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Dravid's dodgy dismissal

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I was working on my Windows Vista PC today and it reminded me of the Indian selectors when it started behaving in random, unpredictable ways and eventually left me scratching my head.

Dravid has been removed from the Indian ODI squad set to face Australia in the seven ODI series starting later this month. A look at the team throws up a few names that were jostling for a place in the middle order: Raina, Kohli and Jadeja. Let's have a look at the statistical side of it all.

The contenders' performances over the course of the year 2009 have a story to tell. Their averages in the whole year are as follows: Dravid - 36 (6 Matches), Jadeja 33.5 (3 Matches), Kohli 97 (3 Matches), Raina 41 (13 Matches). 

Jadeja's average is padded up thanks to a 60 not out scored in a dead rubber against Lanka, in the 5th match of a series India had already won 3-1. Kohli's average also goes up thanks to a 79 not out scored in conditions closely resembling a stroll in a candy store - against a second string West Indian attack in another dead rubber in the Champions Trophy. So let's look at the averages calculated excluding the 'not outs' component. Here they are : Dravid - 36, Jadeja - 22.3, Kohli 32.3, Raina 28. Dravid already has a case against all three, wouldn't you say?

Dravid's last ODI innings in a match of any relevance was 76 against Pakistan, top-scoring for the Indian team. Before that he scored 39 while opening the innings in the final of the Compaq cup. Before that he top-scored with 47 in an innings where the Indian team folded up for 168. The corresponding best knocks of the other contenders don't really match up to these.

But usually, to find a flaw in the selectorial decisions, you don't need to go so deep as to evaluate statistics. 'Logic' is usually a dependable area where one can find sound arguments. 

Dravid was brought back into the side as an 'old, wise head' to bolster the Indian middle order as the team of slam-bang superstars struggled for stability in the 50 over format. "These kids are...whaddyacalllit...a little wild da. Just go and....whadddyacallit...hold fort till they ....whaddyacalllitt...grow up a little" is broadly the message Srikkant gave him then. Two months into this new assignment, there are no signs of the kids having grown up. If anything, things are as shaky as ever. The batting line-up is mercurial, equally capable of scoring 300 in a T20 and 150 in a 50-over game and vice versa. Under such circumstances logic suggests that you retain the one batsman showing some remote semblence of consistency. 

Dropping precisely him sounds like a bit of...whaddyacallit...stupidity.

(Click here to know more about Jatin)



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