Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ganguly Asked to Step Down (Updated)

Its been little more than a year since I started this blog. Have done my best to avoid writing about cricket. I think this is my 2nd or third post on cricket. I, much like, Anti am afraid that this game, which I am totally crazy about, will eat into my life if I start thinking about it.

This is how I view cricket. Cricket involves batting, bowling, keeping and fielding as its main aspects. You do well at junior levels in one of the first 3 items and you get selected for the next level. You move up the ladder to play Ranji trophy and then if you do exceedingly well, you play for the national team. The bottom line is is you have bat, bowl or keep very well. This is an inescapable fact. There is also one other important thing regarding cricket. If you play very well there maybe a chance that you wont win the game. That is because (a) not everybody in your team plays well (b) the other team plays really well. But there is no chance of one of the following happening (a) playing very well contributes to defeat (b) not playing very well contributes to victory. This is really fundametal. It is almost common sense.

Ganguly has done something this time, that he has done more than once in the past, which completely irritates me. Let me tell you one thing straight. I don't like Saurav Ganguly. Not because he is arrogant, snooty etc. i don't know if he is or is not. I really don't care a rat's ass if he is snooty or not. I don't like him because he does not bat, bowl or keep well enough to deserve the place in the Indian team. It is as simple as that. I don't like him because he (or the state that he is in) relies on the " not playing very well contributes to victory" logic to maintain his place in the team. We know that not playing well cant lead to victory. He is not making runs and he is not playing well, how is he going to give a tangible answer to the question "what did you do to make the team win". How long is he going to rely on intangibles like , " I fought for xyz player in the selection commitee, I stood nervous in the dressing room when India was chasing a stiff target, I bit my nails in front of video camera to show that I really cared, then I kicked some object on the field to show I am angry and passionate". Well All we can say is "thanks gangls for selecting a person who can replace you spot in the team, Bye Bye" Let us say somebody says Ganguly is a good batsman. What do I do now? I go to www.cricket.org, go to player stats, select Saurav Ganguly's name and in Ganguly's page go to this link called Stats Guru. What does Stats Guru do? It will give you options to check if a player is doing well. So I selected the last 50 test matches Ganguly has played to check his performance. The last 50 test matches of Ganguly extends from 2000 till now. I see all his scores in 80 or so innings. I whittle away his nop games againt Zimbabwe, Bangladesh. Ganguly averages less than 30 runs per innings. Thats really bad. This automatically merits his exclusion from the team. He has hit 3 centuries in this decade. One against England (in England, result India Win) , one against Australia (in Aus, Result Draw), one against NZ (in Ind, Result Draw). Apart from the innings against australia, he has only 2 other innings that saved/won matches for India, a 70 odd in POS to win a test against WI and a 98 to win a test against SL. Thats it. Thats Ganguly for you.

I am a number's guy. I strongly believe numbers should be given more importance when it comes to selection. Not a big believer in chest thumping, stripping and pumping fists in the air. I completely do not care how many kisses a cricketer does to the Indian flag stuck on his helmet or his glove. throw me runs, I'll clap. Throw me emotion (without any runs) I'll piss all over you. I think we can safely say ganguly shouldn't be in the test team. Its almost a no-brainer. So somebody says Ganguly is a great ODI player. I didn't think so (10,000 runs or not). So I go again to Stats Guru and check Ganguly's progress in ODI after 2003 World Cup. I Cross out all the 100's ( there are many) againt Bangladesh, Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe etc. Ganguly has just 1 or 2 centuries outside these countries, no innings after the world cup that can be mentioned as a good knock. Get this. He has not played a good ODI innings in the last 2 years. While Tendulkar and Dravid have been either getting India to tournament finals or "choking" (that is the fancy term now) at some point or other during the finals, Ganguly has been DOA in all the final's that India has lost. He has been DOA in thournament games too. I am sick and tired of hearing that he is out of form for the past 5 years. He is an excess baggage, an embarassment, a liability. Now the thing I don't understand is why people think he is a good cricket player.

My conclusion is anybody who did not have Jaggu Dalmia and Sambran Bannerjee (the whole East Zone Quota thing) backing would have been dropped. I want to know from reader's who are interested in cricket and who believe Ganguly should be in the team one thing --
(a) Can you prove statistically ( by quoting his great innings etc) that he deserves a place in the Indian team?
(b) What has Ganguly done in the past 5 years (in test matches) in the past 2 years (in ODI's) that makes him selection worthy. We needn't compare, talk about other players etc? Just ganguly stand-alone, why should he be in the Indian team.

Now why did I write this blog. Let's say you are Ganguly and I am greg chappel. I come and tell you, " Mr. Ganguly, you suck! you have never been in form for the past 5 years please stand down". I, as a coach am saying a completely valid thing. Statistics and common sense shows that you suck. If you did not suck, you would have told me then and there " look Mr. Chappell, I have hit runs here, here and here, I have had some sort of form going on in the last 5 years. So I don't suck". But you don't say anything. Because you have nothing to say. Which is why you wait until you have a century against your name to do the talking. So what you do is go and hit a stupid 100 runs against a shameless team like Zimbabwe, pump your fists, remove your underwear, dance like a clown and go and claim in the press like a baby, " he asked me to stand down". To me the stupid century doesn't change anything. From reader's I want to know seriously the following.
(a) After hitting 70 ducks and scoring a century against Zimbabwe will the 70 ducks dissappear?
(b) Will this once century prove that all the past was wrong and the player was never out of form? Going by this logic, if in the next innings ganguly scores a duck, can Greg Chappell run around the field in his underwear and claim to the press that he was always right and Ganguly should be dropped.
I think Greg Chappel was (and still is) correct. Ganguly has not scored and should stand down. What do you folks think. While giving me the answer ( and I really want to learn if I am wrong), please do not use words like "patriotism, ganguly is true indian, greg chappell is bad aussie" etc. Anush pointed out that this could be considered as a denigration of my blog readers. But it seriously is not. People say things that are a result of past experience. My past experience has been very bad when talking about cricket. I found debators on Ganguly topic, less logical and more emotional ( read as more stupid). Generally comments such as these are used when you have no arguments to give and want to get down to stupid politics. As a captain, I agree Ganguly had (past tense) some value. But is he relevant today? Should the XI be selected first and then the captain or vice versa? If Ganguly is so superb as a tactician, to merit a place in the team even if he is not playing well, can you quantify and show in which matches and what instances, his team selection, field placings, innvoation led to that conclusion?


Edit: Here is an interesting article in cric info on Ganguly's stats. It does a comprehensive analysis on Saurav Ganguly. Crunches numbers on him etc. It does what I tried to do but eventually did not (lack of time). That article is almost damning on SG.

57 comments:

anantha said...

Hawkeye: Totally agree with your post, though I have doubts about the last line. Will come to that later. But ya, Gangs is not exactly in the best form of his life. When we were in Australia, I remember having argued for Gangs presence in th e team solely as captain, but thats too long ago. I can't argue with the same ardor (ask Prabhu about it!), but I think I will still say this. As a captain, I think his time is past and his current form dictates that. But as a batsman, I think he can still stay on. Time and again, we have seen Indian captains become the shadow of the batsman they once were and I think that comes with the territory. I think right now, its in Gangs's best interest to stand down and work on extending his career as a batsman for another two years atleast, which is not something I am averse to giving him! Age is on his side! Prabhu might immediately point out that this is quite the opposite of what I argued in 2003-2004, but I think i am entitled to a change in view points over 2 years, considering we haven't see any batsman's star raise meteorically these past two years. Kaif and Yuvraj were talking points then and are now too. If only Gangs could try to see if a break from captaincy can help him bat better!
Now for your last line. I think that that what you ask is next to impossible. Even Australia, who started this whole talking point a couple of years ago, would not have seriously acheived this at the height of their run at the top. Again its a mootpoint, since Steve Waugh's batting form was never in question during the time he was captain and that was when this whole "choose the team and then choose the best player to be captain" talk started cropping up. In fact, looking at Cricinfo's StatsGuru, I see that Waugh's average in his last 50 tests is 53, 2 runs more than his career average. So we cannot essentially say that if Waugh's batting fortunes had dipped, he'd have been dropped. Moot point, I say, moot point!

Barath said...

hmm nice analysis...jus wondering ...on his batting...did u do the same analysis in Steve Waugh's last 100 test innings..? how was it? May be it wud be a good reference point to compare with!..as far as contemporary captains...may be he is con and temporary!

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Hawkeye... I am a Ganguly fan, but there is also logic in what you say. I think the time has come, maybe, when things need to be seen in a different light. Let us wait and see what lantern the selectors use for the job

Anonymous said...

Well said! Heard Ganguly talking abt negative vibes in the dressing room. Now that from a captain is enough to show that its time for him to leave captaincy. Also he told that players should be matured enough to accept if they are not included. Hope somebody asks him to get matured and stop washing dirty linen in public

Anonymous said...

There is something that cannot be denied. As soon as any player becomes an indian captain, he stops scoring runs, wonder why, it had happened with sachin too!

But yes, ganguly should be removed or for that matter anybody who does not score well should. That would be the best message for all the players.

Anu krish

Anonymous said...

I fundamentally disagree with you on this blog on several points.

Top most are :

1. Statistics :
To quote the cliché - "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."
I dont think you can analyze a person's importance to the team on the basis of statistics alone.

2. Choosing XI and then the captain or vice versa :
I think the analogy here would be the importance of coaches/GMs in baseball clubs. If you need a winning team, you need good players, but you also need a person with vision to "build" a winning team. I think this was distinctly lacking in the previous captains of the Indian team (Either 'cos they didnt have it or 'cos they couldn't twist the selectors arms). Ganguly has this, he identified and persisted with several key players and made one kick-ass team for the World cup. I think we still need him for the next WC.


I think you have underestimated ganguly's importance to this team as a captain / tactician. BTW, try comparing Mike Brearley's stats, an accepted tactician and class captain, with that of ganguly's and you will notice the difference.

But, I agree with you on one thing though, I think it is kind of silly for Ganguly to come out to the media and suggest that Chappel had asked him to step down.

Anush

P.S. - In your final para "please do not use words like "patriotism, ganguly is true indian, greg chappell is bad aussie" etc. "
Do you actually think someone would come back with this as a reply ???
Do I detect a tinge of arrogance in that ;-)
Either that or you are totally underestimating the intelligentsia of your blog readers.

Hawkeye said...

Dei Anush ( I hope its the kaliphornia anush),

1) cricket is a numbers game. Its evaluated, counted and results decided based on number. Yes statistics can twist numbers. But you need to have numbers for that. You cant have numbers and escape by quoting the stats proverb cliche.

2) while I agree ganguly had (once upon a time) his value as a captain, I think saying that now would be like including azhar in the team because of his 5 fours against klusner. There is an expiry date for that credit and ganguly is well well beyond that expiry date ( 2 years over). He was right once ( as a non-player). Now that whole point is irrelevant.

3) The last thing about patriotism. Well I cant write a separate book about it. Everytime I have heard arguments in favor of ganguly - about 99% of the time - I have heard that ganguly is the "true selfless indian" and everybody else was playing a "selfish game". Most of his press statements talk about how only he plays for Team India and as to how other centuries were useless etc( mite be true but.. of all the people with the number of dead centuries he has ..he can't say it). If you have not heard this statements then you have not discussed cricket hard core in India.

/* Do you actually think someone would come back with this as a reply ???
Do I detect a tinge of arrogance in that ;-)
Either that or you are totally underestimating the intelligentsia of your blog readers.
*/

All I read from this was that you agree with me that bringing the patriotism angle would in fact be a stupid argument. And for that I thank you and am overjoyed.

To give you a honest answer, I was taken aback that people argued in the comments section logically instead of emotionally. It was certainly a pleasant surprise. Never used to be the case in my office cafetiria arguments.

Filtered Sambhar said...

Hey Hawkey,
I am starting to feel this 'dada' issue has really going great places. I got up today morning, (err this afternoon) & grabbed the coffee mug went straight to pick up newspaper. I should be saying i wasn't shocked all though i was just a little. The TOI's headlines read Chappel wanted Ganguly to be out of the team! What a joke(r) i thought. And then when i was in my usual daily check up of blogs i read this post in your blog unusually about cricket, yes 'cricket'. I haven't read even one post of yours with cricket word in it. I don't know from where this came out from since this is more concerning the head of the Indian cricket team. Anyways this is my view with a little different point of view.
Just yesterday i read your top picks, the salary one. I thought it was interesting reflecting the indianism in it with a flavor of inimitability. I also feel this debate reflects the same attitude. The true attitude in terms of us recognizing someone's past and judging his future keeping in mind the factors will remain the same is like driving the car with only viewing the rear view mirror. But here in this issue i am not saying that he has a great future but hope that he has a great retirement. For me as always one should retire when he is at his peak. There is a great pleasure when you bid adieu on the top of your career. It's like retiring gracefully. Live rest of your life in peace and the honor next to your name. Say that you are an Indian cricket team captain who had lead from the front and never be ashamed of the failure's.
First of all having the pleasure of being the captain of the Indian cricket team itself gives the sense of delightedness and the responsibility. You have a feeling of leading the entire nation in the right direction, i.e your direction. So you definitely make sure that you do it.
A man with 15000 international runs has to be respected for sure but as i explained my view in anti's blog about professional cricketers if it was not ganguly it was someone else for us for him it has to be him. And beyond a certain point of time name is more important than money so they should do as much as possible to keep it right & tight with them.
So i feel we may have to wait till the next world cup to see the exit of few of the greatest players of our generation. Be ready for the surprise!!!

Filtered Sambhar said...

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SAMBAR 2 SYDNEY...

Ram Prasadh said...

Bharath,
I agree with wat u say.Ganguly's interview to the press was gibberish intended 2 gain public sympathy. I knew this Bengal tiger has been roaring for quite sometime without actually hunting for runs.He prides himself on scoring a century against a weak adversary.He then calls for a press meeting to tell how people mocked at him and passed sarcastic remarks about his performance.He scowls at fielders for misfielding or a dropped catch but pose a crestfallen face for something he has failed to do so.A batsman can have a bad time with bat once or twice but not so long till the end of his cricketing career.
It is really pathetic to know that some talented cricketers are denied a hap to play for Indian team merely because of their abysmal performance in one game.On the other hand one who hits like a juggernaut in one game remain phelgmatic and dormant for the rest of the games.After a brief hiatus, when critics crop up on his dismal performance he cracks a century and boasts himself as a pride cricketer.
Nothing can be done unless the player feels remorse and steps down.As regards Ganguly, well Chapell will step down soon!!!!

sri said...

Bharath,

I said this one year back itself , ofcourse not on a blog but to everyone i met.then the reply was amazing.
its actually like , people started judging things imagining their professions.
for example when i asked a software engineer that ganguly should quit , he immediately said "Ganguly may not be Great Performer but he is a great leader. ... We need leaders... there are many performers.... take an analogy ... can you ask your project manager to quit his job because he doesn't write a single line of code.... it is as simple as that ..."...
i could only reply... " a leader should lead by example... as for analogy it doesn't work in cricket.However much it is a team game , at the end of the day people look at individual contributions too."

in fact as per my own opinion ... Ganguly also tried many times for it.. infact whenever i watch match i do it with a very strong intent to see his reactions... he wants to be the superman ... always... this is one of his problems and reasons for his downfall. i still remember one of his matches against south africa ( not exactly sure when may be 2 or 3 years back ) , where he has hit a lot of sixers . this is what he wants to do in each and every match... in fact if you ask me the exact reason for his downfall in batting is his laziness. he wants to reach his centuries by way of boundaries and sixers than by converting 2's to 3's formula which is the reason for ricky ponting's success....
Nothing else.. if he can learn this simple thing and inculcate into his batting , just like tendulkar did after sehwag's take over of the pinch hitting or blasting the opposition job. unfortunately here aslo ganguly wants to imitate rather than sticking to his style and batting more patiently....

Anonymous said...

"Ganguly has this, he identified and persisted with several key players and made one kick-ass team for the World cup"

Anush, Are you talking about the previous worldcup? I dont think we went into the finals because of the kickass team or because of Ganguly's captaincy..It was only becuase of Sachin's 615 runs.

And about persisting with "key" players. Ganguly had players like yuvraj, kaif and harbhajan. No matter how stupid the captain is, he would still persist with the above players. Ganguly was just lucky to have a bunch of talented players.

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye,
OK you need numbers lets talk numbers.

ODI Stats (Oops NUMBERS)
1) Obvious cliche 3rd Highest ODI scores 10123 (after Sachin and Inzi) as u mentioned.

2) 2nd higest Centuries Scorer in the world (22 Centuries).

3) 60 50's thats btw 5th highest in the world and 3rd highest by an Indian

4) Highest score by any indian in the world cup Vs SL 183 (well u cud add that in entire ODI history next to Sachin ofcourse who scored 189 Vs "Kenya" pun not intended)

5) Best Partnership with Sachin 258 in the world.

6) Highest Number of Centuries in the world cup by any cricketer (4).

7) Well he has helped India win atleast 27 times, for the record it was just as player not as a captain thats still to come below) i.e 5th player in the world to receive most Man of the Match awards next to Sachin in India who has won 50 times I BELEIVE THAT THE MAN OF THE MATCH AWARDS ARE NOT AWARDED BASED ON THE "EAST QUOTA"

8) Team Performance under Ganguly's captaincy 376/2 Vs NZ in 1999, 373/6 Vs SL in 1999, 356/9 Vs Pak in 2004, 353/5 Vs NZ in 2003, 351/3 Vs Kenya in 2001, 349/7 Vs Pak in KARCHI 2003, the list goes on....my point being not one Indian captain has made his team to score such match winning performances these many times (that incl Sachin, Azar, Kapil...)

9) OK as a Test captain he has done pretty damn well compared to any other previous captains i.e Winning Australia down under after many years, winning Pak in their own soil... so on so forth.

ok do these numbers quantify as being captain?

Now lets play your ball game..
Hypothetically speaking you being Greg and me being Saurav & you are asking me to step down as captain, and I do so.
who do u think is my replacement "Greg do you have anybody in mind ?" ....may be Kapil? (pls be serious)

If you have played cricket, certainly you wud understand the importance of the captain and spirit of the players hence you cant really under estimate the importance of his patriotism.

Mahesh

ps: Sorry for the long comment.

Anonymous said...

Mahesh,

Please read the blog properly.

What about the last 2 years in ODI and the last 5 years in test matches.

- How many ODI's did he win when India was chasing a score of over 275
- Remove all the centuries that he scored against all the second league teams, how many centuries does he have against the better teams in the last 4-5 years.
-In the last 8 years how many times did ganguly nudge the ball to the keeper/slips and lose his wicket
-How many times did he try to hook the ball and lose his wicket?

Anonymous said...

"If you have played cricket, certainly you wud understand the importance of the captain and spirit of the players hence you cant really under estimate the importance of his patriotism."

LOL....where should I puke?
How can you assume hawkeye has never played cricket? I dont know hawkeye either, but how can you make such an assumption when you are trying to prove a point?

Ganguly and patriotism..its all BS.

Anonymous said...

My dear friend I would advise you to kindly go through the blog once again

"Can you prove statistically ( by quoting his great innings etc) that he deserves a place in the Indian team? "
This is what hawkeye wanted and I have given him numbers.
Coming to your question in reagrd to chasing over 275, you may be right that even in Saurav's captaincy we have not done well many times but I dont think that we had been a very good chasers before his captaincy either. Infact we are getting better in chasing (I dont wanna bore you with numbers here again).

Hawkeye said...

anti,

I though Mark taylor went through the worst patch as the aussie captain with around 30 innnings w/o a 50 until he hit a 100 in an ashes edgbaston test (which aus lost) . then he went on a rut again until he hit a 100 in bangalore(1998) which australia won.

steve waugh's claim to fame had been his super scoring during his captaincy days. I think he was going a 100 a series until the last year of his captaincy. The selectors upped the pressur on him because he fell below the 100/series standards. I think his scores as a captain must be good and certainly better than Mark.

Hawkeye said...

barath,

i think anti did that analysis. steve did pretty good with the bat in his days as captain.

Hawkeye said...

Sudipta,

Right now! I don't see ganguly being dropped out of the team even his form continues to be as bad as this.

Note: there is now way to reply to anonymous comment!because there are so many of them. I'll just c &p their comment and put my reply under them..

anonymous,

/* Hope somebody asks him to get matured and stop washing dirty linen in public */

this is what ticked me off.. he was bold enough to say things in public which captains like gavaskar or sachin wud never even say to their friends. For that I appreciated him. But this is taking things too far. Its down right immature.

Hawkeye said...

anti,

(as an after thought)i think the moment ganguly loses his captaincy, his place may immdly be under threat. because india winning ( i dont see match results getting significantly affected if ganguly is removed as captain..it'll be the same) may not be credited to ganguly.

I agree with your point that past captains have become better batters when dropped. But I have my doubts abt gangls. If he has to rely on runs to be in the team, he may not get far.

Hawkeye said...

Anu Kris,

I thought it will be really difficult to beat azzu's bad batting as a captain. gangls has done twice as bad as him

Hawkeye said...

filtered,

I agree ganguly himself has no alternative but himself. In fact personal glory is one of the primary motivation factors for all cricketers. Helping the team win didnt results in a significant bit of personal glory, so playing for the team can also be connected back to eprsonal glory.

The comparison between asking one's salary and judging him based on that is straight away wrong because u have no right to judge other people. well you have the right but u have no right to go and ask them for personal info.

here the selectors, coach and the general public(because of tax exemption factor) have a right to judge ganguly and find out his personal statistics.

A good GRE, CAT, GMAT score is used by universities as an indicator of how well you will do in the future. A good GPA is used by campus interviewers to judge you. thats their job. using numbvers to pass judgment is context dependent. people who are supposed to do it *have* to do it. people who aren't supposed to do should *never* do it. The salary blog was more about the latter

Hawkeye said...

Anush,

"Ganguly has this, he identified and persisted with several key players and made one kick-ass team for the World cup"

I think many would disagree with this. With the exception of bhajji the players themselves should feel insulted by this. the Ranji System and the selectors must certainly feel upset. what ganguly dd was prevent zonal bias odds against eliminating players of yuvraj;s calibre. But he is by no means responsible for their success. Kaif and Yuvraj did very well in Under-15 WC and were groomed and sent into Indian team by selectors. Ganguly included them in the team, they played well and so they are in the team.

Harbajan was the major exception here as ganguly saw in him which selectors did not see. Yuvraj was deservingly dropped when he did not do well and had to work his way up back into the team. Sehwag was there in the Indian team much b4 gangls captaincy and he was in the team by his own merit.

This team has very good talent. Something similar to the early 80's team.

Hawkeye said...

Ram Prasadh,

/* A batsman can have a bad time with bat once or twice but not so long till the end of his cricketing career.*/

this one line sums it all up! 2 years for manyn people is a career.

Hawkeye said...

sri,

everytime i talk about ganguly with other people I'll ask them...Ganguly is a Poor fielder, poor running between wickets, poor attention to basics (grounding the bat etc..) added to that a poor technique to. Why do you have respect for him as a player ? Why dont you compare these sort of basics with that of ur profession

Hawkeye said...

Mahesh,

sorry if I didnt make it clear. I was talking about last 2 years (maybe even 5 years). In ODI 2 years is almost 70 games. If you havent been scoring for 2 years you are worthless. its not difference between not scoring for 20 years and not scoring for 2 years.

straight away to the conversation exchange

/*
Hypothetically speaking you being Greg and me being Saurav & you are asking me to step down as captain, and I do so.
who do u think is my replacement "Greg do you have anybody in mind ?" ....may be Kapil? (pls be serious) */

If I was greg I wud say without blinking " if you can be included then kapil can be included. Because both your forms/acheivements are so far in the past that it does not matter who plays" . I am not kidding seriously. Most of what u quoted is at least 5 years old. If ganguly can get in with such old performances, azzu and kapil should feel very upset.

btw I think dravid wud be an excellent replacement. Ganguly had no captaincy record when he was first appointed. Dravid is better groomed and more prepared than anyone else

Hawkeye said...

Mahesh,

you've got to be kidding me on the "patriotism" bit.

plus u misunderstood the question. only 2 of your 5 points had anything to do with ganguly as a player

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye
Obviously Dravid is the only chance we have right now but unfortunately he doesnt seem to be suxesful in the matches he had lead the team so far and Sachin doesnt want the captaincy. I dont understand why you said that many of the stats that I have mentioned are not related to Saurav..?

Hawkeye said...

Mahesh,

1) Obvious cliche 3rd Highest ODI scores 10123 (after Sachin and Inzi) as u mentioned.

>> How much of it has been in the last 2 years. A lot of people have retired with 8000 runs under their names because they completely stopped scoring. ganguly shld have bene one of them.

2) 2nd higest Centuries Scorer in the world (22 Centuries).

>> in the last 2 (or more) years, i think he has scored centuries only against sub zimbabwe teams.

3) 60 50's thats btw 5th highest in the world and 3rd highest by an Indian

>> okay

4) Highest score by any indian in the world cup Vs SL 183 (well u cud add that in entire ODI history next to Sachin ofcourse who scored 189 Vs "Kenya" pun not intended)

>> its 6 year old statistic no different than kapil's 175 which happens to be a 20 year old statistic. btw sachin's 189 was against NZ.

5) Best Partnership with Sachin 258 in the world.

>> too old to mention

6) Highest Number of Centuries in the world cup by any cricketer (4).

>> the one you mentioned against SL was the only century against a test playing nation. 1 century against namibia and 2 against kenya.

7) Well he has helped India win atleast 27 times, for the record it was just as player not as a captain thats still to come below) i.e 5th player in the world to receive most Man of the Match awards next to Sachin in India who has won 50 times I BELEIVE THAT THE MAN OF THE MATCH AWARDS ARE NOT AWARDED BASED ON THE "EAST QUOTA"

>> ganguly came into the indian team in 1996 because of east zone quota and nothing else. this is inescapable fact. that year a long list of east zone players were constantly snet into the indian team, ganguly was the one who clicked.

how many of these "27 times" or "man of the matches" came in the last 2 years...bottomline -- why is he in a better position to be in the indian team than kapil dev NOW.

8) Team Performance under Ganguly's captaincy 376/2 Vs NZ in 1999, 373/6 Vs SL in 1999, 356/9 Vs Pak in 2004, 353/5 Vs NZ in 2003, 351/3 Vs Kenya in 2001, 349/7 Vs Pak in KARCHI 2003, the list goes on....my point being not one Indian captain has made his team to score such match winning performances these many times (that incl Sachin, Azar, Kapil...)

>> u mean as a captain he physically went and played for other people and made them score higher. how much was ganguly's contribution to the totals mentioned in the last 2 years. I completely dont understand this point at all. How does ganguly being a captain make the guy in the middle score more runs? did he coach those players, physically intimidated the bowlers to bowl slow.. what did *ganguly* do?

9) OK as a Test captain he has done pretty damn well compared to any other previous captains i.e Winning Australia down under after many years, winning Pak in their own soil... so on so forth.

>> what did ganguly score. did he hit runs? when where? I know all the statistics u have thrown me. I just dont see ganguly's name in any of them. What did he do personally as a player. What is his individual contribution.


Bottomline:

1) do you accept he is in bad form now? What do you think of his form NOW?

2) the only thing I am ggeting out of your quoting his captaincy again and again is that you are conceeding he isnt playing well but u want him to be there because "India seems to be winning under his captaincy" (in the last 2 years????)

Filtered Sambhar said...

awkey,

I accept a bit of that, that's the whole point i was talking about crossing the hill factor & retiring at the peak. I know the world recognises performance and not potential but this guy has shown equal amount of both as stats shown by mahesh. So even in your competitive exams its how much you score & not which exam you score in right? Similarly how many cricketers actually score against the mineows only,if you say ganguly scores only against them? So at the end of the days play it's what's in your scorebook that counts and not what you think!
All of us want to end that day very well and we give more than enough to make sure the results are achieved all though (any) game is lot more different, even after you give your hundred percent you aren't sure you got your desired results!
you cannot certainly compare runs to exams because in exams you just write & wait for someone's else to correct your scrips but in case of runs you are there to get it or correct it. But you can certianly compare exams to selection because they are in the hands of someone else who is not you!

i just took the salary example to display the indianism in it, that's it. Even today i know cricketers who play for immortality, cricketers who haven't played representative cricket at all but still playing at 40 years just for the pleasure of it.

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye
I dont mean to say that only because he is a good captain he should be in the team but just wanna put emphasis on the importance of his captaincy. Though he didnt play physically for any players (middle orders as you mentioned) he had certainly changed matches to India's favour in many occasions (we won Eng not only because of his good scoring but also the captaincy was much commended). Infact in the very recent Pak series the only match we won was under his captaincy (2005).

you say that players play their own game and the captain has no part in it then why is it that the players (indivudually) dont perform in the finals? Even when India was not doing well (late 80's early 90's)India had the best players like Sidhu, Sachin, Manjrekar, Azhar, Srinath....... then if players are the one who does the magic with out the captain why could not they lift the WC? atleast go to the finals? Look at the way he supported the batsmen when they were going through a lean period. (infact VVS Lakshman who knocked a brilliant 140 MOST RECENTLY is still in the team only because Saurav supported him despite the selectors opinion when he was in his bad patch)
Many players can be added in the list like Viru etc.
"RUNS RUNS AND RUNS" if thats what cricket is all about, every team in the world can start producing 11 Afridi's who hits everything he sees in front of him. But a team (like India) needs someone who can tailor the players accoriding to the situation in the field with all their experiences. In this Saurav has undoubtedly done a commendable job! Doesn't this prove he is fit to be the captain?He seems to be getting into the groove when u look at his balances against the bouncers in the recent games.
Any batsmen will use a team like Zim to get back in to form and I think thats what he has done.
I feel he can improve his form in the forthcoming matches. If Agarkar can be given 140 chances to prove himself (thats all he has played so far) certainly Saurav can be given a couple more that too when he is getting there.

PS; More than everything, I want to register in the blog and tried almost 50 login names but in vain. Kindly let me know how to do that.
Mahesh.

sri said...

you got a point mahesh.

bharath will certainly agree with your comparision of chances for the agarkar :-). he just doens't like agarkar's inclusion. and i have opinion that sachin is somewhat responsible for agarkar's inclusion. because agarkar almost always played under the captaincy of sachin, unless he is injured.

bharath,
i have already mentioned the reason for all the basics you are telling about..it can be as sometimes laziness resulting from the overloading of work...

do you think... the PM's or for that matter soemtimes PL's dont write code just because they are not good at it...they are looked at different outputs for example ... responsibility for deleivery of the module/project. its their ability to motivate the team to do better is what at scrutiny , not their coding skills.
well, if you want individual contribution besides captaincy , that should be clearly communicated to him and he should be warned in a decent manner to drive away his complacency.

reg. dravid , i really doubt if he can be the better replacement.althogh he has that grooming which is required.His case appears to me like the case with sachin.

Hawkeye said...

filetered, mahesh, sri,

all 3 of u have have made errors in some, many or all facts .

filtered,

what i understand from ur comment is that NOW ganguly's graceful retirement is more important than India winning. So regardless of his form he should continue until he finally gets back into form(even if its is 1 year from now) and then be allowed to retire

Sriki,

agarkar came into the squad in azhar's captaincy in 1998. Azhar was captain until 99 WC and then sachin took over for 9 months. Ganguly has been the captain since 2000. So if agarkar has been playing for 7 years, he has had 1 year under azzu, 9 months ( i think just 3 series against SL, Aus, RSA) and 5 and half years under saurav. now what do you think about agarkar's inclusion?

also s/w and cricket are different. Captain has many duties agreed. but first among them is to score runs/take wickets. if he cant do it. he shouldnt be in the team.

Mahesh (and filtered and sriki),

the above para is my response to Mahesh also. beyond that..

1) do you think saurav has been in form for the past 2 years?

2) do u think a captain does not require to contribute in field and if the team wins and captain scores ducks he should be included in the team?

I think ur answers to these questions will help me know whether its worth debating further or notor not.

Filtered Sambhar said...

no hawkey you have mistaken my statement..
the decision of anybody's retirement is solely upto that indivudual to make, it's up to him to decide when he wants to call it a day. i am saying he himself should take the decision and not anyone forcefully dropping him out of the squard..so that doesn't mean to say that he is should not be continuing in his present form but offlate he has shown the ability to bounce back..

Ram said...

Bharath,

Knowing me, you would never expect me to support this post or agree with your opinion. But you opinion is yours and you have expressed it, although I think, somewhat too strongly.

I like Sourav Ganguly, for his passion, his energy and his talent. But I do not like non-performers. I still think he is a star performer in many ways that we cannot see in the Cricinfo Statsguru.

I don't believe that your argument was balanced and you certainly did not give the man due credit. I would not be surprised if an emotion component came into play here.

There is nothing left to say that has already not been stated by the comments above, some of which were very nice to read.

Hawkeye said...

Ram,

good comment!

honestly! very good comment!

I think I have watched all saurav's ganguly's innings from the time he made those 2 ODI apperances in oz in 1992 and from the time he played in all the county matches during our 1 month prep for the 1996 tour.

Being in the US u tend to miss a test or so here and there but still..this zim tour is probably the only tourn that I am not seeing saurav bat since he made his test debut.

while i always agree that u have to have the guts to piss of a few people here and there to be a good leader (which sauurav was), you also have to constantly have numbers to back yourself up. A 2 year period without numbers is a luxury that even azzu had not been able to afford. when u can't back yourself with numbers you become vulnerable. saurav has been vulnerable for 5 years in tests and at least 2 years in ODI's.

But anyway, the point of this blog was to really find out what people thought of him and why my view differs from theirs. Many commentors here, like me, clearly did not like ganguly's inclusion in the team.

I wanted to find out from The ones who diffred with the blog, as to why they thought so. Clearly some thought that he was out of form and he shld be in the team despite not scoring because he had delivered results in the past as a captain. which is something to which I disagreed.

Some thought he was never out of form, which is where the "strong" and "emotional" part kicked in :-)

Anonymous said...

Hawkeye
I wanted to actually express what Ram has said and Ifeel Saurav is the man who has always been cornered for some reason or the other
YOUR Q's
1)do you think saurav has been in form for the past 2 years?
A)Ofcourse he is not int he form. (but he is starting to bounce back and I feel another great innings by him is not far)

2) do u think a captain does not require to contribute in field and if the team wins and captain scores ducks he should be included in the team?
A) NOT ALWAYS (I feel a good captaincy is also a contribution in the field)

One thing which I really wanted to know from you or rather all non-supportors of Saurav is that y u ppl actually critisise him more than any other players (if they had been in the same position)? This is certainly not emotional but curiosity. Actually your comments were really sensible and logical but these things (Him stepping down) didnt cropup now but has been there from the period when he started to lose his form. Some may disagree with this but certainly some one would have felt the same way.

Hawkeye said...

/* One thing which I really wanted to know from you or rather all non-supportors of Saurav is that y u ppl actually critisise him more than any other players (if they had been in the same position)? */

who has been out of form for 2 - 5 years and still managed to be in the team? everybody gets dropped only saurav ganguly gets to stay (which is not fair to other players). so he is critisized. deservedly so.

Neon said...

I agree with most of what you say Bharat and it probably is time for Ganguly to step down as Captain. He will have to be dropped from the test team but he can still play in the one-day team. He seems too mentally troubled to be leading an Indian side. After the Zimbabwe series, Dravid should be made the permanent odi and test captain and Ganguly should play under him in the ODIs. I feel that he still has something to offer in the One Day arena. Give him one more chance. If he fires, well good for him and India.

Anonymous said...

http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/219480.html

Ram said...

I dont think Ganguly deserves such a long post. Kick him out and be done with it.
And also, totally out of context, Anti told me that I could speak to you regarding an MBA in the US. I am applying for fall'06. I guess I can use your help, if you have the time :)

Anonymous said...

Ganguly does not now deserve a decent send-off ! He is a selfish player who is on Dalmia's crutches and should, undoubtedly, be thrown out - but don't under-estimate his potential of manouvering and politicking. He still is capable of outmanouvering those who want to set the things right. I only wish good luck to Chappel - the poor fellow will have to struggle a lot while grappling with dirty politics of Indian Cricket. Having said that I would add that Ganguly still has time to make amends and make room for youngsters instead of sticking to capataincy when no sane person would vote for him except of course the vested interests or persons like Dalmiya who for unknown reasons have been supporting him.
Anyway, the Blog is fantastic!!

Haarish said...

Bharath, all your views are so true. Some of my freind's have the opinion that we are taking a stand against Bengali's. All i am asking is to give all the Das's, mukerjee's etc from the state also to be given an equal opportunity.

Haarish said...

You are true in your views. Some of my friends have the opinion that most of us are against Bengali's. All i am asking is to give equal opportunities to the Das's , Mukerjee's etc. and let them prove their ability

Haarish said...

I totally agree with what you,ve said. Let them give also give equal opportunities to the rest like Das's, Mukerjee's and let them prove their ability

sri said...

Bharath,

I had been watching cricket for a while from 1991 world cup onwards.

the reason why i am in support of ganguly's captaincy is , the team spirit that has come into the indian cricket scenario.

no one else would have remebered this kind of team spirit except for 1983 world cup final, where we won as a team.

If you can recollect the chronolgy of events... once upon a time.. not more than 4 years ago...we depended very heavily on sachin. at that time we all knew that the moment sachin is out... we have lost the game... but today.... we see the match till kaif or yuvraj stay in the game. There has been a transformation that has come into the indian cricket under the captaincy of .also the kind of dirty poilitics we used to hear outside matches like cold war between certain cricketers also got reduced considerably. so its the broad picture of the team spirit , that i feel may not continue further if ganguly leaves the team and his captaincy. ... and unfortunately as i watch matches i could not really find a perfect replacement for ganguly in the current playing scenario.

I dont know , if we can experiment in a similar fashion of having a very young captain like smith for south africa

coming to your questions.

1) do you think saurav has been in form for the past 2 years?
no ,
but again... if u see south african Graeme Smith record , i dont find it that impressive except for the occasional blasting. He is still the south africa's captain.

2) do u think a captain does not require to contribute in field and if the team wins and captain scores ducks he should be included in the team?

definitely he needs to lead by example. but sometimes remember in cricket it always happens that if two persons are having a good partnership then if one quits the other also quits. so i think it is not a better idea to remove ganguly now and break the team in the dream of building a team full of strong batters or bowlers or fielders or all rounders for 2007 world cup. I think saurav deserves captaincy atleast till 2007 world cup , not for any political reasons but for the newfound team spirit among team players.And the Best Decision in this scenario can only be taken by the entire set of team about to play under ganguly. take out a survey of their inclination to play under him and if the majority comes out as NO which is quite valid , because only those 11 Know what exactly are the ground conditions, then Ganguly deserves to stand out.

Haarish said...

Sri,
You might be right about other captains not doing that great, but i dont think none of the captains had similar guts to go public and talk about stuff that is internal to the team. Some people also have the opinion that sourav brought integrity into the team. But dont you think its all in the drain now that he has revolted against the coach who is making every possible effort to see us through.

I even doubt if there some team spirit existing now. The worlkd cup is two years from now and i guess we should have already chosen a replacement captain if at all they decide to replace ganguly in the near future. One more thing i dont agree to your opinion that we dont have a good replacement for ganguly. Dravid is a good captain and he should be tried more than once or twice to judge if he is good for that job or not. Being a captain is all about passion and an enduring thought that could carry you forward else where.

anantha said...

Bharath: Atleast u have ppl commenting. My cricket posts uses to get max one or two! Dunno if that's a reflection of quality, but that was also one reason why i stopped, did not wanna ramble like a madman without anybody responding :)

sri said...

Harish ,

1. "the coach who is making every possible effort to see us through."...

How can u say this with confidence that the coach is making efforts.He just joined indian team.so,u believe in greg chapell more than ganguly . is it ?

we dont know the reality except for what ganguly has revealed in the public. even tendulkar himself although expressed dissatisfaction of ganguly's going public doesn't go further without knowing what exactly has happened in dresssing room.

when trying to judge ganguly's goodness in going public or not , we should also hear to the other side who is none other than the new coach. he himself has admitted that he is trying to motivate ganguly , which ganguly might not have taken it like that. there are ways of motivating a person. and asking a person to quit is what form of motivation ? But if there is something really wrong from ganguly's side in chapells finding , i think greg chapell should make it public instead of searching for reasons like "motivating stuff".. ( which appears to me in this scenario ).it is better for him and better for indian cricket also to see the ground realities ( of chapells findings as to why he thinks ganguly should quit ) rather than starting this cold war scenario again. it is better to discuss the issues openly ( if not with public , but with selectors atleast ) than keep it to himself and escape from this situation because of some political pressure and be the cause for under performance of the whole team which again comes under his cap.

"Dravid is a good captain and he should be tried more than once or twice to judge if he is good for that job or not"
.... It is true that we should not judge dravid just by trying once.I cannot reason out anymore , because it is my personal opinion that a leader will easily be recognised. and only "I" am not confident of him.dravid has stayed along with ganguly for quite a long time , if he really deserves that captainship no political pressure ( remember once upon a time they had atleast 4 people dravid, kumble,srinath,v prasad all in the team from bangalore itself , which i think u will agree because of their talent ). If he really has it in him no political pressure whatsover can stop him from proving his talent.

overall i strongly believe..
"Bull Shit Might Take you to Top , But will Not Keep you there for Long".

Let us wait and see how long ganguly can survive just with political support and this kind of going public about the coach but not with real mettle.

Hawkeye said...

anti,

i said this before and i say this again. your analysis of the game is excellent. i think this huge number of comments, its the first time the number crossed 50 for any blog of mine, is mainly an aberration. People have variety of websites devoted for cricket (although very poor in quality) and so people tend to visit those sites often.

Hawkeye said...

sri,

my main contention was most of ganguly's contribution is too old. I rate him a very poor test player. there is an anonymous comment which posted a link.

http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/219480.html

this link is comprehensive and did what i wanted to do. this shows that ganguly is well past his expiry date and shouldnt be in the team.

nithin said...

Honestly,any Ganguly supporter is holding on to thin strands of hope. The "Maharajah" looks like he has lost his cat like grace and moves like an unweildy camel.

He probably realizes that his captaincy and his "aggressive" demeanour ,which we all used to fawn over a few months ago is probably something that will help delay his much overdue ouster from the team.

Now,there is a lot of dissent in the team ,with ganguly taking an open shot at sachin too...by saying that he is out of form because he has not been opening in the one-dayers.

It was in 2003 that ganguly was in a similar rut and then scored that one-off century in australia which ,amazingly,was attributed to the revolutionary suggestions of the same Greg Chappell that Ganguly now despises!

Nasser Hussain retired Gracefully from cricket,even after championing england to victory in his final match. His reason was that he did not want to hold up the place of a promising youngster-Andrew Strauss.
I think it is time for Ganguly to do the same....although i fear now its gonna be worse,with him being the first indian captain in 20 years to win an "overseas" series!!!

I think he will first in line to play Namibia when they get their international status!!!
$#%#$%#$ crap!!!

p.s. bharya -i posted that cricinfo link....forgot to sign it!!after all,u r the guy who deals in numbers and figures:):)

Arun Vaidyanathan said...

Gr8 one..Hilarious and also to the point. Came thru Lazygeek...All the besT!

Anonymous said...

Every one will agree the fact that ganguly is not in good form. Before coming to any conclusion if Ganguly should be in the team or not. We need to analyze what’s really going wrong with him. At this point, we sud take out the responsibility from leading the team and need to find out if that solves the entire issue. BTW, we sudnt forget that he is most aggressive captain.

Tarun said...

Agree with you Hawkeye. I would be upset if greg gets the axe. If India really wants to have 2007 cup at home then they must act now and I believe there is too much politics in this game here in India.

BTW, first time here. Good contents as well blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

This post belongs to 2005.Dont know anyone will see my comment.But I want to say this. The NEW players who had been brought into the team have pissed all over Greg and Dravid.
And Saurav has pissed allover u guys who wanted him out the team by forcing his way back into the test and as well as the oneday side.
Way to go Dada!
ash

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