Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Winning Captain… but a Losing Team!!!

Few days ago, we published a hypothetical article Losing Captain… but a Winning Team. Now, when we look at it the other way, Winning Captain… but a Losing Team, we don’t have to play around with imaginations. There is a strikingly true story. If you have guessed it Sourav Ganguly the winning captain and Knight Riders the Losing Team, you score full marks.

From the days of victory between defeats in the land outside India, Sourav Ganguly transformed Team India into a winning machine, home or away. Prior to World Cup 2011, you won’t be surprised if the majority of the population voted Sourav Ganguly to be the best captain of Team India and not Dhoni or Kapil Dev.

Mind you captaincy is an art. It is not you pick the best available 11 and name one of them to lead the side. It does not work that way in cricket. You have to first locate the natural leader to get the following. Sourav Ganguly was surely one among them.

Such a natural leader was found mostly wanting for Knight Riders in the management opinion. My take is little different. In the inaugural edition, the concept of T20 was relatively new to everyone. With so many larger than life stars in the squad, followed by frequent foreign players movement sighting national duty hurt the Knight Riders little too much. In the end Knight Riders finished better than Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Deccan stuck with Gilli the second season. Challengers finally made the right move of passing the captaincy from Dravid to the most natural leader Anil Kumble before experimenting with Kevin Pieterson. However Knight Riders messed around with the leadership and floated multi captain theory. I don’t know how others received the theory, but I read it as a theory to dump Ganguly from captaincy on political grounds. Much as expected Sourav Ganguly was dumped from captaincy after the team arrived safely in South Africa. Guess what, in the agony mushroomed a Fake IPL player and the team finished last in the season. The true catch was Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore finished top two teams in IPL.

It was hardly a surprise when captaincy was restored to Sourav Ganguly for the third season. If not for others I believed that the leadership was reinstated only to save public wrath and gate money. Many must have thought that the double DA will cast his magic and bring the glory for Knight Riders. That would have happened only when the captaincy was restored more on faith and trust than on political grounds. After all, when other teams have completed 2 full seasons to become the exponents of the game, Knight Riders were still fighting few personality battles. Despite all this Ganguly was able to carry his team to finish 5th that season.

You just read the brief story of a winning captain… but on the losing side.

That did not finish the climax of the article.

Fourth season… the dawn of new beginning. Majority of the players went to the pot for auction. That included yours truly. It was not a big surprise when Knight Riders snubbed Ganguly in the auction. Even the other franchises that badly needed a leader showed their back on the legend. I for one strongly believe that it was a political conspiracy to snub the icon in public. Might have been a huge victory for those money and power hungry owners, but it was a painful defeat for the millions of fans to see their icon go down. All we could do the best was mourn for the prodigy, but that hardly helps.

When all was over, a ray of hope came for the fans. Kochi franchise expressed their interest to hire the chief after the auction. Much as expected few franchises objected the move.

I strongly believe that enough is enough and Sourav Ganguly should quit after the auction snub. He has nothing left to prove and is etched in the hearts of million fans for what he had done to the nation. I feel this battle for supremacy with power hungry sharks is futile. Knowing his nature he is the last man to go down without a fight.

Now, here is a hypothetical situation for the legend to make a comeback. There is a clause in IPL that a player “X” can be replaced by player “Y” who has a similar or a lesser base price in the instance of injury or unavailability of Player “X” for the rest of the season.

Mahela Jayawardane the captain of Kochi has to leave before the 5th of May to join Sri Lankan Team for national duty in England. Kochi will need a new skipper. 5th of May Kochi also plays Knight Riders.

Is this the day the prodigal son will walk into that game leading Kochi to beat Kolkata Knight Riders???????

Cricket Lover and DADA Fan

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dinesh,

    It is very obvious that this is a very opinionated and partisan view of yours. While I do have great respect for Ganguly as captain, I still believe that Dhoni is a cut above him in all respects - both as a street smart cricketer and a captain. I disagree with the point that Ganguly made India a winning machine but I also accept that he was the one that taught us to win away from home.

    He is one guy with a great deal of self belief - Harsha mentioned on IPL commentary the other day that Sourav believes that he is better than most guys around, which stems from a strong sense of self belief. But that belief has clouded his own view of himself and is preventing him from making a graceful exit that he deserves. I find it difficult to accept him in his current avatar. He might want to silence his critics, but I guess they will have the last laugh.


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