Before I embark on a scathing account of the terrible mess that Indian cricket is right now, I will try to be calm and analytical & spend a few mins on retrospection. After dismal performances in WI, Malaysia and the Champions trophy we knew we had our hands full with the SA trip and some intelligent thinking to do. Here is what the Selectors brainstorming resulted in - Wasim Jaffer as an opener in ODI's and KKD Karthik as a batsman (insert your choice of profanity here). Jaffer was supposed to be the technically sound accumulator, a role Laxman has already performed with decent results in the past and Karthik the keeper was considered a batting asset. Obviously Jaffer is not going to feature in the world cup plans so if we did need an opener, we could have sent Gambhir who has been performing well in domestic matches. Apparently the selectors were not using their heads (either that or they should be charged for WUI -Working under intoxication) and looking solely for immediate results.
After about 2 weeks of cricket, the selectors re-brainstormed (There should be a law against this by now). Laxman suddenly finds himself being promoted from batsman who was upstaged by Karthik to Vice-captain. VRV Singh is back. The only reason he is playing for India is coz he the biggest bowler in the country. Not the best, not the fastest, just the biggest. Even Singh must be wondering what he did to deserve this gift. Dont take my word for it. Watch him bowl in any one match and decide for yourself. He reminds me of David Johnson the ex-fast Indian bowler who bowled some of the fastest wides in Indian history.
And here is the icing on the cake, Ganguly who is known for his short-comings (pun intended) against the rising delivery is now our hope against the SA bowling attack on bouncy wickets. This isnt good thinking....this is desperation. Or maybe since its Christmas time, the selectors decided to hope for a miracle. If Ganguly saves us from even one test match defeat by virtue of his batting, I will print this blog out and eat it. No questions asked. I hope Ganguly plays well....I really do. But I dont think he will. So far we have seen 2 weeks of bad cricket sandwiched between ridiculous sessions of team selection. But the blame belongs as much to the players as it does to the selectors.
Sanjay Manjrekar put things in perspective in his cricinfoTalk interview when he said we need to play more on pitches that assist bowlers (like Mohali) but that all will be forgotten once we start winning on flatter pitches in the sub-continent. How unfortunately true that is! I shudder to think of our team once Sachin and Rahul retire. They will probably make it illegal to issue passports to cricketers so they cant go abroad and humiliate themselves and waste our time and money. Let me end with this fact which underlines the situation, Willow.tv slashed its rates for live streaming video by almost 40%. Well at least now you cant blame the cricketers for wasting you money.