What an opportunity, Dravid’s captaincy and all that!

I write this as I watch RP Singh clean bowl Pieterson for a magnificant hundred and clean up the innings with a 5 fer. Well done, RP!!!!

However, my beef is against the captaincy during the day. While some of my comments may be interpreted as sheer venting in frustration, there must be some truth in it. I was completely baffled by the fact that RP Singh was brought on more than 90 minutes after lunch. He was by far the best bowler before lunch bowling absolutely beautifully. I could see the rationale of bowling Zaheer Khan at one end because he was special as well but to see Kumble get such a long bowl was strange to say the least. Kumble’s bowling was ordinary, mediocre and lacking purpose. But he continued on….

And there was more than the occasion where Dravid’s captaincy was remarked as being reactive and not proactive, one such comment coming from the mouth of one Mr. Ravi Shastri…..Dravid is a strategic thinker and a “big picture” man, but I am beginning to suspect that he lacks the sharpness required on the field to make key operational decisions. I thought Ganguly was better at it….Mohan, I suppose we agree to disagree again?

With respect to the state of the game, what an opportunity for the “fab three” to sign off their greatness. A realistic target with not necessarily perfect conditions to bat on, a Lord’s test match, first in the series, you couldn’t ask for a better situation to deliver! All the very best to them.

– Srikanth

11 responses to “What an opportunity, Dravid’s captaincy and all that!

  1. Srikanth,

    Laxman has to play another special innings probably with support from one of the fab three.

  2. I think we will have to agree to disagree Srikanth. I can cite several examples of good moves by Dravid which you have been — either deliberately or through your other frustrarions — been blind to. He switched Sreesanth’s ends in the first dig. Brilliant move. Immediate dividends. He brought on Ganguly at the right time. Paid rich divididends. He took R. P. Singh off in the first dig after one over in which he had just taken a wicket! Great move. Immediate results. He got R. P. Singh to go around the wicket. Two balls later Vaughan was out. One can chose to ignore all of these — and you have, and I am sure you have your reasons for these. And that is why we must agree to disagree. Let’s move on…

  3. BTW, on the “opportunity” part of your post, I think Pietersen’s brilliant knock has wiped that particular word from my word-bank for this Test. It is an opportunity for England, provided the rain-Gods do not intervene! Given the Indian bats’ mentality these days, I didn’t think India stood much of a chance to win this game after KP’s magic.

    Ian Chappell once said, “If you have your backs to the wall and don’t score runs, the only result will be that the back gets stuck more purposefully to the wall” (or words to that effect).

    Of late, Indian batsmen seem to have gone into the mould that dour defence will help them out of situations thereby merely providing more evidence to support Chappell’s axiom! One has GOT to score. One has got to keep the scoreboard moving especially when one is in a backs-to-the-wall situation. The fab-four seem to have forgotten that. “We can defend our way through anything” seems to be their motto of late! With Dhoni is all sorts and Jaffer following in the footsteps of the fab-four, I think the word “opportunity” rests with England.

  4. sampath kumar

    Ganguly was not better at it. In a test in Hobart, where Srinath was weaving magic and Mark Waugh had been his bunny in previous tests, after lunch, Ganguly bowled himself for 45 minutes, allowed Waugh to settle and waugh and langer had a big partnership, before Srinath was brough on. Only excuse can be–if the bowler was injured or bowling for personal averages!!!!
    India still has depth and 247 with 7 wickets and 90 overs is not all that difficult. Dravid gets out LBW too often these days to medium pacers–may be slow to react and needs to change his technique.

  5. Srikanth Mangalam

    Mohan, I have not said that Dravid is a bad captain. The moves, you say were brilliant, imo were expected atleast at that level. I accept that the Vaughan wicket in the first inning was well thought through. Again, IIRC, there was Sachin’s involvement as well in that decision, wasn’t there. Anyways, as you say, we shall continue to agree to disagree.

    I went in to the second innings almost certainly ruling out Sachin as a major contributor, it is far too much pressure for him to handle especially now in his career. However, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ganguly. I have to say that I loved his body language particularly after the Karthik-Prior incident. He seemed to show a 2002 like attitude egging Karthik on and ready to take on the challenge, atleast mentally. I actually have hopes (some of it might really be wishful thinking) but I somehow do. I place my bet on Ganguly, chances remain as long as he stays out there.

    P.S: I have particularly been enjoying some of the trivialities in this game. One such thing happened today as Tendulkar walked in to bat. Karthik seemed to indicate to him smilingly to enjoy the moment, I suppose (considering this may very well be Tendulkar’s last at Lords) and Tendulkar smiled back sheepishly, pleasing sight that!

  6. And so what’s wrong in Tendulkar’s involvement in captaincy decisions? It is a good sign is it not that Tendulkar is keen, involved and offers advice? The captain creates the environment where such advice is provided. But ultimately, accountability rests with the captain. I suspect you’d have got stuck into Dravid if Tendulkar was ignored and did not offer advice.

    And why do you say that removal of a bowler from the attack 3 balls after he has taken a wicket is “expected atleast at that level”? Where is such ridiculous and laughable expectation coming from?

    I believe in recognising good moves where they exist and not trivialise these as “Oh big deal… These things ought to be done anyway!” Similarly I believe in resisting the temptation to continually knock people down.

    Sometimes India captains can’t win with India fans. So yes! Given that I am totally happy to agree to disagree Srikanth.

    My own view is that there is evidence that Dravid is doing reasonably well as captain given (a) the weak bowling resources, (b) the fielding ineptitude, and (c) the Indian batsmen’s totally inexplicable “defensive mentality”. If there is one area he can improve it would be to set an aggressive tone in the batting. But here he is handicapped because his natural proclivities are to defend his way out of trouble.

    That’s the reality of the situation in my view…

  7. Your ability to completely twist a comment and intepret it in a manner that intends to convey that the “rest of the world” except you are idiots is quite some talent. I just think it is a bit wasted. It reminds me a lot of the typically ultra conservative commentators in the US such as Rush Limbaugh…Since you really want to win this argument, I give it to you….

  8. Looks like a blown fuse to me. All the best 🙂

  9. Mohan, you agree or disagree, Dravid’s field placements were ridiculous.

    And he didn’t make RP Singh come round the wicket. It was the bowling coach who sent the message that Singh was not completing his action while bowling over the wicket, hence not getting late swing. Bowling round the wicket would make him complete his action, hence making him more effective!

  10. Every one has a right to their opinions. That’s all I can say. I have no evidence to suggest that the bowling coach got R.P.Singh to come around the wicket but enough evidence to suggest that Dravid had a chat with R.P.Singh before he came around the wicket.

  11. Sampath,

    I don’t think Ganguly captained India in Australia with Srinath in the attack. I think you are talking about SRT in 1999.

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