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'Ganguly should meet the selectors'
February 24, 2006
Former captain Sourav Ganguly must sort out his standing with the Indian team. The news of Ganguly being dropped is hitting the headlines too often. It does not do any good to his cricket as well to Indian cricket.
A senior player like him should meet the selectors and few senior cricketers to get a good picture on his utility to the side. He cannot be treated like Gautam Gambhir, who could be dropped disdainfully and picked at the same time.
If Ganguly should be matured enough and meet the people concerned, the decision makers should also come out saying how much cricket is left in Ganguly. The whole thing is leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
We need to take a leaf out of Australian and English cricket to know how to handle such issues.
Selection of Indian team for the first Test against England did not throw up any surprise. Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan were obviously overlooked to accommodate youngsters like S Sreesanth the VRV Singh. In my opinion, the only way for Zaheer to get back in the team is to bowl at an average speed of 135 kmph.
Though Munaf Patel may consider himself a bit unlucky, VRV Singh could be the answer for Indian pace requirements. Six and half foot tall, he possesses all the ingredients of a true fast bowler. Since spinners usually call the shots here, it would be interesting to see who partners Irfan Pathan with the new ball against England.
England, despite suffering a humiliating defeat against Pakistan, continue to enjoy the status of heavyweights in the forthcoming series against India. They earned this status after winning the Ashes in the home series last summer.
At the back drop of that colossal win, which was a hard earned and deserving one, the defeat in Pakistan could be construed as Englishmen's irrational fear of many things on Pakistan soil. England, while analysing the Indian team, would consider India's recent mixed results in Pakistan as well as their reasonable success in the previous tour of India.
What perhaps worry England is not their batsmen struggling on Indian wickets but their bowlers' inability to contain the home team batsmen from scoring huge runs. The first casualties on the subcontinent wickets are always the fast bowlers. The hot and humid conditions along with lifeless tracks can make them feel negative and paranoid about things around them.
Lack of success could sow the seeds of injuries, sickness, moaning and complaining. With all these things being a possibility, England's preparations, particularly for this tour, is noteworthy.
Troy Cooley, now the name behind the success of English bowlers, admitted that the tour of India would be his greatest challenge. In fact, he wants to finish his contract with the ECB after trying his skills and luck on this tour.
Troy is not new to India. He has had a few stints under Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Foundation. Most of his belief comes from Dennis Lillee's understanding of bowling sciences.
Only last month, as a part of the preparation for the Indian tour, Troy did bring a few ECB contracted bowlers to MRF to acclimatise them to the conditions and to make the bowlers practice under the strict vigil of Dennis Lillee.
Among the bowlers were Simon Jones and Kabir, a one-day specialist. There was also one Sajid, who is not in the side but currently the fastest English bowler and few more promising ones. These English boys had a good stint on the flat tracks and got the feel of the balls used in India.
Troy feels that irrespective of the wickets in India, three fast bowlers (Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Simon Jones) bowling around 90 mph and in the right areas, the fielding team can always be in the game. After all it is the bowlers who win matches.
England's tour of India: The Complete Coverage