Sunday, April 22, 2007

No Kapil! Please Believe me! You wanted some Rest

The recent selection, and the associated 'resting' comment brings to memory the Sharjah tour in 1993-94. The darn Kapil Dev wouldn't call it quits. He was bowling slower than Kumble and finally with a lot of effort in Jan/Feb 1994 series against Lanka, he got to that 431 mark. Kapil had already adorned the front of my 'Natraj' geometry box for close to a decade and rust had begun to accumulate on his face and the photo of him holding aloft the 1983 cup. The board thought that Kapil would have the decency to know that he was a spent force and would quit both tests and ODIs after he got to 431. Srinath was already waiting in the wings with 'swing' bowler Manoj Prabhakar taking on the mantle of senior bowler. Kapil, I think, quit test cricket and people were unsure about his ODI plans.
However, Kapil decided to go on improving his ODI record and finances without quitting. For a month after we had returned from the NZ tour, there was heavy speculation that he might be humiliatingly dropped for this Australasia cup in Sharjah. The D-day came and our clever selectors walked into the media room. Surprise Surprise! They announced that Kapil wanted to be 'rested' for the Sharjah tour. They gave this as an excuse for not picking him. The news came as a "surprise" to Kapil Dev, who promptly claimed that he didn't want to be rested at all. The media-based battle began with selectors actually insisting that Kapil wanted to be rested and Kapil refuting the claim. I mean, at that point I felt 'dropping' him would have been a less humiliating option. 'Resting' a person like Kapil, who didn't understand a subtle 'please get out' message was plain stupidity. A stupidity which only our selectors were capable of doing. So they included him for the WI tour to India and he eventually retired after that tour. This over-stay is accentuated further by the early retirement of Javagal Srinath. he retired early not once but twice. His main reason for retiring so early was Kapil Dev. He explicitly said that he didnt want to inflict the pain - that Kapil inflicted on him - to youngsters waiting in line. A telling comment on superstardom that dominates Indian cricket. We still haven't got a replacement for Srinath.
P.S: Whats up with this Laxmipathi Balaji? Where is he? Its funny that this is happening 3-in-a-row. S. Ramesh, M.Karthik and L.Balaji were all performing really well in the last series they played for India. They were in fact among the top two performers in the side. Then an injury break comes. And then they are nowhere to be found in National/Domestic/Club/Road-sides. Meanwhile Ajit Agarkar stands a good chance of making his seven thousandth come-back for the England tour. There has got to be a name for this kind of thing.
P.s2: Still haven't begun my accounting exam. :-(

12 comments:

anantha said...

Hawkeye: Balaji has ben suffering from "Osteitis pubis". According to a couple of classmates who moderate the community devoted to him on a certain social networking site, he was under surgery in the UK last month.

I said...

There is a conspiracy against Thamizh cricketers.

Ramesh is on kalakka povadhu yaru.

Nilu said...

I met Thiru Kumaran at a wedding. He now runs a Computer shop. And was so modest. In fact, greatful that I recognized him.

Hawkeye said...

nilu,

i am shocked. that fellow was a good good bowler. this is ridiculous.

anti,

ithu enna ithu 'osteitis pubis'

i went to that orkut site :-) danks

I,

ya i see him. i also bump into him during some religious festivities in-and-around mylai.

raj said...

cfrkgThere must be a name for this. In the case of Dinesh Mongia et al,the name is parochialism and regional bias. But if you are talking about Agarkar, it's a special case. In that case, the name for this is 'pimping' :-)

Rastafari said...

Nilu,
"In fact, greatful that I recognized him. "
It should be grateful

Nilu said...

It sure must be.

krishna senthil said...

dude

i have sent an e-mail

please can u reply.

thanks bye

anantha said...

Oh btw, I meant to say - "his classmates". I noticed this just now. So how did your take home go?

The Talkative Man said...

no anti-chennai bias and all...

Way back in 2003, TA Sekar mentioned that with an action like that, Balaji was prone to injuries. Precisely what's been happening.

Ramesh had a decent run in 1999 at the international level but in a few years, his game went ragged. Jaffer and Gambhir were closing in on SR in early 2000s. The acid test came in the Ranji Final 2003.

TN did a great job restricting Mumbai(Jaffer 90) to 257/8 or so on day 1. Ramesh hit 90 or something on day 2 but it was a painfully slow crawl. He didnt really play a dominating innings as a senior pro that would firmly put TN on the driver's seat. Once he fell, the rest just defended and collapsed for 271 or so.

Bombay under pressure in Innings 3 and what does Jaffer do? He motors along at 4 an over and hammers a stroke filled 100, Bombay 220/1 or so. They finish with 387 and bowl TN out for 235 on Day 5(Ramesh 0 or so).

That pretty much summed up the fact that SR is not the kind to win matches for India. Next season, Gambhir kicked real big and from them, it was he, Jaffer, Sehwag as the top 3. Ramesh never really in my book, maybe a fringe selection for India A.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hawkeye! Ramesh doesn't even find a place in the TN team. He is playing for Kerala I guess.. But you are right abot Murali Kartik. Sad that a good bowler like Balaji is facing a lot of injury problems.

Anonymous said...

Bummer!
Lily