Indian Team Writers’ XV


It is clear that cricket dominates everything in India at the moment. Indian TV news is dominated by cricket. Panel discussions and audience-based programmes have commenced… Well, they have never stopped really have they? Every second ad on TV apparently has a cricket flavour. There are cricket songs being penned furiously. Even Bollywood has gone cricket — well, they always were, but more so now!

Shah Rukh Khan MC’d a farewell event organised by Pepsi, which featured the new Pepsi Gold bottle — sigh! Apparently the event had, amongst others, Priyanka Chopra and Mandira Bedi — her of noodle-straps-fame. The event also featured songs by Sukhwinder Singh, Adnan Sami and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy who belted out numbers from Salaam-E-Ishq, etc.

Everything is cricket in this cricket-crazed country!

Everyone is talking about cricket. Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth, Kapil Dev, Harsha Bhogle and Ravi Shastri have never been busier. They are wheeled from one studio to another to talk about one thing or another. The topics may be incredibly diverse and varied as long as they focus on team composition! Well at one programme Gavaskar talks about team composition. At the same time Srikkanth and Mohinder Amarnath are at another studio, talking about team composition. You may have missed a simultaneous programme on a totally different topic on a rival channel. So you might record it. A later replay would show that at another programme, Shastri, Bhogle and Gavaskar collide to talk about team composition. Fresh eyes. Fresh views. Meanwhile, another programme has developed a scoop on team composition and that gets a lot of airplay and repeats too! Looking for a fresh angle, yet another programme wheels in Gavaskar and Bhogle to talk about team composition. By then, a tired looking Gavaskar, with match-sticks to prop up his eyelids, charges like a wounded bull into yet another studio where he and Srikkanth are going to talk about team composition. Srikkanth is looking fresh although he has hardly had time to blow his nose!

Occasionally, Kapil Dev will say something nasty about Greg Chappell. This merely serves as a temporary distraction before the amazing diversity of topics resumes around… team composition! Diversity is apparently good!

Then at about 1am, when the whole nation has slept, these pundits have to rush home to write articles for the next mornings’ newspapers… articles about team composition!

Then another day begins and so does yet another round of expert-comments, interviews and studio-audience-shows.. on team composition!

Prompted by a lovely article by Shailaja Bajpai in The Indian Express — in which she talks about much of the things that I have talked about in this article — I set about looking at the number of celebrity-cricket-writers that are writing about cricket; the assorted army of now-old cricketers who are providing a healthy dose of sound-bytes about cricket to the various channels — of course, all of them on team composition!

I have seen the following ex-cricketers write about and talk about cricket in the last little while. I may have missed a few, but I think I have captured a fair few of them.

And they have been organised in batting order!

Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth, Arun Lal, Mohinder Amarnath, Sanjay Manjrekar, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sandeep Patil, Ashok Malhotra, Yashpal Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Kirti Azad, Syed Kirmani, Kiran More, Madan Lal, Javagal Srinath, Atul Wasson.

That’s about 18 ex-players — not a bad team to field huh?

Virender Sehwag’s form, Sourav Ganguly’s return and Irfan Pathan’s fitness have dominated their bleat-time. But each one is unique. Each one has a voice. Each one has an opinion. Each one is heard… As long as they talk about team composition, everything else is forgiven!

— Mohan

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7 responses to “Indian Team Writers’ XV

  1. Mohan,
    Hilarious article to start off with…I would be curious to see if these 18 players have a singular point of view on team composition or if their views depend on the media/medium they are representing. For example, Kapil Dev may have opened with Sehwag, dropped him from the side, made him bat at number four, asked him to bowl left handed etc. all in the same day. So, its not just 18 players anymore, its more like the Jekyll and Hyde situation…

    Add to this formal confusion, you have outsiders speak on Indian team composition. Everyone from Courtney Walsh to Amjad Khan of Denmark and Kent fame may be talking about where Murali Karthik (also known as Dinesh Karthik) should bat, how indebted the Indians are to Greg Chappell, how much Indians are going to miss Laxman or the left arm spin Dinesh Karthik (also known as Murali Karthik), or how badly affected the Indian fielding is without Mohd. Kaif (or was it Mohd Azharuddin!!)….

  2. The eerie thing is that almost all of the said-experts have been, I believe, braying the same tune! The unanimity of opinion is almost sinister for an Indian fan! Apart from the odd bleat of distraction from Kapil Dev, that forever-anti-system-guy (whatever the system), all the said-experts have sung from the same song sheet!

    I referred to this in an earlier post:
    https://i3j3cricket.wordpress.com/2007/02/18/recent-selection-decisions-have-been-good/

    Gone are the wild theories from these said-experts: “Let’s kick out the current players and instead wheel in Murali Kartik, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Sujith Somasunder and Dinesh Mongia in the team. Why not Pankaj Roy? Bleat. Bleat. Bleat…”

    The previously-known cacophony of wild speculation is absent. Reasoned, and frighteningly calm argument has entered in its place! Even the unthinkable has happened! Srikkanth has stopped nose-blowing!

    What’s going on?

    Mohan

  3. Pingback: What are India’s realistic chances? « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  4. hi there i want to throw some light on selectors mentallilty, selectors have phobia of selecting young player not the player who are plying well in domestic cricket and everybody knows these cricketers are playing well and these should be in the team today and today means today.

    these are
    Gagandeep Singh ( Punjab)
    Yashpal Singh (Services)
    Randeb Bose (Bengal)

    Indian team for the world cup 20-20 and Bangladesh can be

    1. Sachin
    2. Saurav Ganguly
    3. Robin Uthappa
    4. Dravid
    5. Yuvraj Singh
    6. S. Badrinath
    7. Reetinder Sodhi
    8. Irfan Pathan
    9. Ramesh Powar
    10. Munaf Patel
    11. Randeb Bose
    12. Sreesanth
    13. Zaheer Khan
    14. Dinesh Karthik / M.S Dhoni
    15.Gagandeep Singh

    there should be one wicket keeper only in the team and for 20-20 world cup rahul dravid should keep wicket so that extra batsman or bowler can play.

  5. Yashpal singh and Harbhajan should be standby players

  6. there can be few changes in above team if selectors want to give rest to senior players then
    Rohit Sharma Manoj Tiwari could be included.

  7. I dont understand the logic of the selectors when they leave out a player of yashpal singhs ability, either they do not consider players from outside mumbai, tamil nadu, punjab and a few other states who have clout in the board or they do not know who is performing. that is why i guess players are opting for the ICL.
    Mr Vengasarkar and Co should now wake up and take notice of players who are performing or else indian cricket will lose out many more players for the ICL

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