Friday, August 17, 2012

bye bye LAXMAN, bye bye SRIKANTH...

A week from now, India will be starting its campaign in whites at home soil against New Zealand. In other words an ideal preparatory ground for the series against England and Australia to follow. Already columnists are slamming the current squad selection from all corners. Though the squad selection deserves all the criticism, some of the U-turn moves are not surprising, especially when it happens to be the final selection from the current panel. It does not look unwise when the panel leave it to the future quadrant to build the future and do their final selection mostly per choice of the team management.
As much as we blame the selectors and chairman, it is not a bad idea to revisit their accomplishments. The last time in Vengsarkar’s rule, Ganguly’s career appear to end more abruptly. It is in Srikanth’s regime, Ganguly was able to find an honorary exit. This will be the first of many accolades to which they deserve a pat on their back. India went on to become No.1 Test side and the World Champions in ODI’s during their tenure. To their discredit, the selectors should be equally faulted for India losing it 8-0 and the No.1 status.
News has started surfacing that Laxman is contemplating his retirement at the end of the two test series. The colonel might have stampede Ganguly, it appears Srikanth is taking Laxman with him thru a more dignified route. Never mind, I’m just speculating a would-be coincidence. Though, the majority agree that Laxman is past his expiry date, it still a big void to fill the gloves that held those very special wrists. When Azhar was moved out, the cricket lovers were deprived the wrist artist at work. It was not an easy role to fill at all. Again, Laxman did not have a dream start to his international career. But once he got into groove, he took over the legacy from Azhar with equal style, grace and charm and did the job even more emphatically. If not for anything else, he will be missed dearly for his special second Innings skills. At this time, I’m not sure how many batsmen in the world have better second innings average ahead of VVS Laxman. The 167 Vs Australia in Sydney’99, the epic 281 Vs Australia at Calcutta in 2001, the fairy tale 73 Vs Australia at Mohali in 2010 (with a sore back that included a partnership of 81 with Ishant Sharma after the score card read 124/8) are some of the memorable innings that I personally regard the most. Glad, we will get to watch him play one last time. This last time will be really a last time considering there are no IPL contracts for the champion.
With Kohli cementing his spot, Pujara due to take over Dravid’s place, there is another place opening up with Laxman exit. Would it be a tossup among Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina? Will there be a revisit to Yuvraj Singh or Mohammad Kaif? Is there a possibility of shifting one of the openers to a middle order batsman? Is there a hope for veteran domestic talents like Badrinath or Rayudu? Is there a teen debut on cards? Surely, interesting days ahead of Indian Cricket.
Bottom line: Any case, time has arrived to find the next torch bearer.
Cricket Lover

PS: By the way, I’m not taking any U-Turns on the opinions I hold against the selectors.

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