Friday, September 12, 2008

Ganguly axed. Who is Next?

Recent exclusion of Saurav Ganguly from the Rest of India team for Irani trophy match (against Ranji champions Delhi), has received mixed reactions. Since Australian team is scheduled to visit India early next month for a Test series, the Irani trophy contest has obviously assumed lot of importance, and his omission virtually indicates that the former captain will not be in the test team.

While some critics have justified his omission, some others have wondered why only Ganguly has been singled out when performance of the others in Fab Four gang has been equally pedestrian by their standards. The comparative figures of performances of Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman do underline this fact.
Fab Four since Jan 1, 2007
Name Matches Runs Average 100 50
Dravid 19 1148 35.87 2 6
Tendulkar 16 1287 49.50 4 7
Ganguly 19 1565 46.02 3 8
Laxman 17 1136 47.33 2 8

While looking at the above statistics, we have to take these facts in account: Tendulkar’s four centuries include two against Bangladesh, Ganguly hit one against Bangladesh and two against a lackluster Pakistan ( even Lahore Badshahs team in ICL was stronger than Shoib Malik’s official Pakistan team!) Dravid also helped himself to one in Bangladesh tour immediately after world cup debacle and then crawled his way to another at Chennai when Sehwag was blistering away against South Africa.

Collective failure of all of them against Sri Lanka was most appalling. More than the figures, the qualitative decline in their Cricket was clearly visible. One did not get to see the fighting Dravid, or an attacking Tendulkar. Nor did we see neither an exquisite Ganguly nor a fluent Laxman we are used to. The age is clearly catching on them. The question is - why do these greats refuse to accept this fact?

So, to me, why Ganguly, why not Dravid first? This debate is meaningless. Somebody is going to be the next. These four are all time masters of Indian Cricket. Indian Cricket lovers have great affection and respect for them. Hence, instead of facing the ignominy of being sacked, they should retire. One question comes to my mind. If Warne or McGrath voluntarily retire when on peak of their form why don’t Dravid, Tendulkar, ganguly or Laxman do so in spite of being woefully short of their best?

1 comment:

  1. I think Gavaskar was the last guy who left while he was still good enough to continue...we as a race have a problem figuring out when our time is up...the same is true for movie stars also