Beer, Chips and Cricket

This is a site about drinking beer, eating chips and thinking cricket. I am not a former player, a television commentaror or a journalist; my qualification to being worthy of hearing is that I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of chips and think a lot about cricket. The thoughts need not be politically correct and often include colourful language but there will be no deliberate bias towards any player, community or state. I don't care about popular opinion or perceptions and I speak it as I see it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Just before test team gets selected

If the Chuckster said it once, the Chuckster said it a hundred times. Sehwag down the order, Sehwag down the order ... that has been the Chuckster's call for well over an year now. Sighhh ... when will Greg Chappell start reading the Chuckster's blog?

See, it looks nice coz he scored runs and I fully agree that he needs to make runs "consistently" to make the Chuckster's point of his being more valuable down the order. For that we will just have to wait and see ... personally I think Sehwag won't be going back up soon unless either SRT or Gambhir misfires. SRT has been mis-firing in the past few ODIs and that is surprising coz he was really connecting well in the first two ODIs after his return from injury. Even in the last match against SA (the second ODI which India won), he charged down the wicket and tried to hammer it over mid on, but didn't really time it properly which enabled the fielder to jump and take the catch. While I am happy that the mindset change is still there (from no-stroke-wonder to attacking-srt-of-old), the results still have to come. I just hope these failure don't push him into a re-think of his strategy coz the strategy is very much sound ... the implementation isn't ... and I believe SRT is good enough to correct the implementation.

There was this funny article I saw - http://us.rediff.com/cricket/2005/nov/18nehra.htm?q=cp&file=.htm - where Nehra lauds Greg C while asking concessions for the "seniors" in the team at the same time. I feel he might have a hard time if he expects Greg C to give him special attention coz he is "senior" compared to the RP and Irfans in the team ... Nehra has always picked up wickets when he has played but in this team formed by Greg C and Dravid, just taking wickets or making runs alone doesn't count ... they r looking for a package where a person really doesn't have weak areas and a person is willing to commit himself to the discipline and effort demanded by the team management. Being senior is not going to be a major criteria in Nehra's selection or not. In that sense, I applaud Zaheer's approach to the problem ... he has been kicked out ... he has been calling attention to himself not through words but through actions on the field ... it will be very difficult for the selectors to ignore Zaheer ... and if Zaheer can lose some 5 KGs off his buttocks, even Greg C might not really want to ignore him.

With the Chennai ODI being washed out, the next ODI at Calcutta assumes a lot of significance coz the team that wins that one can't lose the series ... and that makes a lot of difference to the way they approach the last game. What a game it will be, with the crowd at Calcutta expected to be steamed up about Ganguly's ouster ... as of yesterday Dravid was named Test Captain too ... so irrespective of whether Ganguly makes it to the test team as a player or not, his captaincy days r over. What an irony ... the man who singlehandedly brought seeds of professionalism to the process of player selection, irrespective of region or state, is today getting his case pushed by ministers and cine artists of his state.

Yesterday on some channel, I watch as Rupa Ganguly (Draupadi of Mahabharat fame) spoke vehemently against the unfair treatment meted out to Sourav (with the best captaincy record, she didn't forget to add) and encouraged people to boycott the match. Sources close to Greg Chappell and Dravid reveal that they r now waiting for statements from Gajendra Chauhan(Yudhishtra of Mahabharat fame), Gufi Paintal (Shakuni mama) and Mukesh Khanna (Bheeshma pitamah ... and Shaktimaan) before deciding their strategy for the rest of the ODI series and tests ahead. Pah! Who gives a phuck anyway if Rupa Ganguly sees the match or not ... man, she has cheek even taking a stand on this one.

Anyway, on Dravid becoming captain, I feel it is imperative for India to move away from the Ganguly way of doing things in tests also. Ganguly's way was the best one when he took over ... he has had his successes and he deserves all the plaudits he got. Today that formula is old ... new players r coming up who r much tougher and better equipped in all forms of the game than existing players ... sure the existing players have the benefit of experience behind them but the new guys come with fresh talents which have to be harnessed. Uptil now the focus was on the ODI team coz we were playing so many ODIs ... but for those who say Greg C's charter is to make India win the world cup in 2007, I say this - it is Greg C's charter to make India play the best cricket possible till he is coach ... whether in ODIs or test ... and his tenure is till world cup 2007 ... his job is not to "only" work towards a world cup 2007 victory. In that sense, while the likes of Ganguly may creep into the team this time around (geez ... imagine Ganguly the player on merit in the Indian team ... as captain u couldn't kick him out anyway) it won't be long before he eithers delivers big time on a regular basis or gets kicked out yet again. Again delivering here doesn't really mean a fifty here and a fifty there ... lots of runs ... great fielding ... great commitment to team and fitness ... things which may be beyond Ganguly. Today Ganguly is out of the ODI team ... the day may not be far when we say goodbye to Ganguly the test player too. The sooner it happens, the less painful it might be!

There was this funny article about Kapil quotes - http://www.chennaionline.com/cricket/Features/2005/11news291.asp - ... for some reason, Kapil sees fit to comment on everything happening in Indian cricket and for some reason, the media prints it. He usually speaks like an idiot but in this article, comes up with a cracker. Don't beg, he says ... make runs. LOL ... in the same article, conforming to his usual standards, he makes a fool of himself when he asks something like "miss Sourav ... do people miss Sunil Gavaskar or Kapil Dev". LOL again ... I mean there is nothing wrong in that statement but the man is so full of himself ... why did he have to include his own name ... there is something called humility which makes for good sound-bytes [and no, when the Chuckster pats himself on the back in his blog, it ain't the same ... coz the Chuckster is a celebrity only in his own home ... unlike Kapil Dev]. In the same article (I read it in Deccan Chronicle ... but I don't see this part in other sites carrying the same story), he makes a statement which shows why even the greatest of them have to be kicked out unceremoniously ... they just don't have a clue ... he says something to the tune of "I myself could have played for 2 more years .... but the selectors have the final say ...". Seriously, I don't think there is any cricketer in India who doesn't feel he still has 2 more years of cricket left in him when he is finally given the boot ... in Kapil's case, the whole nation groaned with frustration as he crawled his way into the record books with a thought of "when will he finally get the damn record and get off our TV sets" ... and the guy is ready to torture people for another 2 more years. Sigh!!!

Whoooo ... even as I type this, Rediff says Ganguly is included in the test team. Might post later once I get more details.

Cheers

The Chuckster