Friday, December 16, 2005

On The Ganguly Controversy

The latest controversy doing the rounds in cricketing circles is the unceremonious dumping of Sourav Ganguly, despite a reasonably good performance in the second test at Delhi. Former cricketers cried foul as did some Board higher-ups as well. And, in reporting completely devoid of irony, multiple news sources reported on the storm raised in political circles over Ganguly's axing without pausing to ponder for one moment why the protesters happened to hail from the state of Bengal.

In purely cricketing terms, there is hardly a need to justify dropping Ganguly. Yuvraj Singh has clearly shown that he is a superior batsman and fielder. Ganguly might have made a case for himself as a superior player of spin a year ago, but he now seems as much at sea against spin as Yuvraj usually is. One could also argue that, given Ganguly's selection as a batting "all-rounder", he hasn't really delivered on the bowling end of the bargain either. The crazy ravings of the former cricketers about not changing a winning combination appear to forget the inconvenient fact that one of Yuvraj and Ganguly needed to be dropped in any case.

The only legitimate objection one may raise is with the manner in which Ganguly has been treated. At the very least, he deserved to be informed in person of the decision and given the opportunity to bow out gracefully. However, rants of fury at selectorial misconduct are best reserved for the now-ousted selectors who chose him in the test team in the first place.

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