Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dada and Co.

Ganguly's fans are a species of mankind which defies the assumptions that I make about life/mankind. I have had arguments (where I try to be as objective as possible, with no personal bias) with them and have found that I have been given these 'reasons' as to why Ganguly should be in the team/why he should be captain.

1. Ganguly went out on a high
    This is precisely the issue - Ganguly has had 'high' series every now and then but at any given point of time, you had to make a call about he was in form or not. While on any given day, on any given pitch, you could expect a Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid to hold their own against ANY bowling attack, you could not do so with Ganguly with the same certainity. If anybody tries to argue against this proven fact, then I think that you are flogging a dead horse.

2. Ganguly did not bat up the order.

From I remember, Ganguly had all the batting spots (except for the No.4 spot, which typically has the team's best batsman coming in - The No.4 needs to be a natural strokeplayer and also have a sound technique so that he can be an asset when there is a platform already set or if the top 2 have fallen cheaply) for his taking - I remember he used to bat at No.3 but could not match Dravid's peerless technique in test cricket. So, given his talent/skill, temperament and technique, the only place that he could occupy was the No.5 coming in after Tendulkar.

3. Ganguly was the talent spotter / Captain Courageous

I honestly do not think that Ganguly turning up late for the toss against Steve Waugh was heroic or anything nice. Sledging while on the field is fine/okay - but being the Captain of the team and coming late for the toss - thats despicable. And for as much talent that Ganguly fostered, he killed as many. I think the ONLY reason that a moron called Yuvraj Singh (the biggest flat track bully in the circuit now). And he has been given such an assured run, that this guy has still not established himself in the test team - perhaps thinking of which model to hang out with next. Similarly, in terms of bowling, there was one player, named Murali Kartik whose career and confidence was wrecked, irrepairably. Not to forget Hemang Badani (who IMO was a better rounded player in terms of fielding, batting temperament and bowling). If I remember, there was this keeper called Saba Karim from Bengal who played with only one working eye, the only plausible reason being that he was from the same state as Ganguly. So actually doing a head count, objectively, either Ganguly is a no loss - no profit or a slight loss when it comes to nurturing new players. And if at all anything he has taught these kids, he has made these pseudo aggression like waving your shirt half naked (at LORDS for Godssake), talking crap and all that is cool. No wonder you seee Harbhajan Singh slapping Sreeshanth and others doing funny stuff.

4. Dhoni is a lucky player/crappier batsman than Ganguly

Perhaps true. Dhoni plays as if he is swatting flies. But I think Dhoni has a better temperament. I (and the whole world) can see that Dhoni has moved heaven and earth to improve his batting from what he was. True, he does not look elegant or stylish - but he gets the job done, and that, I believe is all that matters. And I'm certainly amused as to what people call as Luck/fluke. Every achievement by Dhoni is being attributed to his luck. I can accept or cede a point if Dhoni's successes are few and far spread. But how come a person can be SO lucky that every time when the game is in clutch, his decisions pay off? Come on, if Dhoni was so lucky, he should be playing the lotto everyday and very soon, Bill Gates might have a competitor for the World's richest tag. But again, the resources that Dhoni has and that Ganguly had were different. Ganguly got a losing team (from SRT) while Dhoni got a competitive unit from Dravid. So I do not think its a fair comparison between Dhoni and Ganguly. But definitely, Dhoni's successes are NOT because of luck, just from mathematical or logical perspective (one of those cases when logic and mathematics concur). But just by the fact that to support Ganguly, his fans need to berate/talk down on Dhoni (and sometimes, Dravid), tells me that they lack the proper ammunition. They have come to a gun battle with a knife.

Now I have questions for the Ganguly backers:

1. Fielding
At any point of time, when Ganguly was in the team, he was a weak link in fielding. You could not even classify him as a safe fielder. How many times have you seen him run with the ball till the damned thing stops and then throw it back? How many times have you caught yourself chuckling when Ganguly berates another player in the team for a misfield? And now the game being highly competitive as it is, every run that you save, might save you the match. Not a point of team when you want to carry a fielding liability in the team. As much as you can score a 50 in match and contribute to the team, misfielding not only contributes to runs lost but also demoralizes the bowlers/other fielders.

2. Inability to fix technical flaws
From time immemorial Ganguly has had a weakness against short pitched bowling. At various points of time, SRT and Dravid have had their shortcomings exposed too. But where they went back to the basics and fixed their game, Ganguly with all his (lazy) royal blood took his place for granted. By the time he actually sought help (before the 2004 Aus Series), it was too little, too late. As a person involved in quality engineering, I do not see a sane reason for anybody not to continually improve their game so that they retain their edge. 


Dinesh Kannan said...

Taking note of the fact that inspite of raising 'thought provoking' questions-some points I had mentioned have not been argued.
Iterating that this is just a friendly banter,I proceed:
Assumption of Mankind:
Not only the assumption about mankind but at lots of junctures in the post there seems to be assumptions and facts and actual data,take a backseat.
If your assumption about Dada's mankind was that it would get intimidated and not fightback to prove its point,you are mistaken.
And even I shall be as objective as possible without any bias and give you the following replies.
1.Ganguly went on a high:
U have a way with words,dont you?:)
The whole context in which this was mentioned has been twisted.
It was mentioned that Ganguly should learn to retire gracefully like S.R.W and that made me say that Dada's retirement was more graceful than Waugh.At no point,this was stated as a reason for him to be the capain,there are beter reasons.That's for another day.
The horse is on its feet,covering ground as swiftly as ever.
Absolutely,no need to flog it.And the likes,have been brought into picture again?After his comeback,except for the SL away series(where the foursome failed)there was as such no 'low' series.Even during Pre-'06
days,there were low series just here and there,bound to be for a guy who had lived the sport for a decade.Who does'nt have?Rahul Dravid had a poor run of form until recently.Mark Taylor had to go through a very bad phase.It is not in how many times u fall,but how many times u rise and run after every fall.After all,form is temporary and class is permanent.
While the SRT and RSD could do it in ANY MATCH,SCG could do it in EVERY MATCH.
2.Yeah,Ganguly could'nt bat up the order.Again,a misunderstanding.For thou said his century was a "saving grace",I said that one couldnt be expected to come up with high scores if they bat at No.5.
Rewind back to the days of Dec 2K4,
SRT was unsure of his technique and was desperate to score runs.He had lost his form temporarily and during the first day of the Boxing Day test,after the fall of the second wicket,in a successful attempt to protect the Master,Ganguly was promoted to No.4-a position which the team's best batsman occupies.

In ODI's Ganguly sacrificed his opening position for the talent he spotted,Sehwag.

3.Murali Kartik and Hemang Badani had been cited before and explanation given.Guess,once would do.As for Yuvraj Singh,personal life shall not be mixed with on field events.Even if you do so, take note of this:There was no incident of misbehaviour when Ganguly was at the helm.Only when Dravid and Dhoni took the reigns,did night out parties came to the fore and the MORON Yuvraj surfaced.As a matter of fact,during his first M.O.M award he stated he would have Veg food that night.With Fab Four in the middle order,no one stood a chance to break into the team,fyi. Ha!Saba Karim never played with one working eye,when his eye was hit at by the uneven bounce Anil K generated,S.K's cricket had decreased and degerated.AS for SR Waugh issue and "pseudo" aggresion, one has to be a sportsman to understand this.Having been at the national sports circuit and having played with and watched the likes of A.Sharat Kamal and other top players,aggression is something which needs to be experienced,not explained.
When Ganguly went half naked he covered a nation which had been stripped off its cricketing happiness with joy and ecstacy.
We give back what we get.
4.I think I ve been the only one commenting on the Dada piece and I know very well i never berated or talked low of Dhoni's batting skills.I asked if what u had written meant,Ganguly was in a higher pedestal,since you mentioned something about negation.
I'm not certain if Dhoni was lucky but Ganguly definitely was plucky.
Crappier batsman, but maybe,as you say he finishes the job.Long way to go to affirm who is a better performer in terms of batting.
I'll definitely not forget the way Dhoni got out to Murali in WC'07!Lol!
5.Fielding:He might not have been the swiftest of fielders but he was a safe catcher.For most of the innings he fielded at mid on and mid off and you can do little when the ball races past u,when u field there.He does have a few bruises diving.Pakistan '05 is something I can recollect immediately.
Laxman too was a liability, Dravid could never bowl in an age when they reqd multitasking.Moreover, Dada compensated with his off side drives and military medium pace.
He never wrecked the confidence of anyone."If Sachin was the champion,Dravid the craftsman,Anil Kumble,the colossus,Ganguly was THE inspiration in team"
For more questions on his fielding credentials take a look at this:

Technical difficulties:
Everyone has got a drawback.Ganguly was more so involved and concerned about the team in his tenure as the captain that he never introspected about himself,there was'nt a need to.Very rarely did he get out to bouncers,he survived even though he was troubled.During that period,the team needed him more as a captain than a player and as a quality sportsman,I say,some technical difficulties are inborn which can't be overcome by an engineering mind.Other factors,which has to explained elaborately comes into play.Since the likes have been compared to at the beginning,we ll end with them
Sachin had a phase when he couldnt play left arm spinners-remember Ray Price and Monty.
It was not until that Brad Hogg came up with a dig at him that Sachin corrected it.
Pundits say he is presently unable to play the sharp inswinger.
This might not be a technical difficulty but this was a mind block-Dravid never danced down the track for a six-until his place was questioned and ever so recently,Vijay Mallya cracked the whip.

PS:This is only a healthy debate,I presume.I ve got a lot of respect for u,ur ideas and thoughts.Never expected that you would go to the extent of using harsh words as u did in the first line.If a Kolkata guy had caught it,one would have tasted W.B's tomatoes.Maybe Dada fans may not agree with you in one aspect,u cant catgorise them based on that alone.Friends.
Cheers.High Five.
Nallaiku,KKR vs CSK!:)

NIRMAL said...

All i can say is Ganguly is not the greatest Indian cricketer!

Too much hype and sympathy for him!His attitude was once questioned when he refused to take drinks in early 1990s.

We indians are emotional about cricket and crickets! We have to move on! Dhoni's home was smashed when they failed to make it to WC2007 next round! But isn't the same crowd that went on streets when he lifted the 20-20WC.

Steve Waugh, a world cup winning captain was dropped from the team because he was not able to lead the team to finals for a dabba CUB series. Thats how CA works! If Steve Waugh walked away with dignity why cant it be applied to Ganguly!

I dont think any one in Sydney went to roads and protested or made it a scene!
But you know what is the story in kolkata!

If you are good enough you have to play or else make way for others! But if u ask me why Sachin is still hanging around "No all laws can be applied to everyone directly". Sachin is Sachin!

I guess you have become a big DADA hater over years! :)

Vivek said...

Ganguly wasn't team mascot?

Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...


Since you do not want to make this a tit for tat fight, I will keep this short. Ganguly performing on EVery match - OMG - I never knew you were a fanatic of Ganguly. There is no use talking any more after you said this.

He looking after team and so losing out on improving his game - LOL!! I believe then Yuvaraj for all the guidance and attention he got from Ganguly cant even make it to the 12 in a test match team.

Dinesh Kannan said...

FYI,I never mentioned that Ganguly was the greatest Indian player.
It is the amount of negative criticism that such posts invoke which generates so much hype.
U are speaking of something that happened in 1992,a little after I was born,Move on.Will u still be grumbling about Indira Gandhi's emergency when her grandson is campaigning for the LS elections?
There is no questioning Ganguly's attitude now.
The whole point of the debate is about Ganguly and his skills and not about how a mob went and attacked Dhoni's posh house - if its the 'emotional quotient' is what u intend to convey - I believe that there are equal number of Indians in the country who are sportive enough to accept the 'Truth' of losing a match.
If S.R.W was not courageous enough to prove his worth,doesnt mean that Ganguly should follow suit.
I believe u know about his staggering comeback.
I dont think anyone in Australia berated and demeaned Waugh with such posts so as to invoke anger in Sydney.
Recent performance is more than good enough for him to continue playing.
Agreed.Sourav can never be a Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
Sachin can never be a Sourav Chandidas Ganguly.Coz Sourav is Sourav.

Obviously,I thought u saw through that.Ur piece on Dada put me off so much that i said 'every' match.
Its as much true as your comments on Sourav.;)
I seriously don't mind a tit for tat,but not a fight.I ve been enjoying it thoroughly.Thought it was going overboard,would only be glad for it to continue,if there is ammunition left.;)