Saturday, November 25, 2006

Passage to South Africa: Ganguly, statistics and lies

By John Cheeran
Bring back Sourav Ganguly, that’s the new slogan for politicians and cricket pundits alike in India.
I was shocked to hear Brinda Karat, that Marxist leader from Bengal, demanding that Sourav should be recalled to resuscitate Indian team in South Africa.
What does Brinda know about cricket? May be a lot.
I believe NDTV 24x7 is running a campaign to get rid off coach Greg Chappell and bring Ganguly into the Indian team. Is it a coincidence then that NDTV is owned by Brinda’s sister Radhika Roy? Is Brinda on air to give the cutting edge to the NDTV campaign?
I know that Ganguly has many supporters. That includes Sitaram Yechuri, the voice of the Indian Marxists, who has no time to advocate the cause of VVS Laxman, though both gentlemen are from Andhra Pradesh.
Press Trust of India runs a ghost-written column of former South African fast bowler Alan Donald and lines are inserted there too, how India misses the services of Ganguly in South Africa.
And among all these brouhaha, the hero of our times, Sourav Ganguly, says in Mohali that he can see the window of opportunity now. In fact, Ganguly asserted that window of opportunity always has been there.
And then what happens?
In the Ranji Trophy Super League Group B game against Punjab, Ganguly could neither inspire himself nor his team mates as Bengal were all out for 156 in the first innings.
How much the hero, who the rabble say will rescue India in South Africa, scored against the likes of Gagandeep Singh and L Ablash (who is that?). In the first innings Ganguly survived just nine balls to score 6. In the second innings he improved to 43. The point is that even Deep Dasgupta and Jhunjunwallah outshone the Bengal skipper!
Those who are saying Ganguly is the answer to the South African bowlers must be dreaming.
To bolster the Ganguly campaign it is subtly pointed out that during the 2003 World Cup held in South Africa, Ganguly had the best batting averages below Sachin Tendulkar.
Yes, statistics reveal that Ganguly did average 82.30 in the 2003 World Cup which was staged in much more batsmen-friendly tracks than those which are offered to Dravid’s men now.
Statistics also reveal that Ganguly built up his average feasting on crap outfits such as Kenya and Namibia. In the group games, Ganguly hit 107 against Kenya and 112 not out against Namibia. In the most lopsided semifinal of World Cup history against Kenya, Ganguly again showed his true colours by hammering 111.
Skipper Ganguly scored 24 in final against Australia while chasing 360 for a win!
It is interesting to take a look at Ganguly’s scores in other Super Six and Pool A matches. He scored 9 vs England, 0 vs Pakistan, 9 vs Australia, 3 vs New Zealand, 8 vs the Netherlands, 24 vs Zimbabwe and 48 vs Sri Lanka.
And you think Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Andrew Nel and Kallis will run for cover if Ganguly walks into the batting crease?
The Ganguly story has been one of manipulation, of men and averages.
It is the tragedy of Indian cricket that average men still support him.


Akash said...

Sourav Ganguly batting in South Africa will be as good as a midget at a urinal. (Sidhuism)
This whole bruhaha, stems from the fact that outside of the 16 players players that have gone to South Africa, we do not have cricketers who will be able to step into their shoes; no talent.
This time, like the last World Cup, we re-called Dinesh Mongia, who was our last resort.
Now to Ganguly, all he has done since the past 11 months, is harp about his 10,000 ODI runs.
Time for him to hang up his boots.
One thing though, which is unfair, is that he has not received a suitable fairwell. Now that, he deserves.
Now what qualifies as a "suitable farewell" is a question that is almost impossible to answer.

Jaideep said...

My friends - why are you after Ganguly ? Was he responsible for the 91 all out, was he responsible for yesterday's debacle, or was he responsible for India not having got out of the group league in Champion's Trophy ? Poor man, he's out of it all isin't he ? So dont waste your time on that or what some tv channel says. The real problem here is with the current Indian skipper - not so much even with Chappell. Like his predecessor, Dravid needs to pull his weight. He needs to know what to take from the Australian coach and what to discard. Not everything that Chappell says is going to work - he doesn't know the Indian psyche, and he's not expected to. It should be the Captain who should know what to absorb from him, and what not to. Isin't that what Ganguly did when Wright was around ? That's all we're trying to say, friend.

Anonymous said...

Would not have posted , but read Jaideep's comment.

Dear Jaideep, people are not actually after Ganguly. Ganguly was one of our best captains and did a lot of good for our Cricket team and one must acknowledge that. That Ganguly was ousted unceremoniously is another matter altogether, but his being axed from the team was on merit. He was very good when he could still play. To his credit, he overcame some big problems with his game; his struggle against the short ball and his poor fielding for a good part of his initial career for instance; to score a lot of runs against decent oppositions. Unfortunately, age/time seems to have got the better of him and bowlers have sorted him out, not just in the International circuit, but also in domestic games. Therefore, all that the "non-supporters" of Ganguly are saying is that knowing him to be a weak link, it would be foolish to get him back into the team and that all those who are vociferously arguing for it are just riding on another wave to garner attention, and as an outcome to the process not doing Indian Cricket any good.

Dravid's form has been questionable of late, but his knock against SA at Cape Town has rekindled hope. For a captain to demand the maximum of his players, it is a must that he inspire them to do so (Ponting, Flintoff, Smith, Lara, all point to this fact.) As far as Dravid blindly following Chappel's words, all one can say is that its pure conjecture. Give Dravid and the members of the Indian team more credit than that.

The problem is not of plans, strategies or tactics. Its the failure of our chaps to execute the same that has put us in a quandry. The same team was lauded when they had a 17 match winning streak while chasing, something the Indian team was always seen as being weak at. Its a matter of belief and application. We seem to be low on both counts.


Souvik said...

"Sourav Ganguly batting in South Africa will be as good as a midget at a urinal. (Sidhuism)".
With an average of 53 in 26 matches, 3 100's, 8 50's against South Africa, he is indeed some midget. While Navjyot Sidhu is hardly the one to quote when talking about performances of Indian batsmen outside Asia, the next best average against SA is Tendulkar at 30 after 41 matches.
Why not check facts before pasting your verbal diarrhoea?

Sovs said...

Souvik is correct dont you remember what happened when India last toured South Africa....Dont you remember how much of a nightmare Sourav had become for the bowlers including Pollock....sixes over the top of bowlers head is what I can remember....Well he got 112 against Kenya in the semis but that was after India were 43 for 3....You dont have a bloody clue of cricket...take it from a first class cricketer who has played the game for the past 12 years that you are a stupid idiot who are like any other fools who like criticising people...Sourav as a captain would do 200% more justice to the team than Rahul as a batsman/captain...sorry to say mate but cricket is played between the 22 yeards on no0t on a keyboard...Think thrice before saying anything about a man with 15000 international runs...If comebacks were so redundant Mohinder Amarnath, Sanath Jaysurya would have been history and so would have been Brian Lara...combeacks make a cricketer and thats what we await from Sourav and mark my words he is a true talent....

Kals said...

One point I would like to mention when people say Rahul scored runs in the last one dayer where he got 60 odd runs.Just watch the replay of that match. After Dhoni was out, I was watching Dravid. At the start of every over he was facing (in first two balls) , he was taking a single and and remaining balls were faced by bhajji, Zaheer, kumble. That was aweful as other tailenders were depending on the frontline batsman. There is no doubt about the genius of rahul, but on that day, he too was struggling and was avoiding the strike. So, the point is form is temporary, class is permanent. Sourav has plundered the SA attack earlier and we hope he will do so now also. So John, ...Ram..shyam..Jadu..Madhu ..A..B..C..D...and etc etc..the critics with iota of intelligence ...shut up...and watch

Anonymous said...

hey dude have u stopped posting now??

John Cheeran at Blogged