Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sourav “Dada” Ganguly : Time to go ?

Kolkata Knight Riders are out of IPL after losing the match by 6 wickets to Rajasthan Royals yesterday. As a Captain of the losing side & the highest paid cricketer in the team, Sourav Ganguly, must also bear the lion’s share of the responsibility. What went wrong not just yesterday but in all the matches that Kolkata Knight Riders lost? Analysts would point out some of the following;

• Batting failure in the top order.
• Faulty batting order
• Absence of Ponting & Mcculum from the side etc etc.

But finally it was the annoying “me-first” leadership of the Captain that should take the cake. A Captain, who refused to step down from his high horse and promote hard-hitting batsmen like Butt, Das, Shukla or Saha in the first 3 slots. Instead Dada himself opened the innings for the first few matches and then for the rest came at number 3 and apart from a 91 against lowly-placed Deccan Chargers , he had nothing worthwhile to show. The same captain , who did not play Salman Butt for seven matches or used Umar Gul inappropriately in earlier matches. And yesterday, when Sourav took the wicket of Shane Watson , his lonely celebration displayed this same “me-first” body language in abundance. Sure enough, he bowled the next over instead of getting Gul or Agarkar and got hammered all over the Eden gardens by man of the match, Yusuf Pathan. The match was sealed in that over.

Sourav’s cricketing brain refuses to click as far as T20 is concerned. Sourav thinks that “Class (read seniority ) is permanent and class alone will win matches” forgetting that younger players of potentially better “class” are showing up everywhere in the horizon . Most importantly, his decisions appear imposed on his reluctant team. His on-field vexations with “junior” team members display his frustration and inability to raise his self-esteem thereby de-motivating them further. Sourav’s reported clashes with the coach and the owner on the composition of the team display his lack of humility & inability to communicate with clarity.

Having twice made a comeback in his cricketing career, Sourav displayed a greediness to play T20 too and his painstaking effort to prove that he is still fit for T20 is actually,just only that. It is painstaking for the viewers too. Based on his performances in IPL, if he is contemplating to get a call for the ODI team led by Dhoni, he is sadly mistaken. It is sensible to select the younger performers who are knocking at the doors.

Sourav might get to play one series with backing from politicians and some sponsors but he is unlikely to retain his spot. The third comeback is not going to happen.

This probably is the last chance for Sourav to announce his retirement from Indian Cricket , depart gracefully & with applause from all quarters . He can choose to do so either at the end of IPL or at the end of next test series. This will also give him ample time to choose his next vocation .

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