Gangs as opener
Firstly my stand - I think Ganguly being kicked out of the team was just and proper. I think today's focussed and determined Ganguly is simply coz his ass got kicked out and if he had been captain for the past year or so as he was for the past five, he (as a player) would have been pathetic today.
BUT ... as things happen so strangely when a certain Sourav Ganguly is concerned, he made good in SA ... and at the same time, seems to have planted himself squarely in the opener's slot for the ODIs.
See, Sehwag as an ODI opener was never on ... u just have to see his career stats to see that in the ODI game, he has never even been close to playing "great" innings which he could justificably claim in the test arena. A career average of 32 odd ... hell, Gangs at his peak was around 45 ... and when we talk averages, this difference is H-U-G-E.
Breaking the Ganguly / Tendulkar opening combo was probably what started the downslide for Ganguly as a batsman. Sure, the thought behind it was good ... to get one of the SRT / SCG guys into the middle order to bolster it ... while Viru makes merry up top. Sadly, neither did SRT / SCG succeed in the middle order, nor did Viru up top. Gangs, who has had a knack for his hunches coming off, should have also have learnt one important lesson - learn to back off when something don't work.
Anyways, Gangs is back ... more so because of the young turks failing than his having done something great in the domestic circuit. However, seeing his SA peformance, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ganguly proves equally proficient at getting his groove back in the ODIs. Dunno if he will still be able to come down the wicket and spank the fast bowlers over the top ... but hey, with Ganguly I can believer anything and everything.
Here is to u, Gangs dost .... on song, u were India's best ODI bat ... here is hoping u re-create the magic.
As for SRT moving down, I really don't know if that is necessary. Yes, Robin Uthappa has done well in the domestics, but with 8 matches before the world cup, can be really make a spot his own? If he fails, then what? Sehwag again? Or SRT up top again? The way I see it - the credentials of SRT and Gangs as openers r not in question at all ... they would have been a safer combo to go in with so close to the world cup ... unlike Sehwag who is good for a quick 30 and not much besides that, both these guys have the capability to play big innings (note - here I do refer to the past ... today, whether either SRT or SCG can play the big hundreds is a question mark). Assuming Yuveraj comes back from injury, he will surely take one slot ... compared to the Rainas / Mongias / Kaifs, I definitely have more trust in a 85% fit Yuvi than a 100% fit others. Dravid at 5 would always be my favorite coz during the Gangs regime, he showed us all how good he was at that position.
The Uthappas and the Gambhirs can be played ... but the opening could make or break us ... I really would like to see a SRT / SCG combo coming out. From reports in the media, I doubt if that will happen.
Pssst ... u know what I really am scared of? If Uthappa and not Sehwag goes in as opener for the world cup, Gavaskar will have a field day cribbing whenever Uthappa fails (as he inevitably must, even if he does well ... hell, everyone fails sometime). He will make comments like "You have Sachin Tendulkar who has 14000 ODI runs and 37 centuries and who has opened successfully for India in countless number of matches ... and yet, a Robin Uthappa who makes a couple of tons in domestic cricket replaces him as the opener ... I cannot understand this logic ... blah blah blah blah". Of course, he will be much more muted if Sehwag is opening alongside Ganguly coz irrespective of the Chuckster's opinion of Sehwag as an ODI opener, at least the world seems to consider him an "explosive opener who can take the match away from the opposition if he clicks". Sunny can't carp too much about him as he could about Uthapppa.
Anyways ... take care, guys!