05 March 2008

20000 runs is the new elephant in the room

Nobody who ever saw this partnership is likely to forget it, least of all Murali, Vaas and co.
Anyway, now that Sachin has taken himself out of the elephant equation, there is a new one for Venx The Messiah and his Gang of Merry Men to consider. How do they put 20000 runs to pasture gracefully? These are two giants of the one-day game, and sad as it may be, it is good for Indian cricket that the more athletic Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa stepped up so their absence was not felt in one of the most demanding of all ODI tournaments. Of course Dravid and Dada may still be able to contribute with the bat, and may be packed with the tactical mishmash that comes with 20000 runs, but we need to give the captain the team he wants. Having done so once, and all credit to Venx The Messiah, and may his loins bear a thousand lions, ans seen more than satisfactory results, we just need to continue doing so. Barely anything should be allowed to stand in the way of the development of Rohit Sharma, Uthappa and Gambhir. It will be unfair, not only to those three, but even to Raina, Kartik and Tiwary who have waited, to consider any sort of longish farewell for Dada and Dravid.
I don't know, but the moronically conceived Asia Cup may be the right opportunity. There is even a game against Hong Kong at Lahore.


straight point said...

you have raised a very pertinent Q john...

i think rather that distracting ourselves for their fair well matches we should now move on...

it will be also gracious from both these two giants that they announce suo motto statements which says they are very happy the way young india is progressing ahead and in order to give them more chances in future games we are retiring from ODIS...

in anycase they will get enough chances in IPL being icon players...

John said...

That seems to be the right way to go, SP, but we will need to make room for the obvious ego that will accompany 20000 runs. Give them a farewell tour where thay can smash bowlers around and say goodbye. Hopefully at home, so that the continuing education of the younger lot is not hampered. After all, GG and RS have been identified for future test spots.

Sajith said...

I don't think that either Rahul Dravid or Saurav Ganguly need to be hurried into retirement.
I would believe that rotating the single senior spot among Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid would give all three adequate rest. If the seniors do not perform then jettison them, but let us not throw them of the ship blindly.

straight point said...

john i might sound disrespecting bt team india is not the platform to show egos...we loose momentum very quickly and the last thing we want distraction for their farewell matches...and whole process can get derailed...this is my main concern...

Thank you very much sir(s) for all your services we enjoyed a lot...but its time we shake hand and move on...

OH and we will present you a chance to retire gracefully from TEST arena...

John said...

Not so fast, SP, but Sajith has a valid point in that the singular senior's spot can be rotated. After all, Dravid has not been spectacularly weak in the ODI scheme. Bristol was not too long ago..

Homer said...


I think this senior junior thingie is the wrong debate - what has been evident in the Oz tour has been the appectance of an horses for courses policy.

The presence of SRT or RD or SCG is required because of their experience - the been there done that thingie.

Now, of the three, SRT has been known to be the go to guy for all matters of issues cricketing - even when SCG or RD or MA were captains. He, therefore, lends himself well a s the obvious choice for the mentor role with the team.

RD and SCG do not bring the mentorship capacity to the table - what they have is their primary skills as batsmen and the baggage of being ex-India captains.

Do we need pure batsmen or batsmen bowlers in the team- there are enough candidates who can fill that role.

Do we need ex-India captains and thier baggage and thier ability to form alternate power centers?

If the GC experience has taught us anything, it is the fact that multiple power centers is detrimental to the team as a whole.

There will be cases when we may still need to play all three in the same team. Just that those cases may be few and far in between.

At the same time, pensioning them off is not necessarily a smart thing because, with the IPL money, if they decide to say good bye to Test Cricket also, we are in a deep hole as we do not have people who can readily slot into the role that RD and SG have played thus far.

I think it is more prudent to keep RD and SG in the fray, getting them to play the odd ODI over the next year or so, while utilizing their services in Test cricket as we groom their successors in the longer form of the game ( by having a policy of rotation - 2 seniors + 1 junior in the middle order always for the next 20 Tests).


John said...

Thanks, Homer.

I think you are saying that we pick any three of Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma and Gambhir for the Test middle order. I agree. But I get the feeling that as usual Laxman will get the sacrificial chop more often than others. As a fan, I just won't like that, but it will go down easier if there was some transparent system of ensuring nobody gets shafted.

Regarding their continuing presence in the ODI scheme of things, I think the team has moved beyond the Ganguly years. Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Zak are not mere Dadaboys any more - they are very much cricketers in their own right. And having tasted success under other captains, the fear of creating alternate power centres is over-hyped, I feel.

Also, there will be times over the next twenty months when (like the ODI series in SA) we (or the cricket watching public) will pine for seniority/technical correctness on tough pitches etc. I mean it is not iconcievable that Rohit, GG and Uthappa lose form at the same time.

So, Indian cricket still needs them a lot. I stand corected Homer, thanks.

TM said...

"I think you are saying that we pick any three of Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma and Gambhir for the Test middle order".

India's best bet in a test match has been, and in my view continues to be, its experienced middle order - play Dravid, Tendulakr, Ganguly and Laxman at 3,4,5,6 respectively and let the youngsters wait for their chance. Given Australias successful model, even in a different cultural context, it may make sense to adopt it - for instance, Michael Clarke and Hussey had to wait for for someone to retire for them to get their chance. And they did seamlessly fill in the holes created by the departure of Mark and Steve Waugh and Damien Martyn - why should we presume that the same will not work for India as well when the time comes? But up to such time, I would imagine, we keep playing our best side- and in a test match, it probably does not make as much of a difference to have young legs running around as it would in a limited overs game.

To add to their selection, Tendulkar and Ganguly can bowl, Dravid is arguaby one of the best slip catchers in the world, with Tendulaker right up there - and it does then award us the luxury of playing 4 pure bowlers- with Pathan sitting out.

John said...

Pleasure to have you visit these parts again, TM.

Anonymous said...

good question John... I hope they don;t shabbily treat them further which they are currently. They should at least talk to them and give them an exit.

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