Thursday, December 21, 2006

Chappell's medicine works for Ganguly!

Editor's note: Sourav Ganguly's supporters have found this blog biased against the cricketer. This blog has consistenly infuriated Ganguly's supporters, in other words, Bengalis.
Like the maxim, all Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims, all West Bengalis are not Ganguly supporters but all Ganguly supporters are West Bengalis.
Let me point out you guys an interesting piece that newspaper with gravitas, Telegraph, Calcutta, carried on Ganguly's comeback. It was not written by John Cheeran but Uddalak Mukherjee. I hope the Mukherjee byline will not enrage Ganguly's friends..

By Uddalak Mukherjee in Telegraph, Calcutta
Moments after India won its first test match on South African soil, a television channel showed the footage of an interview with a Bengali sports journalist. The man, teary-eyed and hysterical, was bawling that SouravGanguly had won his duel against Greg Chappell, who should now be relieved of his coaching responsibilities.
There is no doubt that Ganguly has won. But what the delirious journalist failed to realize is that the former captain had not won a personal battle against the coach. Far from it. Ganguly, with the help of his good showing in the test match, has won for himself the confidence of a strict and demanding coach.
A gritty fifty under immense pressure showed that the elegant left-hander was willing to stand up and be counted. Ganguly has also worked hard on his fielding (he took a blinder in the slips to dismiss the dangerous Jacques Kallis in the second innings) and his fitness, long considered to be his Achilles heel.
Commitment and hard work, incidentally, are the two qualities that are close to Chappell's heart. Some people seem to think that the triumphant return of players such as Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman and Zaheer Khan has discredited Chappell's 'look to the future' policy, which saw young players replacing older, experienced cricketers.
The truth, however, is that Chappell has emerged the real winner in the plot.
The contribution of the old guard to India's victory at Johannesburg, ironically, confirms what the coach has been preaching all this while. In Ganguly's case, Chappell has always maintained that the pressure of captaincy was taking a toll on his batting.
Ganguly's poor form just before that ill-fated tour of Zimbabwe lends credibility to this theory. He had scored a paltry 927 runs in 20 tests prior to that tour. Critics may point out that Ganguly had a century to his name against Zimbabwe. But scoring runs against one of the weakest bowling attacks in international cricket, experts will agree, does not mean that a struggling batsman has rediscovered his golden touch.
What Ganguly needed to do then was take Chappell's advice and return to domestic cricket, correct the flaws and then come back to the side. That would have shortened his stay in cricketing wilderness. The wisdom of Chappell's words has been reflected in Ganguly's recent performance.
Shorn of the burden of captaincy, he has looked far more composed in South Africa. Significantly, Chappell had never questioned Ganguly's potential even while he was out of the side. He had only pointed out that Ganguly, like many players before him, had merely slipped in the course of a long and difficult career, and that it was time to make corrections. It must also be remembered that Chappell had been forced to turn to the youngsters after poor showing by some seniors.
Laxman and Zaheer Khan, like Ganguly, had also suffered a slump and they too found themselves out of the side. That they have benefited from this experience is evident from their contributions in India's historic win.
And it is not as if Chappell's faith in youngsters has been misplaced.
S. Sreesanth, India's hero inthe first test, has fulfilled the coach's expectations. Come to think of it, the only people unhappy with the turn of events would be the shrieking journalist and his kind.
With Ganguly now firmly entrenched in a happy Indian dressing room, the pot that has been kept boiling by the rumours will run dry soon.


Anonymous said...

Nice Blog, some interesting info and thoughts, a bit radical for me at times but thats ok.

Arimook said...

You are totally biased against Ganguly!! Also severely anti-Bengali, to the point of almost being a racist. I am surprised that you were a sports scribe as ur comments seem more like those of a layman with funny views on cricket.

John Cheeran at Blogged