Friday, November 2, 2007

Cricket: Rahul Dravid’s ‘colonel’ bogey

A captain has to salute a colonel. Every time. Rahul Dravid might have thought that the rule applies only in the army. When he decided to put in his papers, whatever the reason was, he should have gone to the ‘Colonel’ and not to the Chief. That is apparently the desired drill.

There are some weird things about dropping Rahul Dravid from the Indian ODI team against Pakistan. We saw a player management company defending the team selection. What is their business in this matter? Well, they handle ‘Colonel’ Dilip Vengsarkar’s column. That’s fine. But the problem here is that they also manage a few players who are up or selection. It could amount to conflict of interest.

This does not mean that Vengsarkar would play favorites. But it would have been better if the player management company had kept quiet instead of justifying the selection and the propriety of the Chairman of the Selection Committee and some of the contenders for selection being under the same flag. I can’t understand why the 'Colonel’ keeps this writing assignment when he the chief of selectors. Reportedly he gets a pittance for the column.

Another strange aspect is the reasons given for dropping Rahul Dravid. At first it was said that Dravid was being rested. Then it was something like old order yielding place to new. (Rahul Dravid is 34. I think Don Bradman retired at the age of 40.) Next, only two seniors out of the three would be in the team at a time. Then again, the team was selected on merit. Seems like setting the policy after the event!

Politics and zonal considerations, among other things, are making a mess of Indian cricket, notwithstanding the Twenty-20 win. We seem to be perpetually ‘developing a team for the future’. What about here and now? The policy should be to select the best team available, a squad that can beat Pakistan in the coming series. With such an approach, deserving new players would automatically get inducted.

Coming back to Rahul Dravid. He left or had to leave captaincy after winning the last test series, against England, and a fighting loss in the shorter version. Vengsarkar, a good batsman, lost the captaincy after a two year stint, when his team could not win a single match on the West Indies tour of 1989(?). When posterity looks at the history of Indian cricket, Rahul Dravid’s name would be right there at the top whether he is picked again for the Indian team or not.

In my post of September 16, ‘Cricket: Board games and bucks – Rahul Dravid out!’, I wrote, ‘Dravid would continue to be available to play for India if the powers be deign to select him.’ The position remains the same.



Viswanathan said...

As usual the media has made a mountain out of a mole hill.

Dravid has been dropped or rested or axed for the Ist two ODI's.

Thats it.

Reasons are not far to seek.His batting has fallen to pieces.
There young men snapping at his heels and he just could not take the pressure.

All the other things are just innuendos.

Maddy said...

in a way the justice meted out to gangulay should be applied to dravid as there is some sense in all this.