12 January 2008

The long rope

How do you deal with someone like Yuvraj? Or Afridi or Sehwag? Even Gibbs and Gayle. These players have promised so much at several points in their careers, threatening to need just to turn up to become a legend of the game, but never delivered consistently enough to merit that badge. So much so that at several other points in their careers, they are accused of blocking another cricketer's spot in the national team. Are there any managment dicta that work with such players? At what point does the managment say, yes you have shown us that there is promise and we know you can stop bullets and we have persisted with you, but increasingly we get the feeling that you may not necessarily be the One, the Oracle was on crack most of the the time, and Morpheus should have been in a staitjacket - also there is a must-win match in four days, so please if you could make it easier for us and get injured or something...

These players make captains age faster than a racism hearing. The teams have invested a lot of faith in them and carried them around the globe for close to ten years. And when carrying such a player starts to hurt the team when they should have been at the peak of their careers, it casts doubt on the foundations and future of the team. When the Fab4 leave, are we going to rely on Yuvraj for solidity in the middle?

How long is a long rope?


Viswanathan said...

Yuvi in comparison to Afridi, Sehwag,Gibbs and Gayle is yet to prove himself(Tests).

However, your question is interesting from a management point of view.

I take the easy way out and say it depends on the manager or the Captain.

It is their call.

Interestingly, you left out another maverick, a personal favorite of mine, Srikkanth - atleast Yuvi and the others fail often, Cheeka was mad.

However if I am not mistaken Gavaskar managed to harness his talent.

There could be a precedent there.

What do you say?

Soulberry said...

but never delivered consistently enough to merit that ...

I'm not sure Sehwag fits the bill though...I mean, Sehwag the test player, if that's what we are talking about, John.

After Hayden, he must be the only active opener in the world with an average touching fifty after 25 test matches...let's forget Phil Jacques for the moment..he hasn't as many test matches under his belt.

Sehwag the one-day player has long overlapped the test player...I thought, often unnecessarily and unfortunately.

John said...

The point remains Soulberry that if he had been as good as Hayden, he would not have found it this difficult to make it back to the team. No one would have had to propel him above the claims of Gambhir and Chopra.

Ott, my earliest cricket watching memory is that of getting up really early in the mornings to watch Inzy thrash NZ in the '92 semis. Cheeka did not acquit himself very will in that tournament which was his last, I believe.

The point is that all the players I have mentioned have been touted as saviours and messiahs. All of them have also been accused of being given too long a rope. Question is, is there a cut-and-dried strategy in determining when to drop and when to encourage such 'promise'

Soulberry said...

The point remains Soulberry that if he had been as good as Hayden, he would not have found it this difficult to make it back to the team. No one would have had to propel him above the claims of

It's a strange world John.

An average of 50 over as many tests is propelled above? You take a point in time John and not what leads up to it. And as far as Hayden is concerned, he struggled to get in and when he was misfiring prior to his first Indian tour...Australia kept the faith...and the results are there to see.

It's very different in India where the team is merely a cupboard for regional and nepotical interests...and which became worse when there were stupid people in charge like GC and More. To first drop him when he shouldn't have been. Yeah you can support every other player you want through six, seven,eight, fifteen poor innings, but can't support your best opening bat through one tour..India doesn't deserve Sehwag. One can even make room to accomodate a half-baked test player or two but it is tragic that India doesn't support one it should have. In fact, that time they went out of the way to pressurize him with all the mumbo-jumbo off field antics after his NDTV interview supporting him...I think you should have at least penned two lines of consideration due to that into Sehwag being not good enough.

OK, it was only Bermuda...but the man who came away with most of the Indian runs from WC 2007 gets booted out. What did the others do...did they do any better?

Indiscipline for saying he admired Ganguly in a personal interview?

Then punish him with an inferior contract and destabilizing his position...if he said he deserved better...it becomes different from when Sachin et al say it...they asked we want more, they got it. Because they didn't say we love Ganguly.

Every time he scored on yet another comeback in a limited over...say even if 35-40 runs, he was out the next match. That really is bad play by him. That really is not haydenesque...or is it something else John?

All I ask for is a bit of honesty and fairness when it comes to dealing with the inconvenience called Sehwag.

And I don't see many Haydens floating around nor many Sehwag's either.

I'm sure Jaffer or DK or Vaughan or anyone else ...any other opener in the world...is as Haydenesque but Sehwag!

Jrod said...

I think you are missing the most important thing on these cricketers, they are test winners.

Gayle recently won a test with a 60odd, Gibbs and Sehwag have consistently swung tests their teams ways.

Afridi is not a test cricketer, but the pakistanis need players.

Yuvraj will become a test player, but it may not be for years, he is batting alot like symonds did when he first made the test team.

remember john, very few batsmen have the talent to win test matches, but these guys do, and they can do it quickly. Hence why they are perserved with even when their averages dont merit it.

John said...

Thank you, Soulberry, that was wonderful.
I am a huge fan of Sehwag and I hated the fact that he was dropped after just one bad tour. I really hope he plays in Perth too, even if in the middle order. He is a player of proven pedigree and should have been persisted with.

That said, it is infuriating that he needs the big stage to perform. The best way to have responded to the 'slings and arrows' would have been to score heavily in Ranji and force his way back. After all, it was just a makeshift opener in that position, doing an extraordinary job and was bound to have failed at some point.

Soulberry said...

John, not everyone is of the same mettle firstly.

Then the amount of pr essure brought to bear upon Sehwag was unimaginable...not only was there a clear attempt to remove him from the team but also to upset his equinamity. Further, they hit where it hurts a lot when a guy is down...maybe for a few months...when one would have thought a team would have used all it could to help a winner out oif it.

Off field matters may be responsible for his distarction then...then what are sports psychologists for? How do other teams help one of their mates deal with such things? These kind of things don't happen in India...and when he was dropped, it was when DDCA and Powar group didn't have at least a working under standing as they have now.

Removed for the wrong reasons...may have meant difficult to come back despite all. The vcery same Aakash Chopra is an example...it doesn't matter if he scores 502 n.o tomorrow in Ranji and a bit more the next match.

But he's a different player.

Players like Sehwag are your radar giuded weapons...there ar e times when they need the theater to perform...but they do and they do well.

Sehwag has taken care not to be fitful in his test match returns like a prima donna...in fact he has been rather consistent and compares well with Sachin and Dravid too.

When he was the top scorer from the WC, why was he dropped for Bangladesh when others who didn't total 70 runs in all played? Some of them got useful runs to add to their averages and get out of bad form. Was it not to accomodate Jaffer permanently? Was it not because DDCA voted with the Dalmiya group a little earlier?
Was it not because DDCA and BCCI were locked over the Kotla renovation/new ground issue?

Was it not because Sehwag replied innocently to the question asked of him that he thought the best captain he played under was Ganguly and went on to say what he found admir able in him. W e all know that was the wrong thing to say then.

The way BCCI works can upset the best, especially if you aren't part of the inner circle. Suicides are known...dejection is known...is it too difficult to imagine that Sehwag, the temperamental player that he is, did not succumb to these humanb failings enough to affect his equinamity and game? Is it not a fact that for a while he must have seethed at the sense of betrayal from his team mates when he spoke up for all over the contract issue and took the rap?

Yes, he could have done better in Ranji.....but he did no better or worse than others who are in the team, in the past Ranji season...Sachin included.

There are other ways to handle a fellow you think is going downhill but still feel the need to rescue him than the way Sehwag was handled.

You know John..he was refreshing at the top. I grew up n Gavaskar...great man...steady pillar of India...but this guy gave you an edge on day one of a test like only a young Kapil gave you years ago.

I have myself suggested to my son not to ape the way Sehwag plays unless the stroke came naturally to him,