Nov 10, 2006
While browsing through an the online newspapers on India, I came across the article on
Ganguly being considered for a position in the Indian cricket "due to his marked form in the
domestic series, as well as the disappointing form of the current team setup".
Normally I would have dismissed the article as a mere attempt by the West Bengal Board of cricket to bring back their prince, but after Team India's recent form in the Champion's trophy, I'm rather inclined (with a slight queasy feeling) towards bringing him back.
Never been a huge fan of Ganguly. I always felt a number of his hundreds were flukes (dropped catches, bad teams etc.), but, to his credit, he does have a handy repertoire of shots. When he pulls it off, it looks good. The real test though, would have to be his (and I guess, any other ODI player's) real test would have to be his performance against the Aussies. I pulled out the stats from the StatGuru section from www.cricinfo.com for analysis:
Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St
unfiltered 279 10123 183 40.65 22 60 93 5/16 37.31 2 96 0
filtered 30 647 100 22.31 1 4 7 3/41 46.42 0 12 0
for India 30 647 100 22.31 1 4 7 3/41 46.42 0 12 0
Australia 30 647 100 22.31 1 4 7 3/41 46.42 0 12 0
In other words, an average of 22.31 against Aus vs 40.65 against all teams.
The hundred was in a VB series match in Australia in 2000 where India lost the match chasing a total.
So a rash player, in serendipitous form, with a apparent negative influence on other players of the team (according to Chappell). Does Team India really need a player like that?
I hate to say this, but I think they do. The current team setup is lacking an experience left-handed batsman with a bit of attitude. Now would be a real good time to bring him in, as there won't too much pressure on his ability to bat. The pressure would rather on the rest of the players and coach of the team. Hopefully he won't hash it by blocking 40 balls without scoring a run (like he did in his last test match against Zimbabwe).
Hopefully this will be the last chop-n-change exercise on the team. Time is rapidly running out on the team of selector's attempts at finding that star new player for the team, and I believe they should rather focus on correcting glaring errors in the current team, and prepping them for the matches in the WC next year.
I also feel we aren't seeing any of that 'risky' cricket. Dravid's captaincy is solid, and dependable; but I can't see some of his tactics pulling through against the might of a strong team like Australia. I was impressed by Brian Lara's captaincy at the ICC championship. The manner in which they approached the last game was truly courageous, and I believe they could have pulled if off, if it weren't for some slacking at the 2nd half of the WI innings.
I also believe that this is how a match can be won against Australia - by keeping a foot on the pedal at all times, thereby controlling the flow of the game, and ensuring that the opposition
always keeps trying to enter the game. The incredible SA-Aus game at the Wanderers was an excellent depiction of such a tactic. The Aussies really looked out of it that day; or rather, were never allowed to command the game like they're used to doing. The game is still one of my favorite of all.
England's defense of the Ashes this year is gonna be pretty interesting. Looking forward to some good cricket when India comes over here next week. I plan to attend the first ODI at the Wanderers. Look out for a bunch of 40-odd rowdy, ill-dressed Indian supporters on the grass embankment furiously waving placards with Malayalam swear-words.... ;)