Thursday, January 24, 2008

Irfan Pathan: Sacrifical lamb or genuine all rounder?

By John Cheeran
The value of an all rounder has come home to the Indian dressing room in the figure of Irfan Pathan.
Former Indian national team coach Greg Chappell was abused particularly for destroying Pathan as a bowler by encouraging him to become a batsman. Now what has Anil Kumble done at Adelaide?
Wasim Jaffer’s repeated failures made him a no-no for the Adelaide XI. Yuvraj had managed to fritter away his advantages in the first two Tests itself. Rahul Dravid was finally given his preferred No.3 slot at Perth after the wars of attrition at Melbourne and Sydney. And Dravid played a match-winning knock at Perth as No.3
Now to push Dravid again into opener’s slot would be patently foolish for a captain to do. Despite Virender Sehwag’s trudge back into form, he needs company at the top.
So who would be the sacrificial lamb? Pathan, who else?
I haven’t forgotten Sourav Ganguly’s statement after making his first Test double century against a feckless Pakistan bowling that coming lower down the order has denied him the opportunity to score centuries compared to others in the Indian side.
May be Ganguly should have walked up to Kumble and pleaded to spare Pathan and sent him to open the innings.
But, again, we are unlucky.

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