Tuesday, September 16, 2008

And here goes SCG ! ! !

Now that the whole of India has already started writing obituaries about him, it is not so important to again start the debate afresh. Also, me coming from the same region, this will always be viewed through the stained glass. However, me being me, it would be imprudent to think that silence could be the answer in such cases.

Time and again, there have been innumerable examples of things which could have been done differently in another country. However, India being India, and political or emotional prejudices taking precedence over rational thinking, it is pretty much of no use to inculcate such practices into those so called “wise men” of Indian cricket.

Since, they talk about statistics, then use them to see a few things in perspective –

Player Matches Total runs Aggregate C/w
Sachin 10 727 45.43 5/0
Rahul 13 754 34.27 23/0
Laxman 13 917 50.94 12/1
Sourav 13 1076 44.83 7/4

So, it is not because of his primary responsibility that he could be asked to look for other avenues of entertainment.

The next and the most potent weapon used against him are his attitude and ability to add something extra to the team. Recent newspaper reports (if they are to be believed), state that both captain and the national coach were of the view about him being sort of liability who could be dispensed with keeping others untouched. From the time he took the center, he was known to be less of an athlete who could hold onto his place because of his other abilities. So, this allegation is not new. What is news to me was that others were still adding value even tough all were failing with their primary responsibility. Or in short, auxiliary activities saved the other famous people rather than their main one. Let’s take one by one, including captain who has past his hay days long back.

Sachin – Most agile of the famous five, even at this ripe age he could throw and field with satisfactory results. So what if most of the times, a dive results in injuries, so what if bowling in test cricket has never been his forte, so what if he remains more time outside the team rather than in it because of non cricketing reasons. I have never seen a single time when a doctor has declared him unfit, even if he visibly is. Now in our case, sachin should never be judged with the same yardstick applicable to others. Also, he alone could be irreplaceable because of his past records, others, if they speak such things could invite “logical responses from youth brigade”.

Rahul – “Mr. Dependable” as he is favorably known, is finding it hard to protect his stumps and really struggling to match up to his own standard. His average has been on the lower side among the fab four and his fielding in slips has started to waver. He has missed quite a few of the catches, some of them simple enough to gobble up. He was never a good fielder in the outfield, and hence, his agility was more dependent on his reflexes. Now that thing is found wanting, the only reason of his choice is…

Laxman – Most elegant, youngest of the lot and possibly the most unfortunate not to be a permanent man in the team. The most consistent performer over the last couple of years especially under most troubled condition, he is surely the best bet against the mighty Aussies, and given his record against kangaroos, he is surely indispensable. However, his fielding and running between the wickets has always been under scanner and hence, only his batting could save him. He is the most unfortunate cricketer to have played for India and given the circumstances, he might be in line after Sourav.

Kumble – One of the coolest people on field, however, his efficacy as a bowler was always under question, especially away from home. However, over the past few series, he has been consciously trying to amend that record. If not as a bowler, then he could be also questioned in the same lines like Sourav, and who knows what is there in future, especially when it concerns Indian cricket.

Given all the above, I am still unable to see the neutral rational behind dropping him even though he was the only one who forcefully came back in the most unusual circumstances and since then performed to silence all critics. It was probably his outspoken behavior, his neutrality to all camps and his past which stood against him in the long run. If a chance is given, then what happens if he performs? We could be assured of the failures of the others, but not of this man. No circumstances or no adversity could bring him down and at this juncture it would be logically foolish to provide him with a due place. Hence, the decision to drop him from squad.

It was never to be that he was to get his due and respect once he stood against establishment. It was never in doubt that after he didn’t stand for any lobby, somebody would stand for him in troubled times. At times, you could feel his sadness of proving others wrong every time there is a finger pointed at him.
But, as is the saying, not everybody is lucky to get his/her due in one life. Probably is legacy lies in being SCG, the one and only person who belongs to his own class of royalty.