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Saturday, August 6, 2011

You can't leak on the WALL always just because it never wails

The team list of India for T20 and ODIs for the ongoing England series is out. The team of 16 stands as: Dhoni (C & WK), Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Kohli, Raina, Rohit, Zaheer, Ashwin, Praveen, Munaf, Ishant, Vinay, Mishra and Parthiv (2nd WK). Yuvaraj and Harbhajan were left out due to injuries and poor form.

The selection that perhaps leaves everyone’s eyebrows arched and forehead creased is of Dravid. And that too, irrespective of his sublime form in both the tests played at Lords and Trent Bridge, respectively.

Why so? Here the reasons follow –

1. If sense and commonsense prevail, Gambhir and Sehwag will open. At No. 3, it should be Kohli. Then comes Tendulkar at No. 4. At No. 5, it’s either Raina or Rohit then comes Dhoni at No. 6 or 7. Thereafter it’s the bowlers who will chip in. So, where is the place for Dravid?

In case Kohli is dislodged from No. 3 position and being sent out to bat at No. 5, 6 or 7, it’s just not going to help India given Kohli’s nature of innings building where he loves to spend more time initially at the crease by just working the leather around. Honestly, unless there is a place for Dravid at No. 3 or as an opener there is no place for him in the team.

2. In England where the cherry always does a bit extra in the air and off the pitch, of course India won’t play with 8 batsmen and 3 bowlers. So the team composition would be either 7 batters and 4 bowlers or 6 batters and 5 bowlers.

If It’s 7 : 4 then the bowling department will have 3 pacers and a spinner. And Raina, Rohit and Kohli and may be even Sehwag have to share the ball among them to complete the 5th bowler’s quota.

In this context, needless to aver, since Dravid can’t bowl, he doesn’t stand anywhere.

Now, if it’s 6 : 5 – which is almost impossible to happen – then also Dravid has no chance to see himself in the playing eleven.

In that case, on what basis the selectors have decided to include Dravid in the squad? A BIG, BIG question!

If a player of Dravid’s stature is made to sit out in the shadow of dressing rooms or simply expected to tread in the field during a drinks break only, it’s not only an INSULT to him but also to the game of cricket, as well as to each and every Indian who’s one way or the other indebted to Dravid for his contribution to Indian cricket.

However, if the selection of Dravid is made to frustrate him to that extent reaching where he will tell on his own, “Enough! I quit,” like Sourav had already done then only I think this selection holds any merit. Else, it’s just rubbish!

Another fairytale of panic is filling up the air though so as to provide some meats on the bones of the selectors who made Dravid their chicken.

In the said team, if anyone is under the scanner or playing the panic button, is none other than Dhoni. That means we need to believe in the fact that with time Dhoni will be replaced by Dravid behind the wicket, right? If so, what Parthiv is to do next in England? Window shopping or paragliding?

As a matter of fact, even Parthiv’s inclusion is more than bizarre! When in the entire ODI series in West Indies, Parthiv could manage to play only one innings with authority besides scratching the ball here and there with his willow. So was his standard of keeping in the Caribbean Islands that’s never been above average.

Wriddhiman Saha, who’s a far better keeper than Parthiv on any given day, anytime, anywhere and can also bat quite handy, got dropped again despite he was very much in the test squad; already been acclimatized well to the English conditions; had fielded brilliantly – though not as a keeper – and also produced a fantastic run out at Trent Bridge.

But, for all his good efforts, he was thrown out of the squad for T20 and ODIs!

Also, not very sure what value Vinay Kumar will bring onto the table, even if he’s picked in the first eleven as an all-rounder who can bat. His utility can only be justified, if, at all, India go ahead with 6 batters and 5 bowlers. Otherwise, in a typical 7 batters and 4 bowlers format, Sreesanth has always been a better choice for the seaming and swinging conditions.

Overall, the team seems to be okay, quite in line with ‘safety-first’ formula and measure. But, with one BIG exception and that IS Dravid.

It’s actually agonising to know that since there is a WALL, the selectors (and the team management) simply walk up to it at their whims and will… and leak.

Frankly, it’s JUST NOT DONE!


Anonymous said...

Batting order: Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Dravid, Raina, Dhoni, 4 bowlers ...

mesushovan said...

Even then, Dravid at No. 5 has got no place. Because the 5th bowler's quota can't be completed by Kohli and Raina only. Since Sehwag might not risk to bowl after the injury. So Rohit is an automatic choice ahead of Dravid. And unless Sachin fires in the test series, not sure, how much good he can actualy do by opening the batting with Sehwag. Hence, it's better to let him play at No.4 where he can control the game with some runs already been on the scoreboard for India. In ODIs or T20, a left-hand, right-hand opening combination is always a bonus to have to disturb a bowler's line n length from the very outset, especially when the conditions favour swing n seam bowling. And, we must not forget that 'wide deliveries' can also bat and score runs in T20 and ODIs.