Monday, December 18, 2006

When Ganguly builds his second innings

By John Cheeran
If Sourav Ganguly's supporters expected him to score a half-century and India to lose the first Test at the Wanderers, things have not gone the expected way. There is a little joy in Calcutta but fast bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth's inspired bowling has given India the decisive edge in the first Test against South Africa.
For once, instead of salivating on a mediocre innings, Sreesanth has given Indian cricket fans the real stuff. The fast and furious and bundling out SouthAfrica for 84 in their own den. Ganguly, coming lower down the order at No.6, must thank skipper Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar for making things easier on his comeback into Test cricket.
Yes, Ganguly has lived up to the challenge in a modest way. And after all, Indian cricketers, including Ganguly, are picked to perform only.
Gone are the days when Ganguly could have clung on to the side by his captaincy tag and helped on his godfather Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Indian skipper Rahul Dravid had told Ganguly in no uncertain terms that he will have to perform to stay in the side, without wasting any chances. Like a boy eager to impress his elders, Ganguly has scored some runs to survive the initial tests.
And being one of the staunchest critics of Ganguly, I should say admit that I'm impressed by his blind but gutsy approach to scoring runs. Blind batting will have its own rewards as Ganguly and later Virender Sehwag showed in India's second innings.
Those who are wondering at Ganguly's half-century should pause and consider the question that why he is not opening India's innings. If Ganguly is the finest batsman India have now, why he is not opening the Indian innings.
If not, why he is not coming at the most challenging Number 3 position, a slot where Rahul Dravid has excelled time after time. Why not at No. 4 and No. 5?
Ganguly is Ganguly, an average player who charges against tiring fast bowlers and spinners and medium pacers.
By the way, to bring some perspective to Ganguly's half-century, the most brightest effort in the Indian first innings came from VRV Singh who blasted 29 from a mere 19 balls, slamming six boundaries. How about that?
How about the experience VRV Singh brought to the batting crease?
It is important to realize that there should be no place for shirkers of responsibility in the Indian side. And Indian skipper Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell stand vindicated, even former chairman of selectors Kiran More, that their medicine has worked wonders for Ganguly's ills.
A tough stint at the domestic cricket has revived Gnaguly's hunger for runs, if not it has improved his inherent weaknesses against quality bowling. Ganguly will not have any easy time in his second innings. He will have to perform on each occasion he goes out to bat.
And that applies to the rest of the Indian cricketers too.

3 comments:

issacn said...

Ganguly has lost much of his flair for attacking stroke-play. That much was clear well before he was dropped. It has taken him sometime to learn that he needs to apply himself totally to achieve a half-decent score. After a while, he loses patience and goes for his pull shots from outside the offstump or some other such attacking shot and loses his wicket. As you say, VRV Singh had a better eye for the boundary shots. Ganguly cannot sustain this attacking strokeplay of VRV and that makes alone him unsuitable for onedayers.

timepass said...

To issacn: Does this apply to Dravid as well? Does he play attacking shots like VRV? Or even Ganguly? So by your logic, should Dravid be in the ODI team?

Arimook said...

Cheeran

Ganguly's 51 not out rubs salt into faces of nonsensical critics like you!!

He came, he saw and he conquered! Till he fails, lets rejoice. Till then, you may keep your opinions to yourself.

A true Indian cricket lover

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