Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: What were they (SG, RD, GC) discussing ?  (Read 976 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Administrator
  • Team of the Century
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9,966
What were they (SG, RD, GC) discussing ?
« on: January 13, 2006, 08:08:44 PM »

There was an animated discussion between SG, RD, and GC. What happened ? Speculations abound and many who saw it (yours truly included) seemed to feel they were arguing over who will open.

Three reports --one in Outlook, one in Rediff, One in Manorama presented below for the reader (The Rediff article presents the dissenting view)


The Ganguly Factor

The debate will rage on, though the subject has changed just a wee bit. It is not about Ganguly's finding a place in the Test XI anymore but the cost of it and the position he would bat at. As usual, it was Rahul Dravid to the rescue.

The debate will rage on. Only the subject has changed just a wee bit. Till Friday morning, the focus was firmly on whether former India captain Sourav Ganguly would find place in the Test XI against Pakistan. Moments after the toss, the question changed to whether it was the right for the tour selectors to pick him as opening batsman ahead of two specialists.

TV networks lapped up the images that Ten Sports cameras picked up an hour and a half before the start of the Test. From the distance, it seemed as if Sourav Ganguly was the one who was doing all the talking, gesticulating with both his hands all the time.

Rahul Dravid, the sleeves of his jumper pushed back a bit, presented the picture of an attentive listener while coach Greg Chappell, his ears catching all that Ganguly said, kept looking at the captain. It was clear that the trio was not discussing the weather. Only the three of them would know what was going on there but onlookers could be forgiven if they interpreted Ganguly as captain.

The team management could not decide on which of the two left-handers to pick and took the soft option. The decision is patently unfair to both Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer, who is arguably in the best of form. There really is no point in picking specialist openers on a tour and not playing them and to think that Sunil Gavaskar suggested picking all three openers to counter Shoaib Akhtar and company.

Of course, there are no prizes for guessing that Chappell was against the idea of getting Ganguly to open the innings. And after having stayed quiet all morning, he gave vent to his emotions by getting the team list from the scorer after the toss and marking Ganguly down at No. 5 rather than as opener, with Dravid shown at #2, slated to open the innings with Sehwag and Ganguly down the order between Yuvraj and Dhoni.

In some ways, this decision can be seen as Dravid returning Ganguly a favour from the past. There are not a few who have suggested that Dravid owed Ganguly a debt of gratitude after the latter convinced him to keep wickets in one-day internationals at a critical time in his career. By accommodating his predecessor and stepping in to open the innings, Dravid may have thrown him a lifeline.

It is not the first time an Indian captain has had to compromise on the opening slot in order to squeeze a player into the line-up. Ironically, on India's last tour to Pakistan, India used the ploy when Ganguly returned from injury for the final Test. Yuvraj Singh, who had stepped up to fill the breach, had made a scintillating century in Lahore and could not be dropped. So the tour selectors, in order to accommodate Ganguly, dropped Aakash Chopra and played wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel as the opening batsman in Rawalpindi.

As someone who has opened the innings with some distinction in 208 one-day internationals, Ganguly faces what must seem a new test in the long list of challenges that he has faced in his career, were he actually to open the innings. It was just as well that Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq resisted the temptation of opting to bowl and unleashing his new ball bowlers on Ganguly. The former India captain will have ample time to prepare himself mentally for the task, having opened in just one Test innings before: Back in 1997, Ganguly had walked in with Navjot Sidhu to open India's second innings of a Test in Mumbai against Sri Lanka and made 11 runs.

Talking of such makeshift assignments, VVS Laxman handled that unfamiliar role in 13 Test matches, Dravid himself has opened the innings in five Test matches, including as recently as last month when he took an indisposed Sehwag's place at the start of the innings in Delhi against Sri Lanka.Sachin Tendulkar opened a Test innings once in the Ahmedabad Test against New Zealand in November 1999 when Devang *hi was not well.

Curiously, Yuvraj Singh was thrust into that role in a Test against Australia in Chennai in October 2004 because the then skipper a certain Sourav Ganguly believed that the youngster was so talented that he could not be kept out of the playing XI. As his luck would have it, it is Yuvraj Singh's form that went close to keeping him out of another Test in Lahore.



Did Ganguly refuse to open?

It was not a pretty sight with Indian captain Rahul Dravid pleading and his predecessor Sourav Ganguly refusing to budge from his stance, while coach Greg Chappell stood as a silent spectator.

Just before Dravid was to go out for the toss, the three went into a huddle with the captain wanting Ganguly to be ready to pad up in case India won the toss.

To the shock of the coach and captain, Ganguly wasn't willing to open. And his adamant stance forced Dravid to suggest that he would himself open the innings.

But Chappell didn't want to risk his most dependable batsman just to 'protect' someone who had been forced on the team.

A fresh dialogue followed with the team manager after which Raj Singh Dungarpur made it clear to Ganguly that whether he likes it or not, he will have to open.

Less than 48 hours before the first Test match, it was certain that Ganguly would not make it to the playing eleven. But the much-dreaded call for his inclusion came, allegedly from the Board's mandarins.
And much against the wishes of Dravid and Chappell, Ganguly was drafted into the side with regular openers Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer warming the benches

AND another that agrees broadly with the OutlookIndia report

Ganguly, Dravid disagree over opening slot- By Neeru Bhatia
- -
Lahore: There seems to be no end to the vexed issue of Sourav Ganguly's inclusion in the playing eleven . While it became certain one day before the match that the former skipper will feature in the playing in the Lahore Test, it was his batting position that became a contentious issue within the team management. 

Ten Sports the official series broadcaster showed recorded TV footage of both the Indian skipper Rahul Dravid and former skipper involved in an animated discussion before the toss happened. Coach Greg Chappell was standing there with a grim expression on his face but did not say a word to either of the two players. However, he kept staring at Dravid through the 5-7 minutes episode broadcast on the channel. 

The Indian management maintained nothing untoward had occurred with the coach saying, "we were talking about cricket as we usually do. Why are you guys making so much out of it?" The Team media Director too denied that there was any such incident. "The two players said nothing like this happened. It is all media speculation." However it is believed that the opening slot was the hot topic of debate with skipper Dravid having second thoughts about Ganguly opening, who is playing his 86th Test match.

According to information available here, while the Indian skipper insisted on going in himself with Virender to bat, Ganguly insisted that since he was included at the cost of opener, he will go and do the honours himself. The selectors had included Ganguly in the squad as a middle order batsman.

With two regular openers apart from Virender Sehwag provided by national selectors in the touring party- Gautam Gambhir and Wasim Jaffer , Ganguly's inclusion has been at the cost of  Gambhir who is now the 12th man. What made Dravid change his mind over the decision to field Ganguly is not know but the w hole incident just minutes before start of play not only gave bad signals to the opposition it put unnecessary pressure on the entire team. 

According to one member of the TEN Sports telecast team, what added a twist in the tale was that when the their scorer went to the dressing room to  confirm  the line up from Indian coach Greg Chappell, he scratched Ganguly's name off from the top of the order angrily and said Ganguly will come at number 5. "That is we also ran his graphic before start of play in team line ups at number 5," said the source.

With the Indian team having received a pounding at the hands of Pakistan batsmen on day one, this debate will remain pending for another day or two thus increasing the suspense for all those watching as to where the Kolkata batsman will play.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2006, 08:40:22 PM by kban1 »
Pages: [1]   Go Up