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 --
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.