Kumble's baffling omission
The lineup of spinners potentially participating in the Super Test
which starts tomorrow reads (in alphabetical order of second name) Stuart MacGill, Muttiah Muralitharan, Daniel Vettori and Shane Warne. It is a glittering lineup. But it is by no means the best available spinning talent. I cannot understand how Kumble, Harbhajan and Kaneria were left out. If we use performances in the same period used for the ICC awards
, i.e. between August 1 2004 and July 31 2005, then this is what we get.Danish Kaneria
had 60 wickets in ten tests and his breakup was 15 wickets @ 37 v Australia, 19 wickets @ 32 v India, 15 wickets @ 24 v Sri Lanka and 11 wickets @ 34 v West Indies.Anil Kumble
had 64 wickets in 11 tests and his breakup was 27 wickets @ 25 v Australia, 10 wickets @ 14 v Bangladesh, 17 wickets @ 38 v Pakistan and 10 wickets @ 34 v South Africa.Harbhajan Singh
had 48 wickets in 9 tests and his breakup was 21 wickets @ 24 v Australia, 4 wickets @ 41 v Bangladesh (hiak! hiak!), 10 wickets @ 33 v Pakistan and 13 wickets @ 24 v South Africa.
The incumbents' statistics were:Muttiah Muralitharan
had 22 wickets in 3 tests and his breakup was 5 wickets @ 33 v South Africa and 17 wickets @ 10 v West Indies.Daniel Vettori
had 38 wickets in 7 tests and his breakup was 18 wickets @ 41 v Australia and 20 wickets @ 11 against Bangladesh.
The World side is playing against Australia. Even on the basis of their overall past records against Australia
, it is tough to justify the selections. Admittedly it is tough to drop Murali, in spite of his not having played much in the last year. On the basis of performances against Australia in the last year, Kumble and Harbhajan definitely deserved a spot, perhaps Kumble more so than Harbhajan considering his performances
during India's tour of Australia in 2003/04
. Kaneria has improved by leaps and bounds and his performance in Australia was wonderful, but he lacked bowling support.
Purely based on the numbers, it does seem to me that one of those selections is wrong. I love that chap's bowling, and my wife is a huge fan of his looks, but I would certainly not have picked the bespectacled one.
Labels: kumble, macgill, super series 2005