did a pretty neat job with his forties.
sud..hep..nop..u..dum..heck I will shut up…
whatever it is mama, I think too much importance given to the issue when Robins issue was not given even a wee bit of importance…so overall nee enna solla vara? that history should not repeat? It has already been done…I am not a dada fan or a dada hater…I used to enjoy the jokes on him though…(now they dont sound that funny) media attention has brought to his downfall more…he started it anyway…so as of now you are supporting sports for heart…selectors cant just look for heart illiya..iqbaal paathutu affect ayikira machaan nee…
So last comment you said when a player gets dropped or picked up for reasons other than performance – we have to worry…
what is performance by the way –
just 1 match?
ganguly was picked for the wrong reasons in the past (cos he was dada ) even when his performance was not that good – and he is being dropped for the wrong reason now which is true…I don’t have to see the match…I do believe you when you say he played well..but overall avan record avlo nalla illa machee…test match nalla adraan…pressure handle panraan…all correct…but when it comes to selection just saying all heart and no head…does not sound logical machaan…we were all heart in last world cup…eventually head wins..so well did the Australians not win?
Victories thru the heart are enjoyable as you say…but is victory not that important?…emotional quotient is needed in a game but should it surpass victory of a team itself…I would prefer a proper mix too…I would certainly enjoy Indian cricketers getting emotional after they win the match and trying to dance or showing the finger or whatever it is…but I think a victory is needed even before doing that…otherwise it will be like we gave a hard fight but lost..who wants that?
its fanatical to think sport is only about victory. there’s more to sport than victory. also, it is stooopid to assume australians symbolise “head”… i see them as aggressive cricketers who are all heart. in case u forgot, steve and taylor got a chance to exit with dignity, leave with their heads high.
And, winning aint everything. sport is about the fight, the heart of the battle cuz going by only victories every team apart from Australia is fulla losers…
it is obviously stooopid to pick a player and drop him after a decent performance. doing that to a senior cricketer like ganguly is short of insult. why pick him in the first place? its even more foolish to commit another mistake (dropping him after a decent performance) after one mistake (of picking him for an allrounder) and you arent making a case for your sanity or intelligence supporting such foolishness.
yday it was robin singh, today it is ganguly… at some point people need to wake up to the ethics of the game. not supporting robin is no reason to justify not supporting ganguly. when u have a chance to speak up for a cause, speak up.. not keep shut cuz u never supported anyone before.
Sport is not run by the military. players are not soldiers. they have their individual personas. sport isnt war. wake up.
You are free to hold on to ur 3-legged rabbit but i dont want it in my space anymore cuz it is quite frustrating to repeat myself even if u enjoy repeating ur garbled “arguments”.