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Man-made unrest


In modern times, it’s hard enough to get batsmen out within the rules; if even those rules have to be stretched now to accommodate individual gestures to batsmen, then heaven help the game. Besides, why is leaving the crease in this silly way any less deserving of a dismissal than a mindless swish from the batsman outside the off stump? All this talk about spirit of the game, etc, is misplaced and childish. There are too many such incidents happening, and if the ICC could just indicate that whining is misplaced here, it would the game a lot of good. But since when have ICC kept the betterment of the game as a priority?

Irfan Pathan’s emergence as India’s best batsman by far in South Africa thus far is an opportunity for some innovative thinking from the team management. Saying – he’s a bowler first and therefore only to be judged on that, is unimaginative and self-defeating. Instead, they could treat him as a specialist batsman, and include him in the side as the sixth batsman, and see him as a fifth bowler. This would take away the pressure as a bowler on him, and maybe do wonders to his confidence. It’s worth trying at least for lack of a better alternative.

Otherwise, Sourav Ganguly is the only option for the 6th batsman in the Indian team. Given that Ganguly scored 83 and 0 in the match in which Irfan got 111 and 40, both undefeated innings, and the man of the match award, the choice should be clear. But things are not that simple in Indian cricket. Otherwise, why would it be unthinkable to just comprehend dropping Sachin Tendulkar for the first time in his career? He’s the least successful Indian batsman in recent times, and his current form is miserable. Maybe it’ll fire him in ways he’s himself not used to, which could lead to the old fearless Tendulkar coming back? But there’s no one here to bell the cat.

Things are no less complex in Australia currently, it would seem, but for opposite reasons. Damien Martyn’s retirement is strangely premature, since as a player he clearly has a lot to offer. Wasn’t he a great success in the Champions Trophy barely last month? Wouldn’t Martyn make it to any test team in the world today? If it is about the insecurities of being in a team like Australia, it would be interesting to get to know more about this, as this is a side of their game not widely spoken about.


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